Liberia’s President Joseph Boakai has said his fight against corruption is being hampered by people seeking to enrich themselves at the expense of the state. 

Boakai won power by promising to end the country’s endemic corruption. But is facing challenges to uproot it. 

“A lot of people come into government believing they are there to enrich themselves,” President Boakai told the BBC. 

“They don’t understand what public service is about.”

In the three months since he defeated President George Weah and took the reins, Mr Boakai said he has been “very selective” about who he brings along with him because he blames corruption ‘”for all the crises we’ve had”.

President Boakai has signalled to the Liberian people that it won’t be business as usual. He declared his own assets as soon as he came in and made his ministers do the same.

He has also asked for an audit of the presidential office, and beefed up integrity institutions such as the General Auditing Commission and the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission, reports the BBC. 

Now approaching his 80s, Mr Boakai acknowledges he’s the age of most of the electorate’s grandparents – but sees his role as rooting out deep-seated problems and handing over a well-managed Liberia to the next generation.

“I am here only to guide a process to bring this country to where it should be and then they can take it over.”

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