“I Will Be on the Ballot for Grand Cape Mount County”– Senatorial Aspirant Wayne Tells Why He Cannot Cede to Dr. Kromah
With the clock ticking faster and faster to conduct the December 2020 midterm senatorial elections in Liberia, politicians and interested parties are busy employing tactics and strategies to outmaneuver one another and occupy seats at the Liberian Senate. Against this background, the elders of Tewor District, Grand Cape Mount County are said to have been heavily influenced by senatorial aspirant Dr. Foday Kormah to stop another senatorial aspirant from running under Tewor District. But as The Analyst has gathered, senatorial aspirant S. Sando Wayne, II is having none of that, as he has now fully thrown his hat in the race, authoritatively stating that he will be on the ballot for Grand Cape Mount County, comes hell or high water.
According to a July 20, 2020 press statement from United People Party stalwart Sando Wayne under the “Cape Mount Action Movement 4sandowayne” banner, on July 13, 2020 Mr. Wayne wrote the Dean of Elders of Tewor District, Grand Cape Mount County, Mr. Steven Kamara, outlining his reservations about series of developments that compelled his decision to finally contest, although the elders had earlier invited him in July 2020 demanding he cede to Dr. Foday Kromah and withdraw from the race for Tewor District.
“…Having held consultations with my family, campaign team, and supporters at home and the diaspora, who want the best for “our Lives, Jobs in our villages, and a promising Future for all,” I wish to declare that I, “S. Sando Wayne, II”, will be on the ballot for senator of Grand Cape Mount County in the December 8, 2020, midterm senatorial election!” declared Wayne to elder Kamara and the elders of Tewor District.
Aspirant Wayne reminded Dean Elder Kamara and the elders of Tewor that during an earlier July 2020 meeting which also included Dr. Fodee Kromah, the elders called on the two parties to dialogue and present a single candidate for Tewor District to support because Tewor would be pleased to get a citizen from the District elected senator in the December 8, 2020 midterm elections. However, Dean Elder Kamara also expressed concern about the prospect of achieving victory were two citizens of Tewor District to participate in the same contest.
“This call was vehemently challenged and opposed by Dr. Kromah and his delegation (comprising Momo Senwah, Varney Kahngor, Abass Bondo, Momodu Gaspa, Mr. Sombai, and etc.), and caused great consternation among them,” aspirant Wayne stated in his letter of affirmation to elder Kamara.
Aspirant Wayne further disclosed how during the said July meeting, Dr. Kromah and delegation argued that Dean Kamara was out of order!
“They stated that following 16 meetings of Tewor elders, district youths, women, and zoes, with Dr. Kromah as the only candidate in attendance, you, Honorable Dean of Elders of Grand Cape Mount County, were designated by Tewor District to inform me to get out of the race because the District does not know that I am running. And Dr. Kromah is the older of the two of us, therefore, he should become the lone candidate from Tewor District. You conceded to their demand and let them have it their way. I then informed you and those in attendance that I would convey your sentiments to my family and supporters, and will have their collective response communicated back to you in the shortest possible time,” aspirant Wayne reminded Dean Elder Kamara and his colleague elders.
Wayne defines actual role of traditional leaders
The Tewor District senatorial aspirant stated that the type of alliance forged by Dr. Kromah and cronies following 16 meetings in Tewor District was actually meant to isolate him in Tewor and abort his participation in the democratic process for Senator of GCMC, undermine the growth of democracy in Tewor District, and alienate the political role of ordinary citizens.
“Unfortunately, the elders’ office is not in a better position for the process of growing a strong democratic Tewor than that of the ordinary citizens; as the office is politicized, personalized, and too distant from the people it is supposed to lead,” Mr. Wayne stated.
Today’s traditional office holders, Mr. Wayne remarked, lack real authority on the citizens. “The elders mostly work under political patronage in one way or another as they establish a kind of mutual clientage with politicians. To safeguard Tewor District and our county in general from this special interest, the elders’ office should not be pressured by politicians based on the influence of pecuniary benefits, at the expense of our emerging democracy,” he said, noting that the role of the elders must be confined to sociocultural issues.
“The elders must understand that a candidate election to the legislature and legislative roles are beyond their primary roles. Elders must take steps to also stop politicians from using them as political middlemen at the expense of the public’s political rights to directly participate in the democratic process. The general citizenry of Tewor must have a will and commitment to contribute to the realization of a system of check and balance in the district and county at large,” Mr. Wayne said, noting further that the role of the traditional leadership in the Liberian society is still a national heritage and has some relevance in what is good today for survival.
“But that is the nature of our politics today, strange things are going along with remarkable ones,” he reasoned.
Why he’s running – Wayne provides analysis
Without biting his tongue, aspirant Sando Wayne went for the jugular regarding the decision by the Tewor District Dean of Elders demanding finally that he cedes to Dr. Foday.
“It is a fact that Dr. Kromah is the older of the two of us! But, is gerontocracy any yardstick to assure the voters that they will benefit from his election to the senate?” wondered Mr. Wayne, reasoning further that Dr. Kromah periodically contested every elected seat for Grand Cape Mount county senate and House vacancies, especially for Tewor District, since 2011.
“In fact, Dr. Kromah even reneged on agreement with another aspirant of Tewor for the House, when his ambition conflicted with that of the aspirant,” Mr. Wayne disclosed.
The impact of Dr. Kromah’s public service contributions on the lives of the people of Grand Cape Mount, Mr. Wayne stated, raises more questions than the personal profit making ventures he (Dr. Kromah) prides himself on.
“For example, the Lone Star Cell Tower in Tienii is a profit making venture for Dr. Kromah; the defunct Total Fuel Station and a defunct provision store, set up in Robertsport City, were profitmaking for Dr. Kromah. The defunct LBDI and all other defunct profit making schemes associated with him failed, because of the lack of vision. You do not call for a Bank, construct a petrol station or provisional store in an environment where there is absolute absence of purchasing power on the part of the consumers,” Mr. Wayne further conjectured.
Giving reasons further why he decided against ceding to Dr. Foday Kromah, Mr. Wayne said Grand Cape Mount County needs a developed and thriving tourism sector, which is the competitive advantage of Robertsport City and surrounding lake communities that guarantees plenty jobs and pays employees living wages to enable residents utilize the services of LBDI, a Total Petro Station or a provision store. Additionally, it is tourism that will serve as the economic pull factor for the Government of Liberia to invest in the pavement of the 27 miles dirt road connecting Madina and Robertsport. For example, the Port of Buchanan in Grand Bassa County became the justification for the immediate pavement of the Buchanan highway with loan from the IMF.
“For our part, we have always worked and supported initiatives that provide mass benefits for everyone, rather than going after personal profits on the back of the people we want to serve. As a junior minister in the Interim Government of National Unity (IGNU), in the early 90s, I worked with foreign friends in Chicago, Illinois, and successfully secured and distributed, relief supplies to the people of Grand Cape Mount County, under the leadership of Superintendent Henry Konowa (deceased), and Mr. Gayah Fahnbulleh of the USA. As Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for International Cooperation, (President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Administration), I successfully secured USD 2 Million from the Government of Japan for the construction of three (3) rural bridges in Grand Cape Mount (Diah Community Bridge, Kaylia Community Bridge, and Tallah Community Bridge),” Mr. Wayne averred.
“Now, what is the wisdom in Dr. Kromah, who has promised GCMC nothing, calling for an aspirant, who is promising food security and jobs for all, to sit down for him (Dr. Kromah)? The job for the next Senator of Grand Cape Mount County concerns food security, jobs and economic infrastructure developments. Do we want to look for a job for the man or the man for this job?” Mr. Wayne wondered, adding, all citizens of Grand Cape Mount County have a responsibility to make every possible effort to come together to solve the issues of hunger in the county, create jobs in the villages and cities by opening up opportunities for investment in contract farming and tourism, which would invariably impact economic infrastructure development, and increase revenue flow from employees and these sectors to the Government of Liberia.
In his own words, as a servant leader, aspirant Sando Wayne’s quest for the Grand Cape Mount County legislative seat, representing Tewor District, is driven by the mantra: doing for yourself what others might not do for you.
“We have identified the Cape Mount public demands clearly in this race than any of our compatriots. We cannot now betray that public trust with abandonment! Besides us, who is the option for “Our Lives; Our Jobs; and Our Future”? There’s none!” Mr. Wayne lamented, and cautioned against promoting programs that have reliance on the government’s coffers.
“This is insanity, because the government is actually broke. And the way to know your government is broke is to look at the conditions of the schools, healthcare facilities and roads in Cape Mount, and you will know. Because it is you who are building the schools and paying most of the teachers; you are buying the fuel and drugs to keep the health centers opened, not the government. Unfortunately, candidates for elected offices gave the impression to voters in a few bullet points that they can turn their lives around on programs the government lacks money to ever support, even for the best advocate in elected office with the best of intentions,” stated Mr. Wayne.
“Our programs are not looking to the government for funding support. Rather, they will give money to our government in the form of revenue. Our programs are investment driven and will be implemented in partnership between members of our clans and international investors. Our programs will contribute to the flow of increased revenue to the Government and give citizens the opportunity to earn living wages from jobs created and pay taxes to the government. And we will ensure that tax dollars paid by our citizens come back into their communities for community revitalization and development. And these are the reasons why I am running for the Senate seat of Grand Cape Mount County in the December 8, 2020 midterm senatorial election!” Mr. Wayne further explained.
Who is Sando Wayne?
Aspirant S. Sando Wayne, II is a citizen Tewor District and Tombey-Garwula District in Grand Cape Mount County. A 1981 graduate of the William V.S. Tubman High School in Monrovia, aspirant Wayne holds a BA (cum laude) History and International Relations, College of Liberal Arts, from the University of Liberia; an M Ed – Curriculum & Instruction – Social Studies Education, University of Minnesota; an M A – International Relations, Webster University, St. Louise, Missouri; an MPA – Public Affairs & Administration, American University, Washington, DC, and a Certificate of Leadership, United States Peace Corps Academy, US Peace Corps, Washington, DC.
He has held several portfolio in-country and globally, to include: Adjunct Lecturer, Diplomacy & Negotiation, Ibrahim B. Babangida Graduate; School of International Studies – University of Liberia – (2010 – present); Manager of Community & Government Relations, Bea Mountain Mining Corporation, Liberia (2017 – 2019); Consultant & Research Analyst, World Bank – Liberia Office (2013 – 2015); Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for International Cooperation & Economic Integration, RL (President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, 2012 – 2013); Senior Policy Advisor to the Vice President of Liberia (VP Joseph N. Boakai, 2010 – 2012); Program Support Assistant, United States Peace Corps, Washington, DC, USA (2006 – 2009); International Educator – USA and Liberia (1983 – 1992); Assistant Minister of State for Public Affairs, Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs, RL (President Amos C. Sawyer 1990 – 1992); and Assistant Minister of State for Administration, Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs, RL (President Amos C. Sawyer 1992 – 1994).
In an effort to get the side of Dr. Foday Kromah regarding aspirant Wayne’s press statement, this paper tried contacting Dr. Kromah without success.