Why UP Lost Lofa -Snowe Cites Citizens ‘Arrogance & Entitlement’

MONROVIA – It must have been a piercing shock for political analysts and pundits, and also members and supporters of the former ruling Unity Party, that the party which is headed by a 12-year vice president and son of Lofa county would be given a bloody nose by a candidate conspicuously backed by the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change. Lofa had been the political enclave of the Unity Party since 2005, the only county lost by the current President during the 2017 elections. And given the anti-Weah and anti-CDC sentiments amongst Lofans occasioned by controversy that had marred the ouster of 2020 UP senator-elect Brownie Samukai, many had thought a UP victory would be walk in the park. But that was not so, and many are wondering why. But a stanched executive member of the former ruling party has found some root causes for the waterloo, as The Analyst reports.    

As political actors and stakeholders continue to ponder on what led to the shocking defeat of the former ruling Unity Party  in Lofa County in what was taken as its stronghold in the country, Senator Edwin Marvin Snowe of Bomi County has attributed the debacle to “arrogance and entitlement” on the part of some of the leaders of the party.

He recalled that a similar thing may haunt the party in future elections unless it reverses its approach to political activities in the country.

The Bomi County Senator made the disclosure when he served guest on the Spoon TV Talk Show last Thursday, June 30, 2022 to voice his opinion on the result of the Lofa County Senatorial election where the UP candidate Galakpai Kortimai was defeated by an Independent candidate, Joseph Kpator Jallah, who was supported by the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change in a hotly contested race that was defeated by a 790 vote decider between the two top contenders.

“The Unity Party people were just arrogant and felt entitled; they thought they had Lofa under their belt, that they had the magic wand, that once Joseph Nyumah Boakai goes to Lofa and their traditional dancers come out, they have won the election,” Senator Snowe posited.

“But the CDC candidate or the independent candidate supported by the CDC, actually worked and what a lot of people have not said or is not told is Lofa County, is second to the south eastern region in this government that people in government: talk about the Thomas Fallah, Saah Joseph, Finda Bundoo, Jefferson Koijee, a whole lot of them and what they have done over the years is that they have made their presence felt in Lofa.”

The counted the construction of roads, installation of street lights, etc. which were done by Lofans in government, thus making them stakeholders in the county that they can point to and people can believe.

Snowe said what happened in Lofa County was the same experience he encountered when he decided to go to Bomi to contest the representative seat in 2017.

He said it was not just about the concept of “the love of the people”, but he went to people, worked for and with them, identify with and engage them such that when others were talking about “sons and daughters of Bomi”, he was already far ahead of them and that was how they voted for him during the 2020 Senatorial race.

Going further to appreciate the efforts of some officials of government from Lofa towards the development of the county as compared to what the county benefited from during the 12 years of UP where former VP Boakai a key person in government, Snowe said there was no way the people would have refused to reciprocate to vote Jallah who was supported by these people.

“To think about it, when Boakai launched the campaign for UP in Foya, it was the streets and lights constructed and installed by these very people he used. Almost every infrastructure you find in Foya was provided by these people. Like Thomas Fallah, he has more investment in Lofa right now than all the structure put there by the combined 12 years of UP rule where Boakai was the Vice President.

Asked what the defeat meant for the presidential ambition of Boakai, the tough talking Bomi Senator said the defeat has exposed the vulnerability of the UP standard bearer and by extension the Unity Party and given the CDC the leeway to continue and increase the implementation of development projects in the county so as to sway the people’s support towards it. He said the only way the trend could be reversed is through a united and resurgent opposition party like how the CPP was a formidable force before it gradually disintegrated.

 “There is no single group that can beat George Weah in 2023, just forget it. In Liberia, we cannot manage success; by the time we think we are successful, we think we have arrived. In 2020, when the CPP won most of the senatorial seats, they thought that Weah was so unpopular that they can individually defeat him and that is where the demise of the CPP started from. Everyone started to believe they don’t need each other and as it is now, this has given Weah a second term with the divided opposition”, he said.

He said besides the defeat, the impression that Lofa County has always been a strong pillar for UP is not true because even with Boakai for 12 years, a lot of people from opposition parties have won legislative elections defeating UP candidates in the process. He named Senator Steve Zargo, Mariamu Fofana, Julie Wiah, Eugene Fallakpagar, etc.

When asked about the possibility of the UP learning from their mistakes and regrouping as a formidable and united family, Snowe said it could happen but it has to demonstrate properly because most of those in leadership are arrogant and feel that they do not need extra thing to do to win elections in the future, especially state power in 2023 and related his own experience with the response he got from Boakai after he tendered his letter of resignation from the party to contest the 2020 senatorial race.

“When Lahai Lassanah had a fallout with the Unity Party ticket and Sando Johnson retained it for the CPP, and because I wanted to run for seat and being a member of UP, I resigned from the party, and I still have the text in my phone with a screenshot, when Mo Ali posted in the chatroom that Snowe just resigned from the party, the first person who responded to my text message was Boakai.

“You know what he said? ‘One monkey can’t spoil the show’. That was his response. In politics, you look for vote, you look for people, if someone in your party, the best you can do is call them and find out what happened but you said no one monkey can spoil the show, so other monkeys are leaving as well and by the time you look, all the monkeys are gone. So Unity Party has to realign itself to what made her a big and united family before.”

Responding to the question of a winnable ticket that can uproot Weah in 2023, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives said that the ideal ticket for the CPP then was the Boakai-Cummings ticket and if the CPP was still intact today, the ticket would have given the ruling establishment the run for its money in 2023 but as it stands, the chance of Weah getting a second term is stronger.

He also discussed the options open to Boakai on picking a strong ticket, meaning the strength and weaknesses of both Senator Nyonblee Karnga Lawrence and Cllr. Tiawan Saye Gongloe. He said Nyonblee could pull a large vote from the Bassa people who can be found in Grand Bassa, River Cess, Margibi and Montserrado Counties but with the division within the Liberty Party, she cannot be said to boast of the large supporters coupled with the insinuation that she is supporting a rival candidate against Cllr. Charlyn Brumskine, daughter of the founder of LP who has declared her intention to contest a seat in Grand Bassa County.

On Gongloe, he said he is a good product but then from the vote rich Nimba County, his support base could be narrowed to only Mano speaking people mostly and may not be with the majority of Gio people.

“Having said that, the impact of either of them going with Boakai can be enhanced under a united opposition otherwise there is no way they can beat George Weah who still remains a very popular man in the country.

The Liberian representative to the Ecowas parliament warned the opposition from giving credence to the insinuation that the ruling party lacked governance capability which he said he could not buy into and that it could lead to their defeat. He said besides the governance issue being floated by the opposition, the CDC has in its arsenal strategies that can pull the votes anytime.

    “The opposition maintains that the CDC lacked governance capability, which I don’t want to believe but they have strategies that can bring the votes. Some people complain of Weah’s dancing and singing but don’t deceive yourself, this is what appeals to most of the young people who are voters. They see it as being close to him, they feel him, it resonates with them. Don’t forget about Nathaniel McGill, he is thinking all the time and bringing out all the strategies and so the CDC has what it will take to win in 2023.

Comments are closed.