MONROVIA: In a massive show of strength that is being widely hailed as one of the greatest exhibitions to cushion a political aspirant’s leverage, thousands of citizens of Lower Margibi over the weekend thronged the grounds of the Rock International Church to petition former Minister of State Nathaniel Falo McGill for the senatorial seat of Margibi County. The program, which was organized to also appreciate the citizens for unprecedentedly registering to vote during Phase 1 of the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR), saw an influx of renowned Liberian musical artists including DenG, Kpanto, PCK, and an array of cultural performance rocking the crowd in a manner and form reminiscent of a full-fledged CDC political rally.
Reading the Petition Statement, Mr. Saidou Keita of the Glazon Public School, District #1, Lower Margibi County said the citizens of Margibi were happy to receive their ideological father who never rested in championing the cause for the ordinary masses, by ensuring that the educational sector in Margibi County is on the right trajectory.
“We know the responsibility and tasks ahead of you are enormous, still, your wisdom and experiences and challenges you have gathered along the way have prepared you to lead the young people of Margibi County, most especially the student populace.
“The general focus of your campaign has been mainly on the need to make students productive. Over the months, students and first-time voters within District #1 have been labelled as a conglomeration of CDC idealogues.
“It is incumbent upon you to transform the lives of the student populace as soon as possible when elected as Senator. The platform to transform students is before you, and we are watching the process meticulously. We are aware that you are a veteran of the National Patriotic Party of Liberia. Any attack on you is an attack on the student populace of District #1 Margibi County.
“Our father, as you have dedicated yourself to restoring the hope and aspiration of Margibi County, we strongly believe that change is inevitable.
“Whereas, looking at your continuous support towards the educational system in Margibi County, especially the students, by identifying with the Principals and Teachers Association of Marshall Education District;
“Whereas, your meaningful contributions to over 9,000 public school students and 2,000 private school students, and the exemplary character you possess as a District Leader;
“And whereas, your several developmental initiatives implemented throughout the length and breadth of our county, we have admired your fortitude for the people’s struggle. In the midst of difficulties, you have stood the test of time and have championed a genuine effort to emancipate the student masses from the dungeon of poverty. You are a complete pride of Africa.
“To conclude, we the students, communities and first-time voters hereby petition you, Honorable Nathaniel Falo McGill, to contest the senatorial seat of Margibi County. May God richly bless you and your family,” Ketia stated, amidst thunderous applause from the audience.
Making remarks, a representative of at-risk youths in Margibi County, Mr. Obadiah Mayango, said one of the greatest challenges of the Weah-led government’s first term has to do with young people, and called on aspirant McGill to prioritize the plight of at-risk youths when he ascends to the senate seat after October 10, 2023.
“I represent 31 sub-branches under the Good Guys Incorporated where I served as CEO and founder for the past eight years. I have been maintaining the young people, most especially the challenged young people of the district. I can assure you, with my relationship with the young people, I am sure that in District #1 to #3, all of the challenged young people within my locality, their votes are for no one else but Nathaniel McGill.
“Please remember us when you get there. Don’t let us down. The young people are striving; they’ve been forgotten for so long. They need someone who will be there for them. And we believe in you. That’s why I came today to reaffirm our statement that on October 10, 2023, all of our votes will be cast for you,” Mayango said.
As for John N. Forlokolleh, President of the Principals Association in Marshall, Nathaniel Falo McGill has always been a partner in education.
“And so, we have come to confirm that Hon. McGill’s bid for the senatorial position in Margibi County will be heavily supported by students and schools across District #1, especially the Marshall Educational District. Today, the results are praised everywhere. We gather to confirm his commitment; we gather to congratulate his support in the fight for education. Margibi County has been submitted to you, and rest assured that on October 10, 2023, Margibi County will be officially given to you as Senator of Margibi County,” Mr. Forlokolleh said confidently.
Giving a brief history of the origin of aspirant McGill, Paramount Chief Musa Roger from Karbah, Mamba District disclosed that, contrary to widespread speculation, Mr. McGill is a son of Garmaymu, where his mother hailed from. “McGill is our son, and he has our blessings.
Following an array of dignitaries, including Mr. Roland Kyne, Vice Chairperson of the Porcupine Brigade, who proffered their appreciation for the candidature of Nathaniel McGill to ascend to the Margibi senatorial seat, the man of the hour rose to occasion to accept the citizens’ petition, firstly stating his wholehearted appreciation for how Margibians turned out to register to vote.
“Thanks to our motor cyclists, at-risk youths, students, to our professional people and doctors, our nurses, our plumbers, and to all our professional citizens of Margibi County, for going to exercise your right to vote. “I want to thank the citizens of District # 1. You did something that never happened in the history of Margibi. You were able to make sure that we registered 63,000 persons, two times the number of any of the districts in Margibi,” McGill said.
Touching on the issue of unity and togetherness, Mr. McGill said all Margibians are one, belonging to one Liberia, and that, gone are the days when the country was divided along tribal lines.
“Whether you are from Gbarpolu, Sinoe, Grand Kru, or Grand Gedeh, we are one. Those who want to sectionalize our county must be rejected. Let us reject the notion that you must be rejected because your country got more numbers; or because we come from a particular section of our country.
“When you are qualified as a Liberian, you will have to work to be elected for any office in our country, because our constitution says you must be a Liberian citizen. Our constitution did not say you must come from a particular county before you are elected. So, individuals in our country who want to tribalize our country should be rejected because they want to destroy the future of our country.
“In Margibi, we have Kpelle people, Bassa, Kiss, Gbandi, Gola, Mano, Grebo, Gio people; we have all the tribes in Margibi. And therefore, Margibi belongs to everyone. Liberia must be built on the foundation of unity. And I want to say to you Margibi, we have not started the elections. The campaign hasn’t started. So, we have to be careful before we make campaign speeches; because I know the National Elections Commission is observing once we start to make campaign speeches. This is not a campaign. This is an endorsement of my candidature. But we are marching to victory. We are marching to make Margibi a great county. Because gone are the days when you in Margibi, students of Margibi cannot even benefit from their County Development Fund; when students are catching hard time and can’t pay their school fees, and the leaders of Margibi cannot even think about how to help their students; when our poor parents in Margibi cannot afford, and our leaders in Margibi have abandoned to even give our people loan to do fire coal business. Those days are gone. We are about to make history and make Margibi great.
“A lot of people criticize our government. But in 2018, the enrollment at the University of Liberia was 8,000 students. Because of the free tuition program, the current enrollment is now 20,000 students who are going to school and not paying school fees. This is an achievement.
“I want to encourage you to look at the future of our country. This year 2023 is an important year in the history of Liberia. The future of our country is in your hands. We are marching towards development. The journey is going to be tough. But we have to look at what is best for us. Don’t look at all of the political rhetoric. There are people in Margibi who are telling you to vote for this or that person because they belong to a specific tribe. Those individuals are not good for Margibi. That’s how the war came in Liberia and they started killing certain tribes. We will never tribalize our country. It will never happen again. The country is now moving ahead.
“I accept your endorsement. I want to assure you that, in 2023 we will be on the ballot paper, and we will campaign to make sure there will be no second round. There will be no second round because I cannot be a successful senator without a successful president. Together, we will make Margibi County great.
“When president Weah wins, the majority of those in the government will not go back, because they are very mean. They live in communities and cannot cater to the people, and the people will blame the president. We know you can’t change them now, Mr. President. But some of you will meet me in the Senate. President Weah will return to the Executive Mansion, but the majority of you will not return to the cabinet,” aspirant McGill promised assuredly.