Liberia: Nimbaians Stage Walk-out at ‘Nimba4Weah2023’ Program
....The spite between Sen. Johnson and the CDC is becoming intense by the day and has infuriated officials and members of both camps, and it is against this backdrop, many think, that Koijee, who is also the Mayor of the City of Monrovia, decided to throw some political taunt PYJ’s way.
Members of the Nimba County chapter of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), who had gathered at the launch of the ‘Nimba4Weah2023’ campaign, walked out of the event hall after the party’s Secretary General threw a jab at the county’s “political godfather”, Senator Prince Yormie Johnson.
Jefferson Koijee, the Secretary General of the CDC, advised the crowd that Nimbaians should stop focusing on making just one person happy all the time but the entire county happy.
He added that there are some leaders who have benefited from the government immensely, but still are not satisfied, rather they used divisive words for their selfish gains.
“I want the county to launch a revolution that will speak against division, ethnicity, and religious differences and this revolution should seek only development,” he said in Saclepea, Nimba County. “If anyone thinks they love their county, they shouldn’t be talking about seeking third terms. When they have been in power for about 18 years, they should be lifting the hand of others to replace them.”
People in the hall over the weekend felt that the Koijee's jabs — even if he avoided naming anyone — were meant for Johnson, who is reaching the end of his second consecutive senatorial term, a total of 18 years.
Those digs led to the local CDC chapter leaders and many other attendees walking out of the building, leaving it practically deserted. Only Koijee, who served at the occasion as a proxy for President George Mannerh Weah, was still speaking on the podium, and a few people were seen left in the hall.
Senator Johnson continues to enjoy unlimited political power in the county and massive support among his people since 2006 — a feat that has practically given him leverage in the national political space and posited him as a kingmaker in the Liberian polity.
This made him a political “Darlingboy” for both the former and current ruling parties of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Weah, though it appears that he has left the grips of the latter.
A political marriage consummated with the CDC in 2017 that helped propel President George Weah and his CDC to the presidency of the country has gone sour in recent months with Johnson halting his support to the coalition.
He terminated political association between his Movement for Development and Reconstruction (MDR) party and the ruling Coalition recently at a time when the crucial 2023 Presidential and Legislative elections are on the horizon.
He called on Liberians, especially citizens of his native Nimba, not to give the CDC-led government a second chance because they had failed the people. Johnson, who is seeking a third term, criticized the CDC-led government for its failure to appoint sons and daughters from the county to top positions in government.
“Since the CDC-led government came to power in 2018, we are yet to see sons and daughters from our beloved Nimba County in those top senior positions we agreed upon and signed a document as evidence,” he said in a statement last year. But CDC’s Nimba Chairperson, Reginald Mehn, rebuffed the claim during his opening statement at the Nimba4Weah event on January 14.
However, the spite between Johnson and the CDC is becoming intense by the day and has infuriated officials and members of both camps, and it is against this backdrop, many think, that Koijee, who is also the Mayor of the City of Monrovia, decided to throw some political taunt PYJ’s way.
He lambasted those who continue to criticize the government for not doing enough for the people of Nimba, describing them as ‘divisive politicians’ who believed in divide-and-rule leadership.
Koijee, however, left the event as soon as the program ended, while the President’s absence also left many of his followers at the Nimba4Weah event disappointed.
The President shunned the event despite weeks of publicity that he would have graced the occasion. Unfortunately, when CDCians showed up in their numbers in the city of Saclepea, their standard bearer was nowhere to be seen.
Meanwhile, Koijee has praised Nimba for its uniqueness when it comes to development, saying every county refers to the county and how most of the development initiatives were undertaken by the citizens.
“Nimba is the only county that has not produced a president, but it is more developed than counties that have produced presidents,” he said. “There is uniqueness in Nimba. Everybody refers to Nimba in terms of development when they encourage other counties.”
However, Koijee urged the public to combat sectionalism and focus on Liberia “with a vision of how we can coexist as a single people.” He called on citizens to take inspiration from others and refrain from providing justifications that will bring the county into disrepute.