Commending Lofaians for The Exercise, But with caveat to the Opposition
ON JUNE 28, 2022, the protracted delay in the conduct of the Senatorial by-election for Lofa County came to an end when thousands of citizens from the county turned out to exercise their civil rights to elect the senator of their choice in a hotly contested race. At the end of the process, the National Elections Commission (NEC) announced Cllr. Joseph Kpator Jallah, an independent candidate heavily endorsed and supported by the ruling Coalition for Democratic Congress as winner, defeating Galakpai Kortimai of the Unity Party.
WE SEE THIS as a major breakthrough in the political game that was a distraction in our polity, and has now afforded the system the needed space to focus on the myriad of problems facing the country. We therefore commend the people of Lofa County and all other stakeholders that made the exercise possible so that the people can now breathe a sigh of relief.
NOW, OUR CONCERN has been drawn to the squandered opportunity by the opposition community to leverage on the previous electoral successes recorded against the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and exert itself on the path of wrestling power from the CDC come 2023.
WHAT IS MORE disappointing and worrisome in the premise is that the seat just lost to the ruling establishment was once won by the opposition bloc, the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), through former defense minister Brownie J. Samukai who could not take up his seat due to court rulings that barred him. The defeat thus has placed the opposition in a very precarious situation and added an uphill challenge to accomplishing the task it set for itself some time ago when it emerged on the scene amid the wide acceptance from Liberians.
IT IS IMPORTANT to state that as the country was plunged into untold hardship propelled by the dashing of hope of the citizens by the ruling establishment, the opposition bloc had injected a glimmer of hope amid gloomy prospects for the future and was proven from the massive victories recorded during the Special Senatorial Mid- term election in December 2020.
ORDINARILY, WITH SUCH resounding victories and the bulk of the citizens being on the side of the opposition as was evidenced through their votes, there was a compelling need for the opposition to consolidate on the gains made by opening more doors of opportunities and taking the battle to the ruling CDC which was by then in a panic mode after being handed scathing defeats in vote rich counties like its once traditional fortress, Montserrado County, followed by Bong, Grand Bassa and Lofa counties.
UNFORTUNATELY, THE OPPOSITION set itself on trial and playing in the antics of the CDC by the litigation filed against the standard bearer and political leader of the Alternative National Congress (ANC) Alexander B. Cummings by the political leader of the All Liberia Party (ALP) Benoni Urey, a retrogressive undertaking that sapped most of the time and resources of the opposition fraternity while CDC was strategically positioning itself to snatch the seat from them.
AFTER GOING BACK and forth with being at each other’s throat, the only dividend accrued from such unnecessary and ugly contention has been the devastating blow meted on the opposition in Lofa County which has the propensity to spill over to 2023 and cause a colossal damage to their chances of wrestling power from the CDC.
AMID THE NURSING of the bruises and wounds from the Lofa debacle, there is still room to dust off the setback and stage a forward march if the opposition in the shortest possible can embark on a mission to reinvent itself. It may seem impossible to bring back all the contending parties under one roof but in politics anything is possible once there is a leeway to forgo the past and forge ahead considering the task ahead.
IT IS IN this vein that we urge the leaders of the mainstream political parties, once members of the CPP, to see reasons to renew the hope of Liberians for a viable alternative to the ruling party by burying their hatchets and reunite the opposition bloc. There is more to gain from being a united and committed front in the polity than being divided pursuing the same agenda. The sad narrative from Lofa should be a guide to foster a greater unity.
WE WANT TO remind you that Liberians will not forgive you in the hurry if you abandon their hope and aspiration for a viable check and balance on the ruling establishment which should lead to change of guards in 2023. Bury your ego, come back together, pick up the torch and lead the people to the destiny they once entrusted you with.