By: Frank P. Martin/Emmanuel Garsuah
ZORZOR/ LOFA COUNTY: With barely 13 days to the much-awaited and crucial October 10, 2023 Presidential and Legislative elections, it seems incumbent President George Manneh Weah, has won the hearts and minds of the people of Lofa County, as they triumphantly welcomed the President and his Campaign Entourage to the County.
Amid singing and dancing, the people of Lofa including chiefs, elders, women and youth groups, among others expressed stanch support for Weah’s reelection bid.
The presence of scores of prominent sons and daughters of Lofa who are also top officials of the governing Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC)-led government, reinforced the citizens support for the President’s second six-year term.
Among the prominent sons and daughters of Lofa who, among many others led the Campaign Tour of President Weah in Lofa were Representative Thomas Fallah of Montserrado County Electoral District 5; Monrovia City Mayor, Jefferson Tamba Koijee, who is also Secretary General of the ruling CDC; the former Director General of Liberia Civil Aviation Authority (LCAA), Moses Kollie among others.
The citizens assured President Weah of reelection, highlighting a number of impactful development projects and programs his administration has carried out in the county.
This is also evidenced by the show of the massive gathering of Lofaians in Zorzor City, and its nearby towns and villages, remarked by James P. Moniba, a resident of Lofa.
Since the 2005 Presidential and Legislative elections in the country, Lofa County is being considered the “political stronghold” of the former ruling Unity Party (UP), now headed by former Vice President, Ambassador Joseph Nyuma Boakai, alias “JNB” who hails from Lofa.
Ambassador Boakai, who by all accounts, is Weah’s main political rival in the pending elections and the leading opposition leader hails from votes-rich Lofa County.
The 2017 Presidential and Legislative election results also show that Lofa was the lone county that voted against Weah’s quest for the Presidency while the rest of the 14 counties went the way of the now ruling CDC.
But, according to keen political observers and commentators, the Weah-led regime has carried out massive political underground works through Representative Fallah, Senators Saah Joseph, Joseph Jallah, Mayor Koijee, Moses Kollie, Mulbah Morlu, who is National Chairman of the governing CDC, among others.
Addressing an enormous crowd of jubilant Lofians in Zorzor City, President Weah pointed out that despite the result of the 2017 elections in Lofa which did not favor him, the massive development projects that county has benefitted from under his presidency must are aimed at improving the living condition of the people of Lofa.
According to President Weah, although the official results in Lofa during the 2017 elections as announced by the National Elections Commission (NEC), then, were not in his favor, he has never harbored any bad intension for Lofa.
The Liberian leader mentioned the appointment of prominent sons and daughters of Lofa County to several key government positions, a clear manifestation that he holds no grudge against the county for choosing his main rival, Ambassador Boakai over him in 2017.
Weah: “In 2017, when the results of the elections were announced, they said Lofa County did not vote for me but the rest of the 14 counties voted for me.”
Weah: “So, I asked the question: Why? But, nobody answered me.”
“However, I responded later that Lofa County voted for me because I looked at the record of Lofa and said yes, Lofa County voted for me. This is why in our government, you have your sons and daughters from Lofa County,” Weah told the citizens as they listened with apparent delight.
Mr. Weah said that despite his dismal performance in the 2017 election in Lofa, he has always clothed himself with the garment of patriotism and nationalism and has initiated several development related projects in the county.
According to President Weah, he has never been bothered about the low votes he received in the county in the 2017 elections.
Weah stressed that the fact that he accumulated some votes in the county clearly indicates that Lofians voted him in the 2017 elections.
President Weah: “Lofa County, it is not the matter of percentage you gave me, but the whole idea of voting for me. Whether by 5 percent, 10 percent, or 50 percent, you voted for me. I am still your son and that is why today you see the unprecedented development projects around your corridor. Look around me, you have your children around me, you see Finda Bondoo, Mulbah Morlu, Thomas Fallah, Saah Joseph, Jefferson Koijee, Moses Kollie, Jewel and many others.”
He urged Lofians to change the paradigm of voting during the 2017 elections that went in UP’s favor for the sake of Ambassador Boakai on grounds that the county has benefitted immensely from the current government.
Weah: “I know you voted for some people who have been working in government for 40 or 50 years without impact, but we have done a lot for our people for the short time we have been in power and you can also see the level of development in Lofa because of the people we brought in our government. These are your sons and daughters from Lofa and they are contributing to the development of the county and the country because of the vision we have for the country. This is why we are bringing development to you. You did not have these things from people who have been in government for 40 to 50 years,” Weah stated.