MONROVIA: Amidst the perception that her chances of winning the contest for the representative position for District #2, Grand Gedeh County will be bleak against the backdrop that the people do not vote for female candidates in elections, Madam Marie Johnson has dismissed the insinuation and insisted that come on October 10, 2023 when the results are out, she will win convincingly because this time around “the people of Grand Gedeh County will vote differently”
Madam Johnson who is a leading contender to clinch the position on Election Day made the assertion recently when she reacted to the verdict of the National Elections Commission (NEC) clearing her to contest the representative election after the objection of inclusion on the provisional candidate list file against her for allegedly holding an American passport was thrown out.
She told newsmen at a brief press conference she hosted at her residence shortly before departing the county to launch her campaign that she was never frightened or deterred about the action of some “faceless politicians who are definitely going to lose the race against me”, adding it was also not a surprise that such objection will come out because unlike when the race of such magnitude was dominated by men, “this time around the people are resolved to vote for ideas and development”.
“Of course I was not surprised that there would be some obstacles on the way from the usual people who continue to keep the district and people down by the use of very weak arguments and assertions such as those based on gender insensitivity, outright lies, deception and backward thoughts.
“What they did was to use those innocent boys who they have been using as slaves to launch out against me for the reasons they did not also know. I have been a Liberian through and through and will not change my identities for any material thing and the records are there.
“For them it is not possible for a determined woman to succeed in the West just like what I have done through the blessings of the Almighty God I serve. I have been engaged back home despite being in the United States of America and my marks are being seen and felt in the District.
“They were just wasting their time and not mine because as the NEC disclosed in its ruling, those kids have no legal standing to challenge my candidature besides the lies they told. But we are going to the race as a winner and the losers will lose seriously”, Madam Johnson declared.
She said it was sad that when other counties are progressing with electing competent people to represent them, some elements in Grand Gedeh County are bent on going against women contesting elections with all kinds of negative tactics that will continue to keep our people down.
“Grand Gedeh County got her county status along with Lofa, Bong and Nimba in 1964 and since then these other counties have proposed Ministers, Superintendents, Senators, Representatives, judges, etc and these upward participation of women in politics and leadership have in no small contributed to the advancement of these counties far beyond Grand Gedeh County.
“We had a female superintendent once, a development superintendent once and a city mayor thrice. These are the highest we went in local government participation despite the fact that there are hundreds of qualified females in the county being suppressed for whatever reasons they could justify.
“I am not putting myself down with this weak fight and come October 10, 2023, I will be victorious”, Madam Johnson said confidently.
She said those opposing her are just a few “misguided and negative people” as her candidature has received huge endorsements from several citizens both at home and abroad including women and youth groups because “I mean well for our people”
“Our people have embraced change and they are seeing what we have done even before we declared our intention to contest, having yielded to their call to go to the national legislature to do things for them differently.
“From our own resources, we installed solar lights in all the towns and villages in district number 2 to enhance the socio-economic activities of the people and improve security, we built communities and feeder roads to enable our people to move from one place to another, we offered a lot of scholarship opportunities to our young people at the County Community College in Zwedru, we have assisted women, especially women at risks with empowerment to do businesses, among others.
“These are records they are afraid of because our people have seen the light and are seeing true liberation. So our detractors are vex but it is their own cup of tea”, she said.
She further said there are more important things to address in the District than the kind of “dirty politics they have been trading in for years and have not taken us anywhere. She said some of the issues that need urgent attention in the district include but not limited the rise in teenage pregnancies, joblessness among the youth because most of them do not have skills to give them jobs, lack of basic social services such as health and education, among others which she vowed to tackle through legislation and lobbying with relevant authorities and institutions both at home and abroad.
It can be recalled that an unregistered group under the banner of Konobo Urban Youth led one James Chelley had filed an objection with NEC that Madam Marie Johnson holds an American passport having renounced her Liberian citizenship some years ago for personal benefits. They had tendered a blurred photocopy of an American passport which they claimed to have gotten from “classified sources” but were unable to prove beyond reasonable doubts their claims.
Besides that, they failed the qualification to object to Madam Johnson’s candidacy because the 2023 procedure for objection says only candidates and political parties with vested interest in the election are allowed to object to nominations.