Liberia: A Letter to my Dear Friend Nyonblee

Senator Nyonblee Karnga Lawrence

My dear good friend Nyonblee, let me express how hurt I am that after all the hard work you put into powering the engine to drive the Boakai for President in 2023, you were not only unnoticed but unappreciated. I'm sorry you were so miserably dumped! It’s by God’s own grace that you still have good health and a sound mind. You are a strong woman. Many times, when trusted allies or friends demonstrate such dishonesty and lack of care, their victims, based on expectations, suffer immensely. In your case, God being God, He’s kept you safe! But know that God is not finished with you yet!

Right now, there may be many options available to you, including political suitors seeking to coalesce with you. The Unity Party could be one of those. But like they say, if you’re not good for the feast, how good are you? I think it is time to move on. You are not a member of the Unity Party, and your being with them was to form a collaboration in which, by all expectations, your party would be considered second. They, not you, walked away from that arrangement after a long period of working together. Instead, they settled for a former ally of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), an ally who’s aided and abetted in creating all the mess that needs to be cleaned up today. Is this a kind of spoil and fix situation? Did they join the CDC to create a mess only to pull out at the eleventh hour and join the so-called rescue team to rescue the country? Rescuing themselves from their own messes? If they knew better, why did they join up making messes, to begin with?

Both Senators Prince Johnson and Jeremiah Koung are as responsible as George Weah and Jewel Taylor for every mess in the country today. These men were the ones leading the CDC legislative agenda in the Senate for all these years. You and others, like Senator Dillion, fought them. When did they see their wrong? After the writing is on the wall, will Liberians not vote their coalition back into power? And you, the one who stood on Capitol Hill across the aisle, telling these men they were not in the interest of the Liberian people yet they heeded not. 

Are you the same one who should return to the people, victimized by the actions of Johnson and Koung's votes in the senate to help Weah-Taylor failed policies; should should mount a podium and ask the people to trust Koung as vice president? That is not your place. You don’t speak with both sides of your month. Those who do so lack a sense of conscience. Don’t offer your services to opportunists!

Listen, I strongly believe when Joe Boakai sat with Prince Johnson and agreed he’ll trade Nyonblee, a second term senator from Grand Bassa and outspoken critic to the government, for Jerimiah Koung, a subservient to Prince Johnson, it was Providence breaking the past from the future. It is the failed past!

You need to move on! Walk away from failure when you see one! Look for a fresh start; and there is a fresh start!  In 2017, the Liberian people rejected Joe Boakai and his UP request for a 3rd term. They believed then that whatever his party did in 12 years was not enough for six more years. They chose an uneducated under pretext that the educated had “spoiled” the country. That project for an uneducated to lead has failed miserably. Failure now looms over every sector of the society.

The people are eager to return to the sanity of replacing the government with capable people. The question is: why should they replace the CDC with the UP that was rejected? With even more concerns, a reconstructed UP whose key ally is the same ones that were allied to CDC ramping up the mess. The argument for a fresh start cannot grow any louder. But like you said in your recent statement, you need likeminded people.

All these years you’ve worked for gender participation around the country and with partners around the globe. On Capitol Hill you’ve worked for good governance, transparency and accountability in the current administration. Your like-minded persons in this race right now are neither Joe Boakai who’s ignoring the records of Senators Johnson and Koung in aiding and abetting loot, theft and waste, as well as undermining democracy and the rule of law using their votes; like removing a justice at the high court only because the president disliked that man; your like-minded person is also not Alex Cummings who has shown no regards for integrity. He’s used his wealth brutally for political chaos in other parties as well as buying and offering to buy his political opponents. Those are unacceptable democratic values. If you want to change the ruling principles, that cannot be done through breaking the rules that govern the selection process.

We are left with one serious contender and that’s Taiwan Saye Gongloe, a longtime human rights lawyer, social justice advocate, and anti-corruption campaigner! He’s proud of himself for upholding integrity. You both do have shared values. Why aren’t you both not forming that natural alliance?

I’ve told people watching the elections in Liberia that it would take something extraordinary to shake the top of the pack and change the CDC-UP dominance in Liberia this term. Boakai’s rejection of you as his running mate offers that political disruption. I strongly believe a TSG-NKL ticket will reinvigorate hope in many people who have no interest in either the CDC or UP but see no real alternatives.

You people have to make a case and the Liberian people are prudent enough to understand that doing the same thing over and over and looking for a different result makes no common sense.

If six years ago these people rejected this same Boakai, what new things has he injected in this party that shows he’s a changed guy? He would have come clean with new, better political allies but he chose a bad influence in Senator Johnon; bad for oldman Joe’s decision making. You need to give this a thought, choose your place and make your impact! Don’t allow yourself to be short-changed by anyone for any reason. 

Your very dear friend, 

Cheechiay Jablasone