Recently, social media has been flooded with images of president-elect Joseph N. Boakai and Stanton A. Witherspoon.

This image has been interpreted as Boakai’s refusal to shake Witherspoon’s hand while on a visiting vacation in the United States of America after his (Boakai’s) election as the 26th president of the Republic of Liberia in the just-ended November 14, 2023, runoff elections.  

The post has been seen here, here, here, here, and here.

However, before Boakai left for the USA, there was news circulated by social media users that he had departed to seek medical attention.

Since the campaign activities of the 2023 elections began, whenever Boakai leaves the country for the USA, many social media users usually post that he has travelled for medical purposes.

Who is Witherspoon?

Witherspoon is the owner and former Chief Executive Officer of the Spoon Network, which comprises Farbric 101.1, Super FM/Live, Spoon FM, and T.V.

During the 2023 elections, Witherspoon was one of the leading supporters of the Unity Party’s agenda, as he served as the lead host of the Spoon Talk.

The widely listened-to program was instrumental in the election of Boakai during the November 14, 2023, runoff election. 

Verification: Our researcher listened to the Spoon Talk, Monday, December 4, 2023 edition (32:35) when the panellists said the image was Photoshop.

Witherspoon said “The photo was taken by a young gentleman and posted on his Instagram page. Some opposition people took one of the images, edited it, and shared it with the message they wanted to convey.”

There is also a video circulating on social media where both Witherspoon and Boakai are seen watching a football match.

 Also, Fries FM, a blog with 165 thousand followers, posted an image with  Boakai, his wife, and Witherspoon.

Witherspoon with the President-elect Boakai and Mrs. Boakai

Conclusion: After reviewing all of the photographs and videos, as well as listening to Witherspoon on Spoon Talk, it’s safe to declare that the widely circulated image of Boakai and Whitherspoon, along with the assertion that Boakai declined to shake Witherspoon’s hand, is misleading. We were unable to locate any proof in this regard.


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