By Patrick Tokpah
Citizens of Gwetamue and surrounding communities of Bong County District #5 have formally petitioned former Liberia Envoy to the United States, Mexico, and Canada, Ambassador Jeremiah Sulunteh, to contest the County’s seat in the upcoming Midterm Senatorial Elections in October, 2020.
Amb. Sulunteh who was also running mate to the Alternative National Congress (ANC) Standard Bearer Alexander Cummings during the 2017 general and presidential elections, served as national vice chairman of the former ruling Unity Party and also served Minister Transport during the regime of former President Sirleaf.
In their petition statement read by Benjamin Kpakorlor, a citizen of Gwetamue, the citizens recounted Sulunteh’s numerous contributions to the district and the county at-large, expressing confidence in his high level of integrity and experience to lead the county as senator.
“We, the citizens of 42 towns in Bong County, do hereby, in this open gathering, petition our very illustrious son who has brought so much pride to us as citizens,” the petition statement said.
The statement indicated that “Sulunteh has integrity, has experience and he can represent us both locally and internationally.”
The citizens recounted Sulunteh’s contribution in the construction of the only elementary school in Gwetamue, his support to opening farm-to-market roads in various communities, and his sponsorship of students at universities and other tertiary institutions as benefits they enjoy from his leadership.
In accepting the petition, Ambassador Sulunteh vowed to contest the October midterm senatorial election, declaring that for too long, Bong has yearned for a leader who truly embodies an agenda that includes reconciliation and holistic development.
“I am going to the Senate with my experience as a diplomat to work on the Senate Committee for Foreign Affairs, so that we can work with our development partners overseas to ensure that the much-needed support can come to our country, Liberia,” he said.
According to the Liberian statesman, diplomat and son of Bong County, Liberia needs more trained teachers, health workers, functioning hospitals and clinics, as well as medication and medical supplies.
He reasoned that for the country to develop, the Legislature must play a crucial role in ensuring adequate budgetary allotments to crucial government ministries and agencies.
Meanwhile, statistics have indicated that Bong is the third largest county by population in Liberia with 208,250 registered voters (2017), according to the National Elections Commission voter roll.
With his acceptance of the petition, Ambassador Sulunteh joins a long list of senatorial aspirants, including incumbent Sen. Henry Yallah; Deputy House Speaker and Bong County District #2 Representative, Prince Moye; Development Education Network-Liberia former Executive Director Dorothy Tooman, and former Agriculture Minister Mogana Flomo.
With his acceptance of the petition from Bongese, the former Liberian envoy said he will contest the Bong County seat at the Senate in the 2020 Mid-Term Senatorial, even if the current President of the USA could come to contest in Bong County senatorial elections.