LIBERIA: During His Inauguration Ceremony Pres. Boakai suffers Heat Exhaustion …But He Is Perfectly Fine
President Joseph Nyumah Boakai has resumed his normal inaugural activities following a heat exhaustion during the official sworning ceremony on Monday January 22, 2024 on the grounds of the Capitol Building in Monrovia.
According to the office of the President, the Liberian leader is perfectly fine and has resumed all presidential duties.
Dressed in an African clothes at a well-attended ceremony, Ambassador Boakai was delivering his inaugural speech when he nearly collapse but was aided by heavy security officers in front of foreign and national guests.
According to medical doctors following a brief medical check up, the Chief Executive is perfectly fine and is continuing his official duties.
The 79- year- old near collapse, which panic the gathering hastily resulted into the premature end of the ceremony as mixed views over his health fitness and other concerns are now the order of the day.
“The President of the Republic of Liberia, His Excellency Joseph Nyuma Boakai, suffered heat exhaustion during the inaugural ceremonies,” said an Executive Mansion statement.
The incident occurred Monday, January 22, 2024 in front of a stunned audience comprising government officials, foreign dignitaries, and the media.
Despite multiple claims that he has been faced with poor health since the campaign season, 79-year-old Boakai was constitutionally sworn in by the Chief Justice of Liberia a few minutes after former President George Weah turned power over.
According to our reporter, swift action from healthcare professionals was necessary as they rushed to the president’s aid, providing assistance and administering oxygen to restore his well-being.
Amid the unfortunate happening, the Liberian leader is again expected to return to the Capitol on Monday, January 29, 2024 to deliver his State of the Nation of Address (SONA) to the 55th Legislature, as the speech often lasts for 2 or more than 2hrs depending the president’s agenda.
The inaugural speech was abruptly interrupted and ended prematurely to the dismay of the foreign guests, members of the legislature and other Liberians when President Boakai upon wiping profuse sweat off his face, halted while officers of the Executive Protection Service used program sheet and his cap taken off his head to fan him some fresh air.
This unexpected event sent shockwaves throughout the assembly, leaving many concerned about the president’s health.
Health workers swiftly responded to the distressing situation, their timely intervention instrumental in stabilizing President Boakai’s condition.
Accordingly, oxygen was administered to aid his breathing, with medical professionals working diligently to provide the necessary care and attention.
The president had been delivering his inaugural address for a little 30 minutes when it was perceived that he was facing toughness in expanding more.
However, there have been claims and counterclaims among political pundits and many Liberians who took to their individual Facebook pages expressing their thoughts on the happening.
While some blamed the writer of the President’s inaugural speech, stating that the writer failed to consider the length and condition of the place of delivery, others in reaction believe that the Liberian leader has the option to either cut or leave the speech as it is written before its presentation.
On the other hand, some citizens are pointing accusing fingers at the organizers of the event, stressing that the planners of such a historic ceremony should have considered climate change to avoid heat exhaustion.
There are also unconfirmed reports that a few individuals as well as officers of the EPS fainted due to the unprecedented heat and were rushed to the hospital to seek medical attention.
But in a unified tone, the citizens have termed the situation as an embarrassment, a sad moment and bad precedence set by Liberia before the presence of international guests, including heads of states.