A stalwart of President George Manneh Weah’s ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), has openly pledged his support for the candidacy of Mr. Torbor Tee Wonokay. Wonokay, who has announced that he’s going to vie for the Montserrado County Electoral District #3 Representative post in the Legislative Election on October 10, 2023, is running as an independent candidate.
Appearing Wednesday, May 17, on Truth FM’s ‘State of the Nation’, an afternoon radio & online talkshow, Mr. Sylvester K. Pewee, who served as an assistant minister in President Weah’s Administration, said he hasn’t just appeared on the radio on a “public relations stunt” but he had thought very well about his decision to pledge his support to Tee.
“We sat down yesterday, I mean way back as late 1999 and early 2000; we spoke about seeing our folks being represented; we spoke about how we want to see the society moving forwarding: progression if you will,” he said.
Pewee, who served for more than three years as Assistant Minister for Public Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before he resigned due to personal reasons, reminisced that Tee used to come from Stella Maris Polytechnic while he and other friends at the University of Liberia and they would meet and talk politics all aimed at making the nation better not only for themselves but for all Liberians.
He further said that seeing that Tee, after his graduation from Stella Maris, moved to the USA and obtained his Master’s in Civil Engineering and with all of his successes and economic wealth, has still been coming back home and mobilizing the young people in the community in he grew up, to contribute meaningfully to their community improvement, really moved him to canvass for him for the post.
Pewee disclosed that Tee, who is a doctoral candidate in Organizational Leadership, has provided scholarships to many young people in the district, other places in Monrovia and other young people in other parts of Liberia. He stated that Tee started doing this many years ago; adding: “He wasn’t thinking about entering into politics then.”
“Beyond this, he opened and operates an independent human rights office, which stands and advocates for the defenseless in Liberia. A lot of people today face difficult times in terms of the daily rigors in order to ensure that they meet some of their basic human rights issues,” Pewee, who is one of the respected voices in the ruling establishment, added.
It is rumored that CDC might not field any contestants in the district. The incumbent lawmaker is the opposition Unity Party stalwart, Rep. Ceebee Barshell. That is one of the reasons Pewee is openly supporting Tee for the seat.
Today, Tee serves as the Executive Director for the Foundation for Human Rights Defense International (FOHRD). It is located in Gbengbah Town, along the highway leading to the Roberts International Airport.
The Foundation for Human Rights Defense Int’l (FORHD) works to promote equal rights and justice for everyone regardless of religion, creed, age, sex or gender, etc.
During one of his last visits to Liberia, Tee, addressing a symposium, which was attended by a number of human rights institutions in Liberia and former Chief Justice, Cllr Frances Johnson Allison, he rallied members of the human rights community to unite and begin speaking with one voice on national issues affecting Liberians and the country.
Wonokay told his audience that there are so many people in Liberia who are suffering, and those people are not responsible for the inflictions that they are going through. He stressed that after 174 years, Liberia’s democracy shouldn’t be where it is at the moment.
The purpose of the symposium was to discuss issues in human rights advocacy in Liberia. The keynote speakers included Justice Allison, CEO, Johnson Allison and Associates; Cllr. Findley R. Karnga, Managing Counselor, Success Thinkers, Inc.; Mr. Kutaka D. Togbah, Director of Human Rights, Office of Human Rights, Ministry of Justice, R/L; and Mr. Adama K. Dempster, Secretary General, Civil Society Human Rights Advocacy Platform.
Tee, through his FOHRD, has paid the tuitions for over 75 kids in various schools in the Peace Island Community in Oldest Congotown, Monrovia. He has also provided financial aids to students in elementary schools in Gbarnga, Bong County.
Tee has even provided hot, cooked meal for kids at various schools and orphanages, including the Phebe Gray Orphanage in Schieffelin Town, along the highway to the Roberts International Airport.
Tee’s FOHRD periodically releases national human rights report, portions of which have made international reports, including that of foreign missions near Monrovia.