Weah’s Bid Resonates In Nimba -As Citizens Endorse Him, Vow to end Godfatherism

MONROVOA: Even with no specific timetable set for his visit to the county, the re-election bid of President George Manneh Weah got a huge traction yesterday, Wednesday, September 6, 2023 in Ganta City, Nimba County when hundreds of citizens turned out at an impressive program to endorse him for the next 6 years at which time they vowed the end to the dominance of Senator Prince Yormie Johnson in the local politics which they referred as “Godfatherism”.

The program which was graced by the City Mayor of Monrovia Jefferson Tamba Koijee who is also the Secretary General of the Coalition for Democratic Change(CDC) some officials of the party from the national headquarters, the top political actors in the county most of whom are also contesting various legislative seats in the county as well as county officials led by Superintendent Nelson Korquoi. Before the commencement of the program, hundreds of partisans and supporters marched through the major streets of Ganta and led by the Chairman of the Council of Elders of the county, Old man Zoe Geh and also included two of Liberia’s top artists who entertained the audience at the program

After the opening formalities, the program got underway with several speakers stating reasons why they are supporting the re-election project of President Weah among which are his developmental strides in the area of education, agriculture, health care, peacebuilding as well as infrastructural development with emphasis on road connectivity, electricity, water supply, construction of market buildings, health facilities, among others. Mr. Darius Batekeh a representative candidate for District # 8 confessed that he and his colleagues for some 5 years,  launched a sustained unjustified anti-CDC propaganda to discredit President Weah and his government, urging the citizens not to take any narrative of development in the county serious but nothing was achieved from the exercise. He said having realized that their sentiments could not be sustainable as the government has done creditably well for the people of Nimba County, they had no other option but to retrace their steps and join the crusade to return the President for another 6 years during the ensuing October 10, 2023 general elections.

“We broke away from those people who have been destroying our county and intend to continue. To the young people, please listen to me clearly, the CDC government did nothing to you. For five years we campaigned against them and we have found out that we were wrong. Let us use this period to repair what we did by electing him and giving him the next 6 years so we will see more developments.

“About 22 yellow machines in the county got damaged and they can’t repair them and these same people say they want to rescue this country. What a joke.

“Nimba County is the only County that received $1.5m from the Liberian government as county social development fund and Senator Prince Johnson embezzled the funds but I will lead the process to sue him so that he can account for the money”, he said.

Also speaking at the jam packed program, the former Chairman of the Collaborating Political Parties(CPP) in Nimba County, Paul Z. Wehyee described the event as a special day in the history of the county where people were making conscious decisions to get out of the grip of “heartless politicians who are parading around as godfathers for the county and chart a new course of action that will set Nimba County and its people free.

He said his presence at the program to register his support for the second term bid of the President was beyond Nimba politics as he turned up with 3 other heads of CPP chapters in Sinoe, Grand Kru and Margibi counties with a prepared statement of disengagement from the CPP and joining the ruling party.

“Considering the process leading to the 2023 general election, we have realized that many counties, including the counties we are heading and other political parties have decided to support your presidential bid. In addition to these many endorsements which are based on your many achievements including construction of market buildings, roads, improvement of electricity supply to the people, the WASSCE fee payment, free tuition fee at higher institutions and employment of many young Liberians in the manufacturing sector of our economy, there are clear pieces of evidences that your victory on October 10, 2023 is unstoppable.

“After considering the facts available, we have decided to endorse your presidential bid in the ensuing general elections which is strongly backed by various opinion polls in the country by credible institutions both local and international.

“The intent of the main contender is to win for another person to take power and those initiating this sinister plan cannot be trusted for anything near power considering their past history.

“In view of the above and considering the many factors which point to your imminent re-election, we trust that our prediction will be in line with others so that you will consolidate on the gains of his first term and bring forth more development initiatives”, part of the prepared endorsement statement read by Augustine Weah, former Chairman of the CPP for Sinoe County said.

Another speaker, Melvin Gargbeh, also a representative candidate of district #8, said he was there to speak out about the radical transformation his district had gone through and attributed it to  President Weah because before then, “we didn’t have a high school, we didn’t have better roads, we didn’t have housing units, but today we have better road connectivity, a functional high school, housing estate for the poor at no cost to the occupants”

“I will be ungrateful to this President who has done a lot for my people and I will not follow the politics to divide our people and stop development. I have therefore come today to endorse the presidency of George Manneh Weah, “Gbekugbeh”, #18”, he said.

A leading political leader in the county, Fong Zuagele, a former Superintendent of the county who was the arrowhead of the program through the Citizens Arise For the Re-election of President George Manneh Weah said one of the outstanding issues that will come out of the endorsement of the president is that the people are taking their destinies in their own hands with a unanimous decision to retire what he called “godfatherism in the county with specific reference to Senator Prince Y. Johnson who “brags around that he is the godfather of Nimba County with support from Senator Jeremiah Kpan Koung who is contesting as running mate to Ambassador Joseph Nyuma Boakai.

“We have two people in the county that we have given so many opportunities to. We have Mr. Jeremiah Koung who we voted as Representative and voted for him again as a senator. We also voted for Senator Johnson in 2005 and 2014 and you all know the role I played in his re-election campaign in 2014.

“The records are there of how the people gave these two persons opportunities which they are enjoying today and they have decided to extend these opportunities as springboard to literally enslave the people. This has got to be stopped and let the people decide for themselves.

“So Senator Johnson and Jeremiah Koung pose imminent danger for Nimba taking its rightful place in the national politics of this country.

“So much has been done by this government and I can speak to it because I manage the county social development fund. The records are there. Every administrative district benefited from the county development fund.

“Those who are saying we should vote for somebody so that when the person dies they will take over power are those responsible for misusing the county development fund. We must unite to break the yoke of misusing the social development fund

“Mr. Secretary General, as you are putting your reputation on the line to speak for the Nimba people, we are bringing 10,000 foot soldiers to join the CDC.

“These 10,000 foot soldiers are coming from the 700 towns in Nimba, 150 communities in the 10 cities of Nimba County”, he said.

The Senatorial candidate on the ticket of the CDC Roland Duo who is putting up a strong challenge against incumbent Senator Johnson said they are putting together a team in Nimba County that will ensure that the president gets a resounding victory as “Nimba is no longer a two man show”.

He said the issue of Nimba county having a Godfather has suffered “us so much, we have come to our people to tell them that enough is enough.

“Nimba people are not ungrateful, we will give him our fair share of the votes in Nimba County.

Responding to the various statements, Mr. Koijee who was visibly excited for the endorsement said the people of Nimba County “are smart and strong”, and wondered how can the people who considered themselves as godfathers treat the people who elected them like slaves and be insensitive to the plight of the people. He said he was glad that the people have spoken to support the President’s re-election bid and was hopeful that come October 10, 2023 the people will demonstrate that they are resolved to be part of the national development agenda of the country.

He promised to convey their message and resolution to the President who no doubt has total trust in the people of Nimba and willing to work with other Liberians to make the transformation agenda of President Weah succeed.

The program ended with the presentation to the new entrants of CDC  the party’s regalia which included berets and T-shirts performed by Mr. Koijjee and Old man Zoe Geh.

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