MONROVIA – Indications that President George Manneh Weah may have found an alternative route to woo voters from Nimba County outside the links with Senator Prince Yormie Johnson. The Liberian leader’s recent appointments of high-profile Nimbaians in his government with few months to the decisive October 10, 2023 general election is a strong indication may favor of the President’s reelection bid.
Yesterday President Weah fired Cllr. Cooper Kruah, who until then has been occupying the position of Minister of Post and Telecommunications since the inception of this dispensation as part of the tradeoff deal between the Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction and the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) for votes from Nimba County during the second round of the presidential election in 2017.
Kruah, who currently serves as Chairman of the MDR turned out during the announcement of Senator Jeremiah Kpan Koung , political leader of the MDR as running mate to the Standard Bearer of the Unity party, Mr. Joseph Nyuma Boakai. Photos of Kruah standing up and clapping as Koung was being announced flooded the social media immediately after the program.
In place of the former minister, President Weah immediately named Atty Worlea-Saymah Dunah, a former lawmaker from Nimba County as the new minister pending confirmation from the Liberian senate.
The vocal former Nimba legislator it can be recalled, embarked upon spirited efforts a few weeks ago to endorse the second term bid of the president for the many development projects the president has undertaken and continues to execute in the county as well as providing the much needed opportunities to the younger generation of citizens in the country.
Before then President Weah had appointed other prominent citizens from Nimba to key public service jobs including Atty Garrison Yealue, another former lawmaker from Nimba County as Chairman of the Governance Commission to replace Mr. Weh Dorliae who declined the appointment to pitch his tent with the presidential bid of Cllr. Tiawon Saye Gongloe and former Chief Justice Francis Korkpor as government representative on the Board of Directors of the ArcelorMittal Mining Liberia.
Others are Matthew Gueh, Chairman, Board of Directors, National Port Authority (NPA), George Wortuah, a commissioner at the Tax Appeal Board and Zadye Shelton Gonkerwon, a member of the Board of Directors of NPA.
There are indications that in the coming weeks, more citizens will flood the government as the president who is seeking a second term strategizes to get hold of the ever vote rich county that has never supported his aspiration until in 2017 when Senator Johnson, having taken him to Nigeria to seek the favor of the late Temitope B. Joshua, a spiritual father of Johnson, also took Weah personally to Nimba to campaign for him during the second round.
It can be that as part of the bargaining for support, Weah ceded a number of government jobs to Johnson and the senator told the people of Nimba only those who are bonafide partisans of MDR or those recommended by him will be given jobs in the current dispensation.
During one of the press conferences he organized in the wake of the strained relationship between Weah and him, Johnson said the president failed on most of the promises made to the people of Nimba in terms of job offers, among which are high profile diplomatic postings, substantive ministerial and as heads of key parastatals, among others.
While the President’s attention will now be focusing on other important personalities in the county as a way of undercutting Johnson, it is not clear whether those being appointed wield similar magnetic power like Johnson or have substantial mass grassroot support to galvanize the backing that the president needs at this time.
“It is still hard to determine whether the president’s new initiatives in Nimba will yield results but there has been serious agitation among some young folks that they need to chart a new course outside Senator Johnson’s influence and they are gaining some traction. The wave of jobs coming the way of these young people could be the game changer”, a pundit told The Analyst last night.
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