Liberia: Winner-Takes-All Mentality Resurfacing?

Gbarnga, Bong County- Liberia:
Citizens  of Bong County in central Liberia have awaken to a rude warning that the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) government, comprising three political parties, will not work with persons including even elected representatives of the political sub-division who belong to parties other than the ruling coalition.

Map of Bong County Liberia
Map of Bong County, Liberia

Vice president Jewel Howard Taylor, now leader of the opposition of the Nation Patriotic Party (NPP) which was founded by her ex-husband and former President of Liberia Charles Taylor now in jail in The UK, and potent partner in the ruling coalition, vowed to only work with NPP Representative  Melvin Cole and the County Superintendent who are NPP members.

According to our Monrovia correspondent, Vice President Taylor dismissed all county officials who were not bona fide members of parties making up the the ruling CDC and advised those aggrieved personsto resign from their parties and join the ruling coalition if they want to be part of the national development process “in this pro poor government.”

“This is my time. We cannot work with people who do not understand our “pro poor agenda”, she insisted in Gbarnga last weekend before an official trip to Israel.

About the running of Bong County, VP Taylor insisted she would henceforth listen only to NPP Representative Melvin Cole and Superintendent. Madam Walker, and not officials and chiefs who were not members of the three-party governing coalition. “They don’t understand our pro poor agenda, ” she suggested and quoted Amos 3:3 in the Bible as justification for her outburst.

Aside from Melvin Cole, Bong County has six elected representatives from other parties plus one elected senator Henry Yallah after his colleague Jewel Taylor was elected Vice President last October.

Flag of Bong County Liberia
Flag of Bong County, Liberia

Mrs. Taylor’s controversial statement appears to be out of tune with President George Weah ‘s earlier advice to his partisans “not to alienate Liberians from other parties. Elections are over.  The government is for all, ” Weah often counsels. But his VP is deciding to be different when it comes to Bong county that catapulted her into politics.

Bong is the third most populated county with seven electoral districts after Nimba’s nine.

As all Liberians with bona-fide employment were considered members of the single True Whig party that governed the West African nation for nearly a century, they were coerced to contribute one month salary annually to support it.
Meantime, social media has erupted over the position taken by the incumbent Vice President to marginalize other political voices of Bong County. Postings have criticized her and intolerant with some vowing to resist her attempt at coercing non ruling party politicians to join the governing party.
Reporting by Tepitapia Sannah
West African Journal Magazine
Photos – Courtesy of Frontpage Africa

Published by

West African Journal Magazine

The West African Journal was a major magazine publication in the United States with a focus on the Mano River region and West Africa sub-region during the civil crises in Liberia and neighboring countries during the decades of the 1990s. This was the period when many citizens and others in the sub-region were fleeing their homeland due to conflicts, and the magazine was a reliable source of information covering developments in the region and in the Diaspora.  However, the magazine suspended publication several years ago but is now back. It is, therefore, delightful that The West African Journal has been reactivated. The print edition of the magazine, to be published monthly and distributed in the United States, West Africa, and other parts of the world, will provide analysis of the major events of the period under review. Due to challenges relating to availability of reading materials in the sub-region, a few hundred copies of every edition of the magazine will be distributed free of charge to libraries and reading rooms at schools and institutions of higher learning in the sub-West Africa sub-region. The Journal covers government/politics, economics/international trade/investment and partnerships, women's issues, showcase of tourism and historic attractions in West Africa in particular, and Africa in general, as well as cover the Diaspora, entrepreneurship, among others. The Journal also taps into growing interest in the Unites States regarding resource-rich Africa as the next frontier for global economic progress amid an increasing global competition for access to the continent’s abundant natural resources. The magazine will regularly cover bilateral and multilateral partnerships between the US/multinational agencies and Africa/individual African countries. More importantly, in considering the danger of Climate Change and Global Warming, The Journal serves as a strong and unrelenting advocate to create international awareness regarding Climate Change, especially how West African countries and the African Continent as a whole are being negatively impacted. Through its environmental coverage, The Journal promotes education and awareness for people to be empowered. Our experienced team of editors, reporters and feature writers are excited to bring the stories that impact politics, finance, economy, arts, health, education, climate change, women and youth issues in Africa today. Contact The West African Journal is registered and published in Washington, D.C., U.S.A. Plans are underway to open a bureau office in Liberia, from which operations in other West African countries will be coordinated. Our journalists, who bring decades of high engagement of news and reportage, include former BBC veteran correspondent Isaac D.E. Bantu, former Daily Observer Features Editor and publisher of the West African Journal Joe S. Kappia, and Pana Press Editor Tepitapia K. Sannah, and respected Photo journalist and editor Gregory Stemn. These experienced and internationally-respected journalists ensure a high standard of professional journalism. Information and inquiries for The West African Journal should be directed to the following: Editor-in-Chief; Email: Isaac D.E. Bantu: Publishing Partner; Email: Mailing Address: P.O. Box 55053, Washington, D.C. 20040-5053 USA Thank you. Managing Editor