Like Zoely Zoe, Like Nyumalin -Pressure on Senate to reject “old rebel”

MONROVIA: One of the intriguing things happening in the course of the ongoing confirmation hearings for nominated individuals to take up various portfolios in the current administration is the urge of Liberians that the past of those being vetted be visited to ascertain whether their stewardship in public service or personal life style conform with what should be expected of them for the various positions they are aspiring for.

To date, some had no reasons to go through all the stress attendant of the nomination exercise as they were even deemed endorsed by the Senators even before they were asked to spell out their manifestos moving forward with the assigned portfolios; some still have to be delayed due to some issues the public wanted to be clear concerning their past.

Mr. Francis Nyumalin, who was nominated by President Joseph Nyuma Boakai to be the next Minister of Internal Affairs, may be one of those who may not be confirmed and if he is lucky to scale through the proverbial “hole of the needy” he must have gone through a lot of stress and exhaustion from the Senate and by extension, the general public who are not enthusiastic about his quest given the untoward statements and direct threats to peace exhibited during the just concluded 2023 general.

Nyumalin, a former representative for District #1, who was seeking reelection was a cynosure to behold during the electoral process in Foya where he was fighting for the soul of the district to save his job which he eventually lost to now Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives and to also ensure that then candidate Joseph Nyuma Boakai took majority votes in the district.

When the results of the first round was announced, Nyumalin lost his seat and obviously just like any other politicians decided to cast his lot on the Presidential ambition of then candidate Joseph Nyuma Boakai to the fullest as the last resort.

“He gambled his way through to tie his destiny to Ambassador Boakai when he lost his representative seat. He went all out and to a point, he was like a fanatic and there was no turning back on why he supported Mr. Boakai. At the end of the day, he also stepped overboard with his threatening statements that may haunt him throughout the rest of his life”, Paul Dama, a local voice of civil society organizations in Lofa County told The Analyst to speak on the predicament of Internal Affairs Minister Designate Francis Nyumalin last night.

At the peak of the campaign where he was in the trenches to produce the votes for Mr. Boakai went overboard to issue threatening statements including a vow to kill an immigration officer whom he accused of “terrorizing my people from coming out to vote”

The former representative had gone to a local headquarter of the joint security in Foya to complain about the activities of an immigration officer whom he identified as Fallabu in a viral video and had vowed to “mob him to death anytime I see him”.

“Is Fallabu the only immigration officer that they can use, that he will continue to terrorise our people, I will find Fallabu today, I will mob him to death”, Nyumalin was heard on a recorded video that has since gone viral and in the possession of security agencies, the Senators and Liberia’s development partners.

When an officer tried to convince Nyumalin that the referenced Fallabu was not the only person taking decisions at the local headquarters, Nyumalin shouted him down with a rather hot response “he can’t be terrorizing my people here, he has nothing to coordinate here. Maybe you don’t know me but I am an old rebel, and that is how I protected my people and that was how they elected me. I don’t want to see Fallabu in this place”.

“You the security people should get Fallabu from this place or else I will get to the public. If you give him 100 hundred security, it can’t save him. I am tired, I am tired, I swear to my Mother, anywhere I find Fallabu, I will not spare him, I will attack him. Anywhere I find him today, I will attack him, I am moving with men. I can get 25 motorbikes, put three persons on them each, that is 75 people, wherever Fallabou goes, I will move there”, Nyumalin said with no regrets as he left the arena.

During his resumed confirmation hearing, Senator Gbebo Brown of Maryland County (CDC) took a bold step to ask Nyumalin on his campaign activities in Foya District and whether at any time he made any sweeping statement threatening any Liberia.

“Mr. Witness, during the election, what role did you play? Were you a candidate or supporting a candidate? Did you at any time during the process of coordinating the campaign of the president threatened the life of a citizen of Liberia?

In responding to the question Nyyumali said “I consciously or unconsciously did, due to humiliation, dehumanization and all odds against me during the election but regret the statement and I have now gone beyond to apologize and now initiating peace and reconciliation”.

At that point several other Senators questioned him how well committed he was to the peace and reconciliation process and he responded that he has been meeting people he had offended just as those who offended him have also been reaching out to him as well.

“Do you see yourself as a person who can lead the process of peace, unity and reconciliation in this country”, Senator Brown fired back again.

Nyumalin said he was imminently qualified and has the requisite experience to lead the process of peace, unity and reconciliation and as someone who has worked in that direction in the pass, he will succeed, stressing that “President Boakai has absolute confidence in me to achieve that and beyond that target”

What is concerning and which may adversely affect Nyumalin’s nomination is that there is already a precedent set of someone who also made threatening statements which cost the person’s nomination. He was subsequently rejected to have served as the Deputy Minister of Defense for Operations.

Tarplah Z. Davis, also called Zoely Zoe, a retired US army officer and a passionate supporter of the administration of former President George Manneh Weah during the series of the protests that rocked the country decided to show his loyalty to the government and his resolve to protect his properties in Liberia against any form of violence should such occurred.

“I, Zoely Zoe or Tarplah Z. Davis, will never ever sit down in this America when Henry Costa and his likes who are thinking about covertly overthrowing the Government of Liberia and thinking about looting the resources of our country. When they carry out their wicked plan, I will not sit in this America and witness my country in chaos. I will defend my properties, I will defend my government and people, I will defend my family and do everything possible to ensure that those people who have their devilish intention of trying to subvert the Constitution, their plans are reverted and the Constitution will take over. I will never even accept any undemocratic removal of President George Manneh Weah. If it causes me to risk my life, I will do so”, Zoely Zoe posted on his facebook page.

Few weeks later, “Zoely Zoe” was nominated to the position of Deputy Minister of Defense for Operations and the senators at that time led by Montserrado County senator Abraham Darius Dillon, vehemently opposed his nomination on the ground that “he made threatening statements which are not guarantees that he will defend the constitution and the rights of the people, that he will not use his power to violate the rights of our people.

Pundits viewed Zoely Zoe’s case as “indirect and also conditional, ‘that said he will take action if something happens to his property and if nothing happens to his property, nothing will happen to anyone but Nyumalin had already identified someone he was running behind to kill even if Fallabu was given more security”.

As the confirmation has been concluded and awaiting the report from the Senate, there has been several petitions to the upper chambers of the national legislature not to confirm Nyumalin as Internal Affairs Minister “because the position does not call for a violent person as Nyumalin has demonstrated”

“The position of Minister of Internal Affairs is first of all the face of the President in the local areas of the country and secondly it is for a person who has the capability to reconcile and unite people not some who will be threatening people with death for no reason and so Nyumalin can be the person; he should be rejected by the Senate”, Jenneh Wilson, Acting Public Relations Officer of a local civil society organization told The Analyst last night.

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