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