Liberia: Traditional Towns Gang Up Against Weah in Maryland

… ahead of presidential runoff election, in defense of Anthony Williams, presumptive winner, Pleebo District representative seat

By Edward Stemn

In anticipation of the upcoming presidential runoff election on November 14th, six traditional towns in Pleebo Sodoken district, electoral district #2, Maryland, have made a public declaration stating that they will not vote for President George Weah.

During a press conference held at the Pleebo Youth Center in Pleebo City, representatives from the six towns in the Klebo region cited concerns regarding controversies surrounding the recently concluded legislative election in the Pleebo Sodoken district as the basis for their decision.

One of the traditional leaders of the Klebo region, Ms. Christiana Duonde Walker, expressed that the towns would reconsider their stance if House Speaker Dr. Chambers accepted defeat and congratulated his rival, Anthony Williams, as the winner of the Pleebo legislative seat. Ms. Walker also accused President Weah of assisting Speaker Chambers in his legal battle against the alleged irregularities and fraudulent acts that occurred during the October 10 legislative elections in Pleebo Sodoken district.

Furthermore, Ms. Walker called upon President Weah to encourage Speaker Chambers to drop the legal fight over the election results if he wants their votes. She emphasized that Speaker Chambers was defeated in the election and should honorably concede defeat to Anthony Williams.

In a bold challenge, Ms. Walker asserted that anyone attempting to campaign for President Weah in the six Klebo Nyanbo towns of the Klebo region would face consequences, adding that they would not be held responsible for whatever happens to them.

“Anyone that challenges us and preaches President Weah’s messages in Wachoken, Gbolobo, Gbololu, old and New Sodoken, Gbewien, and Gbloken, whatever that happens to them, no one should blame us.”

According to Ms. Walker, the 29 Nyanbo towns in the region are determined to vote against President Weah unless House Speaker Dr. Bohfal Chambers, a member of the ruling coalition, concedes the Pleebo legislative seat to Anthony Williams.

Addressing the claims made by Speaker Chambers and his supporters about the presence of a country devil during the October 10 election, Ms. Walker denied the existence of any such interference and urged them to refrain from discussing the matter on the Voice of Hope Radio, which she warned could pose a serious threat to them and the station’s journalists. 

The residents of the region said that they are resolved and will not vote for President Weah unless House Speaker Chambers, a stalwart of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), admits defeat.

Walker’s position was later supported by one of the respected elders of the region, Chief Nelson Neal, and Pleebo district youth coordinator, Kuway Nyemah. 

Meanwhile, supporters of Anthony Williams have taken to the airwaves of community radio station Voice of Pleebo 93.5 to protest any Pleebo legislative election results in favor of House Speaker Bohfal Chambers, insisting that Williams emerged as the rightful winner and urged the National Elections Commission (NEC) to expedite a fair judgment to prevent chaos in the district.

However, Paramount Chief Christian Williams, along with other chiefs in the Gbolobo chiefdom and Twanshibo region, have refuted the statements made by Walker, Nelson Neal, and Pleebo District youth coordinator Kuway Nyemah, asserting that the traditional people of Pleebo have not vowed to withhold their votes in favor of President Weah in the November 14 presidential runoff election. 

Williams emphasized that these individuals made those statements independently and urged the people of Pleebo District not to pay attention to them. The acting chairman of the Council of Traditional Chiefs of Maryland County called upon them to cease creating negativity within the district and impeding its development.

The local authority of the county, alongside all chiefs and traditional leaders of the district, has gathered and unanimously agreed to vote for President George Weah in the November 14 presidential runoff election. Chairman and Chief Williams further stated that Nelson Neal, Christiana Dunde Walker, and Kuway Nyemah are opposition supporters who have not voted for President Weah in any previous elections. He alleged that they had been manipulated by Senator Biney to incite the people of Pleebo Sodoken district against the President.

The traditional leaders and chiefs of the county have, therefore, called on all citizens and traditional leaders to distance themselves from the ongoing legal battle started by Speaker Chambers. They believe it is premature and potentially undermines the credibility of the case, as it is still before the NEC, the country’s electoral body.

“They said that on their own and we are not part of that decision and we therefore call on the traditional people and citizens of Pleebo not to give listening ears to them,” Chief Williams said.

The Council of Chiefs and Elders of the county noted that Speaker Chambers is within his rights to file a complaint within the seven-day period, as stated by the electoral law, if he is unsatisfied with the electoral process.