Liberia: Nimba Mourns Gwaikolo’s Loss

The passing of former Nimba District 9 Representative Johnson Gwaikolo has deeply saddened the community. Messages of condolences have flooded social media platforms, reflecting the shock and loss felt by many. Gwaikolo died at the Catholic Hospital in Monrovia on February 19, 2024.

The entire county went very silent when the news of his death broke out, overcast by expressions of disbelief and grief among the entire citizenry.

On Nimba’s most popular social media platforms, ‘All Nimba Agenda’ and ‘Nimba United for Progress’, messages of condolences flooded the groups’ walls.

“We are suspending all political discussions now to reflect on the death of our brother,” said Gobac Selekpor.

“My former ally and now political opponent, it’s a very sad time for us, our family and county. We’ve lost one of our dependable statesmen under a mysterious circumstance,” he told his audience on the platform.

George Goanue on All Nimba Agenda said, “I am yet to recover from the shock I received from the news of Dr. Gwaikolo’s death news. This life is seriously unpredictable.” 

On the streets of Ganta and Sanniquellie, there was sadness on the faces of the residents, as some were bitterly grieving.

The late Rep. Johnson Gwaikolo lost to Taa Wongbe in the 2023 general election for the only seat in Nimba District #9, after serving his first six-year term in 2018.

He was the Co-Chair of the Nimba Legislative Caucus, where he was very vocal in leadership meetings.

With his intelligence and experience as an administrator, he didn’t go at loggerheads with Senator Johnson, despite Senator Johnson’s defection from the CDC.

The students at the Nimba University College expressed dismay and shock over his death, retrospecting the role played as Board Chair of the university in ending most of the graduation hurdles, resulting in a peaceful commencement convocation in 2023.

Gwaikolo’s contributions to Nimba, including his role in the legislative caucus and at Nimba University College, have left a lasting impact. The circumstances of his death are still unclear, with speculation about potential causes.

His sudden demise has drawn parallels to past post-election losses in the region. Gwaikolo’s legacy as a dedicated public servant and community member will be remembered by many.

The late Rep. Gwaikolo was a born member of the United Methodist Church, where he founded part of the just-ended Liberia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church In Buchanan on Sunday, February 18, 2024.

Accordingly, upon returning from Buchanan, the late Gwaikolo fell ill and was rushed to the St. Joseph’s Catholic Hospital and met his mysterious demise early Monday, February 19, 2024.

The cause of his death is yet to be known, but some medical practitioners from Nimba suggest that he might have died from high blood pressure.

“The late Gwaikolo was one of the brains Nimba will forever miss. He fits everywhere,” an elderly was heard saying.

This is the second post-election death affecting former lawmakers in Nimba. 

In 2012, former Nimba District 2 Representative Martin Farngalo died apparently from a heart attack after he lost to Garrison Yealue in the 2011 election.

With the death of former Representative Johnson Gwaikolo, many are insinuating that his death could be the aftermath of the 2023 Representative election, where he lost. 

The late Gwaikolo hailed from Zekepa, Liberia’s future capital, where he constructed a modern district office.

“No mehn, Co-Chair, No ROA, you have been sounding so positive and hopeful, I'm broken down,” former Nimba District 7 Representative, Roger Domah, wrote on his Facebook page.