Medical Checkup Or ECOWAS Engagement?
News permeating the corridors of the newsroom of the Hot Pepper is that the Standard Bearer of the Unity Party Alliance, alias Rescue 1, Ambassador Joseph N. Boakai, has been flown out of the country, but with contradicting information as it regards the destination and purpose of his impromptu departure.
The UP has been carrying out its Montserrado County district campaign tour, with Ambassador Boakai leading the effort. However, the tour was abruptly suspended for three days pending Ambassador Boakai’s return, according to a Unity Party press release.
It was previously rumored that Ambassador Boakai was planning to seek immediate medical attention in the United States due to his deteriorating health condition, and that a plan to halt the UP district campaign tour was underway, but the information was rebutted by the Rescue Mission Media Coordination team, headed by Robert Moncio Kpadeh: the statement was crafted by the CDC and the Weah administration to misinform the public.
According to a release from the Rescue Mission Media Coordination team, “Contrary to the erroneous claim that our Standard Bearer, Ambassador Joseph Nyuma Boakai Sr., is planning a medical checkup abroad, we want to clarify that the Unity Party’s Montserrado County Campaign Tour remains on-going without interruption. The statement suggesting the campaign’s pause due to medical reasons is untrue and needs swift clarification for our people.
“A statement from the Weah administration falsely asserts that the Unity Party has temporarily suspended its Montserrado County campaign tour after visiting districts 3 and 5. This claim is baseless and appears to be propagated by the CDC for political gain.
“We want to emphasize that the Rescue Mission Media Coordination has not endorsed any sudden pause in the campaign, as claimed by the CDC’s propaganda team. Such speculations are unfounded and raise doubts about the CDC’s strategy and its potential impact on the upcoming elections. This misleading narrative implies that the President’s team has already conceded to the Unity Party’s victory.”
However, the Official Spokesman of the UP, Mo Ali, contrary to the release of the media coordination team, issued another press release, on behalf of the party, informing the public that the Standard Bearer of the Unity Party, Ambassador Joseph Nyuma Boakai, Sr., has made an impromptu trip in the ECOWAS sub-region for three days, and that in view of that, the Montserrado district tour involving the Standard Bearer was thereby suspended for the same period of days.
“The Montserrado Campaign Team, in collaboration with the UP Montserrado Leadership, will reschedule the tour for the remaining districts. Meanwhile, the campaign will continue with the same vigor throughout the country.”
Folks from the Unity Party have since stood their ground that Rescue-One is on an ECOWAS engagement, and not on a medical trip. During the late evening hours of Monday, Ambassador Boakai posted on his Facebook page, saying, “Time off after my first engagement here in Accra. I am confident, we’re winning these elections on the first ballot.”
But critics have argued that the UP and its campaign team are not being truthful to the Liberian people regarding Boakai’s trip, and that the oldman has been violating doctors’ instruction to stay away from activities that further endanger his heart or stimulate high blood pressure.
It can be recalled that the Hot Pepper recently reported that the Standard Bearer of the Unity Party (UP) and former Vice President of the Republic of Liberia, Ambassador Joseph N. Boakai, on Thursday, July 20, 2023 departed Liberia for the United States of America for what the UP Secretariat described as a two-week visit that would take him to four states, including New Jersey, Rhode Island and Minnesota.
A member of the UP hierarchy claimed that Ambassador Boakai’s trip to the US was to grace the matrimonial service of his granddaughter, Counselor Jengeih Sia Tamba, slated for Sunday, July 30, 2023. Tamba was said to be the daughter of Ambassador Boakai’s son, Dr. J. Emmanuel Tamba. On the margins of the wedding, the UP higher-up said, Ambassador Boakai would have several engagements with stalwarts and partisans of the Unity Party, representatives of supporting political parties, supporters and well-wishers of the rescue mission in the US, would shed light on his vision and his party’s action plan and policies encapsulated in the party’s development concept, “AREST”, and meet and interact with key business people and potential investors to discuss business and investment opportunities in Liberia. He was expected to return to Liberia on August 4, 2023.
But contrary to the news provided by the UP secretariat, it was rumored that Ambassador Boakai had gone to the United States for medical checkup and to explore possibilities for his heart surgery before the 2023 elections.
On Monday, July 10, 2023, Henry Pedro Costa disclosed in a press statement that all the medical examinations from ELWA Hospital and from the doctors in the United States concluded one thing on Ambassador Boakai’s health condition: he needed to do a triple bypass open heart surgery within six months to have a weakening artery in his heart removed and replaced by another artery from his thigh. According to Costa, doctors had advised that if he did not get the surgery done within six months his heart could stop beating.
Cleveland Clinic, Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio, describes a triple bypass surgery as a treatment for people who have multiple blockages in their coronary arteries, which supply blood to their heart muscle, using a blood vessel from another part of the body to create a bypass route for blood to go around blocked artery sections to allow blood to keep flowing to the heart muscle.
According to the renowned US-based clinic, while undergoing a triple bypass surgery, a surgeon will make an approximately 6-inch vertical cut down the middle of the chest (for open-heart surgery), split the breastbone down the middle to get to the heart, remove a blood vessel from the leg, arm or chest, and attach one end of the blood vessel to the aorta and the other to the coronary artery (below the blocked part) in several places depending on where the blockages are located.
The surgery, the Cleveland Clinic noted, is estimated to be done in three to six hours. But for the recovery process, most people stay in an intensive care unit for a night and then a regular room for another three to five days. One needs about six weeks or more for triple bypass surgery recovery time after leaving the hospital, even though some people may recover in four weeks, while others need longer than six weeks.
However, Ambassador Boakai’s alleged health condition is only being rumored and heard from second and third parties—not a day Boakai himself has come up to speak to his health condition, which observers have termed as not being sincere and honest to the Liberian people.