Without naming whose interest the call for dividing Bong County into two is based, Deputy House Speaker and Representative of Bong County, Prince Moye, has attributed this call to an individual he says is seeking political relevance through division to set the majority Kpelle people against one another.
In recent times some citizens of lower Bong County under the organization, Salala, Sanoyea Fuahmah (SASAFU) have called for the division of Bong County into two and renamed as a proposed “Bong Range County” and “Upper Bong County”. Currently Bong County is identified as a county in two parts — lower and upper Bong. People in Lower Bong, who are seeking to be renamed as Bong Range County, claim that all major development projects and modern facilities in Bong County are in upper Bong.
These include Phebe Hospital, Cuttington University, CARI, and C.B. Dunbar Hospital, which they claim is a gross act of marginalization that can only be solved if lower Bong gains a county status to have their own administrative structure.
Others on the opposing side had previously counter acted that those facilities were built based on the discretions of the government and private institutions that own them and not the influence of any citizen or public official from upper Bong. They also argued that during the days the Germans were operating Bong Mines, Fuahmah was a shining district with all modern facilities but came to be damaged as a result of the war that upper Bong people were not responsible for.
As the campaign for the December 8 Senatorial Election intensifies, with Representative Moye going against incumbent Henry Yallah, the issue of creating two counties in Bong, whose majority Kpelle people have cultural and social homogeneity, is an underlying issue.
Speaking with the Daily Observer in an exclusive interview on November 21, 2020, Representative Moye said: “Because someone wanted to score a political goal, so he used their destitution, for the lack of better words, to give them false hope, but the intent was not really to create a county but to raise their hope to vote for the person with the thought that yes, the person will help us to do this.”
According to Representative Moye, those who proffered the thought have served on the Bong Legislative Caucus since 2012 till now and have the influence to direct development projects to lower Bong, which they have failed to, and the failure has resulted to poor representation of the people.
The Bong County lawmaker said he knows the condition of lower Bong, especially Fuahmah District; however, he argued that being from Bong and serving as Deputy Speaker in the House of Representatives does not in any way make it compulsory to go out in Bong to address all problems there because the position is for the Republic of Liberia.
“I know the condition in Fuahmah District, but as Deputy Speaker of the Republic of Liberia, I don’t have anything in my budget that is meant to address issues in Fuahmah or any other place. My friends can invite me to say come and intervene in this and I can go. I have been called by different institutions in Fuahmah and have intervened. If people want someone do intervene, they can approach the person and invite him to the place. Bhofal Chambers is the Speaker for the Republic of Liberia, but he has not done any development in Bong County, and he may do it if he is invited,” said Deputy Speaker Moye.
The Deputy Speaker and Senatorial candidate for Bong County noted that while serving as a member of the Ways, Means and Finance Committee in the House of Representatives prior to his current portfolio, he made sure to push for budgetary allotments for major institutions including Cuttington University, Phebe Hospital, CARI and the C.B. Dunbar Hospital in his county, and he ensured that Bong Mines Hospital in Fuahmah District received an allotment of US$150,000 contrary to US$50,000 allotted to that hospital by the current administration that his opponent is serving on the Ways, Means and Finance Committee.
As he contends for the senatorial seat to dethrone Henry Yallah, Deputy Speaker Moyee has named peace and unity, decentralization of development activities, preparing young people for leadership, and honesty, sincerity and fiscal discipline and social economic protection for the vulnerable, women and children in his platform as activities he will implement for the people of Bong if elected Senator.
Prior to speaking with the Daily Observer, an opinion poll had been conducted on a local radio allowing voters to call and name whom they would vote for, and Representative Moye by the poll had proven to be the most popular among candidates in Bong County, even though this is not a reliable forum to give any much hope to a candidate as an individual may can many times on the radio.
However, Representative Moye said his campaign in Bong is supported by the very people and he has not spent money for motorbike or any logistics because the people who petitioned him to contest are equally doing their part while he is doing his.
For public expectations about their lawmakers, the Bong County lawmaker said they are right to have such huge expectations because lawmakers themselves ran unrealistic campaign to put them in problem with the people
He noted that representation is acting in your capacity to make things happen for constituents and no amount of division strategy can sell any candidate to win an election.