A 31-year old commercial motorcyclist, Allen Bornor commonly known as “Apache”, has declared his intention to contest the senatorial seat vacated by Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor, now Liberia’s Vice President.
Bornor, a 12th grade student of the government run high school in Gbarnga, the Dolokelen Gboveh High, is now one of nine persons whose names have popped up to contest the seat.
Apache told the Daily Observer in an interview on Tuesday that he threw his hat into the ring because motorcyclists need representation in the Bong County Legislative Caucus, adding, “I believe that I can ably represent the interest of my colleagues and motorcyclists across the country.”
“We have never been regarded as imperative component of the society; people see us as troublemakers, which we are not. So we want to prove to people that we are motorcyclists with potentials. We have the numbers so let no one underestimate us. Again, we have been used by politicians during elections and have gotten nothing in return; that’s why we have decided to support one of our own,” declared Apache.
Bornor, who hopes to run on the ticket of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), said the Bong Motorcycle Union has over 10,000 registered motorcyclists in the county, which means the union has a massive membership base.
“We have been touring the 15 administrative districts in Bong County and we have received words of commitment and encouragement from motorcyclists,” he said.
“I have nine bikes in traffic now that my friends are using to make their living. That’s what I have been doing to send myself to high school and to empower my colleagues.” -Apache
The other candidates vying for the senatorial seat vacated by Taylor include: Jeremiah Sulunteh, Liberia’s former Ambassador to the United States of America and vice standard bearer of Alexander Cummings’ Alternative National Congress; Dr. Henrique Tokpah, former Internal Affairs Minister and former President of the Episcopal run Cuttington University; Fairnoh Gbilah, former Liaison Officer between the state of Maryland in the United States of America and Bong County; and Emmanuel Lomax, former campaign manager of Liberty Party in the just ended 2017 presidential and legislative elections.
Other candidates eyeing the senatorial seat include Bong County Superintendent Selena Polson-Mappy; Lester Paye, outgoing District #4 representative who lost his seat to Robert Womba of Unity Party; and businessman Orando Zarwolo, who lost his bid for the electoral District #3 seat in the October 2017 elections.
Apache was among the group of motorcyclists that petitioned the former Mayor of Gbarnga, Marvin Cole, to contest the electoral District #3 seat, which he won in the October 10 elections, defeating George Mulbah.
A native of Yellequelleh District, Apache said he became a commercial motorcyclist in 2000, and after generating sufficient profits, he built a three bedroom house and bought two cars for commercial transport.
“I have nine bikes in traffic now that my friends are using to make their living. That’s what I have been doing to send myself to high school and to empower my colleagues,” he revealed.
“We motorcyclists have been marginalized; and if I am elected, I will help my colleagues realize their potentials through life skills training (vocational training).”
Some commercial motorcyclists who spoke with this paper said they want someone of their own to represent them in the Senate, and they feel that they can better rely on Apache for development “than the master’s degree holders that are around in the community.”
The motorcyclist union has played a major role in Bong County elections since the 2011 presidential and legislative elections. They were influential in the election of Henry Yallah, a former Bong County student leader, who defeated then Superintendent Rennie Banama Jackson in the 2011 election.
During the 2014 senatorial election, the motorcyclists campaigned massively for Jewel Howard-Taylor, who was reelected.