MONROVIA: Everyone has a story behind their vote, their affection for Weah, and motivation for his reelection. The testimonies are cropping up here and there as the President and entourage comb the country towards the October 10 polls. There are those who say the President resurrected them shanty huts to modern housing units, others from literally dark villages to “cities in the jungles”, others from slums to the enviable positions in Government, etc. They are all telling their stories. For Senator Joseph Jallah of Lofa County and his Gbandi people, the President’s move in their life is the much-revered position of Senator of Lofa County which, for quarter of century, he and his people never smelled until the Liberian Chief Executive helped to make to rise to the position. The Analyst reports.
Some of the attributes that may give President George Manneh Weah an added advantage to woo votes in Lofa County emerged yesterday, Wednesday, September 27, 2023 in Kolba City, Kolahun District. That came to certain knowledge when Senator Joseph K. Jallah said the President will be remembered by the Gbandi-speaking people for providing the opportunity for a native Gbandi person to be elected as a Senator for the first time in 25 years.
Speaking at a political rally in the City to drum up support for the President’s reelection bid, Senator Jallah said the Gbandi people have all reasons to be grateful to the President for ending the marginalization of the people in their quest for representation at the upper chambers of the national legislature for a very long time despite presenting some of the best brains Lofa can boast of.
“We are short of words, and there is nothing that can stop the Gbandi People from being grateful to President Weah for ending this jinx. For the first time in 25 years, the Gbandi people finally got representation in the Liberian senate when I was elected as senator of Lofa County during the last by-election.
“It was through the team that the President put together with the mandate to ensure my election through a vigorous campaign strategy,” he reflected.
The team the President put together included Hon. Thomas Fallah, Janga Kowo, Saah Joseph, Jefferson Koijee, Moses Kollie, among many others who made it possible to have this dream met.
“They acted on the President’s instruction and when the results were announced, we became victorious and today we are in the senate representing our people,” he said.
Jallah said the re-election of President Weah was not negotiable and that on October 10, 2023, the people will reciprocate the honor given them with his presence in the Liberian senate.
“Besides, the President has a legitimate case for reelection because of his many development efforts in the country—efforts that are tangibles and collateral to guarantee him the second term in office.”
Senator Jallah also made it clear that President Weah’s accommodating and reconciling spirit, combined with good traits to lead the people without being vindictive or bias, are positive highlights the people see and for which they will reelect the President.
He admitted that the county did not give Mr. Weah the much needed support to ensure his victory in 2017 yet as elected President, he gave key government appointments to Lofa citizens.
“The President did not bother to say since we didn’t vote him, he was going to turn his back on us,” the Lofa Senator said “Lofa has got a fair share of the Weah administration.”
Mr. Blama Kamara, the Campaign Manager of CDC in District #3, said President Weah has a large and forgiving heart that those who want to be leaders of the country should emulate if the country is to be developed.
Speaking through an interpreter, Kamara said in 2017 the county, particular the Kolahun people did not give the President any chance to garner votes in their region and as it is typical of many instances where leaders who became victorious end up going against those who did not support them, “President Weah did not hold anything against us but reached out to us through our sons and daughters he gave jobs in his government”.
He said this time around, the people are resolved to support him to the highest level until final victory is secured.
Kamara also said the support is going to be massive and it will come to the notice of others that “the Gbandi people are not traitors. What we say is what we will do. Just wait for the results on October 10, 2023 and you will know what I am talking about.”
The first time voters who also made their presentation through Joseph Kiama, a high school student, said they were committed to the President’s reelection aspiration because there are tangibles to validate their resolution, naming among other things the WASSCE fees payment, the free education initiative at public tertiary institutions in the country which according to him in no small way improved the learning environment as well as reduced significantly the cost of learning in the country.
“Mr. President, it has been recorded that Lofa County did not give you the support in 2017. But rest assured that we are resolved to ensure that your victory comes through on October 10, 2023. When our parents say they are going to support you and make sure you win these elections, they are actually depending on us who are more in terms of registered voters in the county.
“We are doing this because what you have done and still intend to do for the young people of the country so that they will be useful in the future. Our minds are made up and there will be no turning back.”
It can be recalled that Senator Jallah though an independent in the Senatorial by-election for Lofa County, got massive support from the ruling CDC led government, the resources that were key in ensuring victory against all odds.