Grand Gedeh County Senator to Retire This Year

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Grand Gedeh Senator G. Alphonso Gaye_web.jpg
Grand Gedeh Senator G. Alphonso Gaye

Ahead of this year’s special Senatorial Election in October, Grand Gedeh Senator, Alphonso G. Gaye, has publicly announced that he would not seek reelection but will be retiring after nine years of legislative service. Senator Gaye will still be entitled to his salaries and benefits until January 2021, when the newly elected Senator will be subsequently installed after the resumption of Legislative work on the second working Monday.

While almost all other Senators are seeking reelection this year and are praying and hoping to be given the position by their constituents, the Grand Gedeh Senator says he prefers to be on the farm now to give other Grand Gedeans the chance to showcase their potentials at the level of the Senate.

In an exclusive telephone conversation with the Daily Observer, Senator Gaye said, “I won’t be seeking reelection because I want to give other people the chance to be elected and serve. The Population of the county, coupled with the youth’s passion to excel gives me the impetus not to seek reelection. I want, after my nine years, to retreat to private life, and most especially to be a farmer. I have been envying Senator Oscar Cooper’s farms and currently, I have a farm with about 10,000 cocoa trees, hoping to reach the trees up to 50, 000.”

“In my nine years, besides agriculture which is the bedrock of the economy and way of employment, I have also engaged in hospitality and education. The Alphonso G. Gaye Foundation is an elementary school that enrolls hundreds of students with a relatively low cost.”

Senator Gaye, according to an anonymous source, has been one of the brains behind the Senate’s financial discipline stance and his retirement could be rather unpropitious.

He is the Chairman on the Senate Committee on Public Account and Expenditure, and member on the Committees on Defense, Intelligence and Veteran Affairs, as well as Gender, Health Children and Social Protection.

The Grand Gedeh Senator serves as an acting chairman on the Senate’s Ways, Means and Budget Committee. He is an executive member of the Unity Party (UP) and is one of President George M. Weah’s opponents in the Senate. He served as Campaign Manager for the UP in Grand Gedeh County during the 2017 Presidential election, but President Weah won Grand Gedeh and 13 other counties excluding Lofa County. The retirement of Senator Gaye means that among the 15 Senators, 14 would probably seek reelection.

The Senator’s retirement is speculated to be an early indicator that both the retiree and the constituents sometimes perceive far ahead defeat for the individual. Nevertheless, sources say Senator Gaye’s chances of reelection are “strong” in the eyes of Grand Gedeans and it would be termed as “incumbent lock” if he seeks second term.

The 2020 special Senatorial Election is the second after the 2014 election to be held in Liberia’s democratic dispensation after the civil crisis.  it may be recalled that in 2014, three Senators retired without seeking reelection; Senators Cletus S. Wortoson, Isaac W. Nyenabo and Frederick Cherue of Grand Kru, Grand Gedeh and River Gee counties, respectively. Out of the 12 the Senators who sought reelection, only two returned, Senators Jewel Howard Taylor of Bong County and Prince Y. Johnson of Nimba County.

This year’s Special Senatorial election is a litmus test for the opposition political parties ahead of the 2023 Presidential and Legislative Election, which means the final result of the Midterm election in the 15 counties might either foreshadow a steep or fertile journey for President George M. Weah.

Meanwhile, investigation has shown that out of the 73 Representatives, only Mary Karwor of Grand Bassa County District #2 will not seek reelection. She has expressed her desire to support Grand Bassa County Superintendent Janjay Baikpeh in the 2023 elections. Baikpeh contested the 2017 elections in the district but lost to Rep. Karwor before being appointed as the county’s Superintendent.

In 2017, seven incumbents in the House of Representatives did not  seek reelection in their respective districts.  They included Alex Tyler, J. Emmanuel Nuquay (Vice Presidential candidate to Boakai) , Moses Kollie, Worlea Saywah Dunah, George Wesseh Blamoh, Samuel Woleh and Morais Waylee.

The 2017 Legislative Election saw 31 out of 65 Representatives who sought reelection reelected, with the rest of the 42 replaced by a new breed of lawmakers.

Author

  • I am a Liberian journalist, born November 7 and hailed from the Southeast and of the kru tribe. I began contributing to the Daily Observer 2008 and was fully employed in 2012. I am the 3rd of eight children and named after my great grandfather. Am happily married with three children (girls). I am a full member of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) and also the Sports Writers Association of Liberia (SWAL) and the Legislative Press Pool (LEGISPOL). I can be contacted through email: [email protected] or cell number/WhatsApp: (+231) 0886585875 or Facebook.

23 COMMENTS

  1. That’s how it is done . And no doubt about that. Most importantly after building up treasure through politics for nine long years benefiting no one else , and no farm bill for the nation’s struggling farmers still performing that back breaking farming jobs that have failed to bring prosperity in their lives, the Grand Gedeh Senator has become the man of the medieval country of Liberia through politics and land ownership and wealth. The exact by-product and problem produced by bad governance in the sweet land of liberty. A shining example why there will always be political disturbance and violence and political protests, if that country continues down the path of the middle ages of the medieval days. The wealth of the nation concentrated in the hands of the rulers of the land. And Envious about fellow rulers’ wealth . He has got 75,000 wow ! Me too got to get 100,000 to pass him. And what happens to the other farmers still performing their back breaking farming jobs ? Oh well . For them , such is life.

  2. Something stinks here about this arrangement. And no, not so much about this senator’s retirement, but that he will continue to receive his salary until he’s replaced? What kind of nonsense could that be? Where in the world can one not be working but entitled to your salary until your replacement is found? Complete nonsense!

    See why these protest demonstrations are necessary until at least, we can get our proverbial house in order? And neither George Weah nor his predecessor can be blamed for this foolishness, but those very do-nothing legislators. They set themselves up pretty good with regards to salaries and benefits including their pensions.

    With a base pay of $15K every month, that’s roughly $180K annually. That multiplied by 9 years as senator, you’re talking something like $1.6Million dollars!!!!! Compare that to the pittances the guys across the street at the UL receive as instructors. Assuming the amount is a grand per month. One instructor’s whole year salary is not even equal to a senator’s one month pay!! We shouldn’t even use “discrepancy” to describe the senseless huge difference in this scenario, but outright DEMONSTRATION! And people think the CoP is the problem? Anyone who entertains such a thought needs to see a psychiatrist monthly, if not weekly.

    • Here is an interesting article from the UK , The Guardian, Jan 3, 2020 : Liberia’s Miracle Oil Brings Farmers Only Empty Promises. Google and read . Since we are talking about lawmakers taking the people for an endless political ride . The medieval political system and economical system that only see rulers with wealth and properties and land ownership, must be overthrown. Liberia Miracle Oil Brings Farmers Only Empty Promises. Wow ! Miracle Oil as Palm Oil .

    • I personally believe that the legislators are the main reason why Liberia is currently a failed state. Honest legislators should have addressed the huge salaries/benefits nonsense, instead they continue to receive them and at the same time are accepting bribes to carry out Mr. Weah’s bidding to do whatever he wants. If anyone were to step down it should be those good for nothing legislators.They are the worst in the history of Liberia and they all should be booted out during the next elections. Do we even need a legislature in Liberia under this dumb CDC Government? Legislators are a burden on the country.

    • Dempster Yallah, hiding behind this fake name Hilary Snyder, it is Dempster Yallah who needs to see a psychiatrist monthly, if not weekly, since he believes that Ellen was not entitled to her salary up to January 2018 when her successor took over the mantle of national leadership!

      The newly elected Senator will be subsequently installed in January 2021 after the resumption of Legislative work on the second working Monday. Until that time, January 2021, Senator Gaye is THE SENATOR of Grand Gedeh County. At least, not all Kpelleh people are stupid, Dempster. But you are one stupid Kpelleh boy.

  3. “In 2017, seven incumbents in the House of Representatives did not seek reelection in their respective districts. They included Alex Tyler, J. Emmanuel Nuquay (Vice Presidential candidate to Boakai) , Moses Kollie, Worlea Saywah Dunah, George Wesseh Blamoh, Samuel Woleh and Morais Waylee”
    … Rep. James P. Biney of Maryland County District #1 did not seek reelection. He was replace by Rep. P. Mike Jurry who is the co-chairperson on Education Committee in the lower house.

  4. After serving as a Grand Gedeh county lawmaker in the Upper House for nine years, what can Alphonso Gaye point to as a legislative accomplishment?

    The author talks about a completed elementary school, (otherwise known as Gaye foundation) which educates Liberian youth in Grand Gedeh county.

    Response: A completed school is not a legislative accomplishment by a long shot, although Gaye and some of his constituents may want us to think it is. Also, there’s a sure bet that the Gaye elementary school does not have enough textbooks for each pupil at the school. Maybe, Gaye’s teachers are ridiculously paid, that is if they are paid on time!

    The author also states factually that Sen. Gaye has a ten-thousand cocoa tree farm. In addition to this, we’re informed that Gaye would like to plant up 50,000 cocoa trees because he’s been “envying” Senator Cooper, a legislative colleague of his who probably has a bigger farm.

    Response: Again, it’s an ignominy! The planting of up to 50,000 cocoa trees is not a national legislative achievement, unless Gaye wants the general public to see that as a positive action.
    On the flip side, Gaye should plant more than 50,000 cocoa trees so he will not bother to ask the cash-trapped government to pay his teachers. After all, Gaye’s elementary school is a private school.

    A revolution is needed in the ranks of the Liberian lawmakers because they have been unable to adequately perform their duties. The Liberian lawmakers have an annual income that’s more than a US Congressman or senator. But yet, Liberia is a very poor country. In addition to their huge salaries, the Liberian lawmakers are given some perks that no civil servant employee has.

    A clandestine operation is needed in order to boot “the do nothing legislators” out of office in 2023. Maybe, a brand new patriotic group of Liberians will do a better job than the current crop of lawmakers.

  5. After nine years in the Senate, what can Mr. Alphonso Gaye point to as his legacy for Grand Gedeh County? He enriched himself for nine years while Grand Grand Gedeh Gedeana went hungry. Now he wants to make farm, after nine years in an ivory tower. Nine year-term is too much senator. It should be reduced to six years..

    • Do you blame any Senator for serving nine years? Blame the people who put that nine years crap in the constitution.

  6. Dear All,

    You have the power to change things in 2023. Stop castigating our honorable senator. His decision to retire is indeed noble, we applaud it vehemently.

    Again, to those who think our lawmakers are overpaid, let me once more publicly disavow you. The emoluments of our honorable lawmakers are in standing with the financial capacities and economic valuation of our country Liberia.

    However, you need to vote in the rightful people who can add something positive to the Liberian dreams.
    Why would you vote someone who doesn’t even know the role of a lawmaker in his constituency or country?
    Why would you vote someone who cannot technically, technologically, philosophically or economically add value to the Liberian economy?
    Why would you vote someone characterized by mundanity and ineptitude?

    Join us in the ANC to change things for the better in Liberia come 2023.
    We need to once more be respected in the comity of nations.
    We need to begin a sustainable development of our country in every sector.

    Few real patriots (not destructive patriots) have shown up in the ANC, under the able leadership of Alexander B. Cummings. Join us in your villages, towns and counties to spread the news. We need to overturn things.
    Don’t sit by idly and do nothing. Your children may ask you tomorrow “papa or mama, what did you do to change things?

    Happy New Year to all of you!
    Cummings and “apologists’ love you dearly. We can improve the living conditions of all Liberians, irrespective of political, tribal or religious affiliation.
    We yearn to pay minimum of $1,500 to our university professors, $1,000 to college professors, $800 to high school teachers and $500 to elementary teachers.
    We yearn to provide decent living conditions for our military, strong and able men and women in the police, build a beautiful marine force and train the best customs officers to canalize our immigration and intakes.
    We yearn to connect the entire country with beautiful roads with improved urban and rural transportation systems.
    Yes, we can! No doubt about our intellectual and moral capacities. We are clean people who God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth. We have proven track records on the international scene. We have managed budgets 20 times bigger than that of Liberia.

    Long live Liberia.

    • Mr. Dolo
      All political parties make promises they can’t keep. Once the people give them power they forget about their promises. I don’t believe the ANC will be different.

      • We are not ordinary politicians. We are technocrats merely motivated by altruism for a country we dearly love.

        Have a happy Sunday

        • Mr. Dolo:
          Should Liberia carry Maryland again? Tubman was already a President. What kind of technical experience do you people have? I do not see that in your group’s resume or platform. My platform was the best which had the only technical experience.
          Your group’s Resume:
          Lie #1: You can not create 100,000 Jobs in 90 days.

          Only the best of educated Liberian with the needed Know-Hows can move Liberia forward; believe me.

          • Mr. Curran, you got me giggling all Sunday evening about your “Lie #1.

            However, we are dealing with a serious matter here. The ANC can put all capable Liberians to work in 3 years. We can make the diaspora to come home for good paying jobs. We can provide minimum 100 000 jobs in 3 months. We will ensure no Liberians find it “scurrilous” to come home and serve Mama Liberia.
            If you think we are lying, vote us in 2023 and prove us wrong.

            About Maryland, let’s forget about tribalism. Stop dwelling on the past. Cummings is not Tubman.
            If all the best presidential candidates were to come from Maryland, I would support them all for the welfare of Liberia.

  7. Elijah Barnard,
    I wholeheartedly agree with you. The lawmakers of Liberia have helped to plunge Liberia in the mud. The Liberian lawmakers’ outrageous salaries has been a solo fight for me on this circuit. I will continue to rail against their kangaroo mentality until something happens. I need helpers!

    Not the CoP protesters, but rather a different group of protesters are needed in order to bring attention to the boorish behavior of the “do nothing Liberian lawmakers”. By excluding the CoP, God knows where my heart is. The CoP protesters have a right to protest, but I sincerely believe that another group of patriotic Liberians should step up in order to educate the general public about the dishonorable “do nothing” legislators.
    Take a listen:
    (1). A Liberian Senator earns $16,000 per month or $192,000 per year. But public schools are overcrowded and short on desks and textbooks.

    (2). A Liberian Representative earns $15,000 per month or $180,000 per year. But the Red light and Douala marketers do their business in the streets. No electricity, no running water! But the monthly checks of the lawmakers are usually on time.

    As crazy as this is, there are some people who defend the lawmakers’ salaries and in some cases, these unpatriotic Liberians feel that more money ought to be given to the uncouth legislators. Isn’t that a shame? No wonder why we don’t speak with one voice.

    I would like to also say that I am not, neither have I been a hater of Johnson-Sirleaf. But I strongly believe a good opportunity for national development was squandered under the leadership of Johnson-Sirleaf and the Liberian lawmakers. According to some reliable statistics, Liberia is the third or fourth poorest country in Africa and the 7th poorest in the world. Furthermore, the Liberian army is rated as one of the weakest among the nations of this world. Weah has his own problems. Weah has made his own mistakes. Weah has got to fess up. But realistically, Weah did not recommend an outrageous salary for the Liberian lawmakers neither did he preside over a weak Liberian army or a weak economy.

    I think it’s about time that the process had begun to strategize on how the weak lawmakers of Liberia could be booted out of office. It’s an absolute must. They’re part of the cancer that rips our country up into pieces.

    • Hney
      I agree with your post. It’s worth mentioning that these outrageous salaries/ benefits were initially approved by President Sirleaf. Shouldn’t she had known better?

      • Was it Ellen or the interim Government, Mr. Sawyer and others?

        • Sr.Engineer,
          Sawyer had nothing to do with these stupid salaries.They were approved and implemented under the administration of your mentor, Ellen Sirleaf.

  8. Usher in the Cummings’s government in 2023. We will provide better incentives and pay to our lawmakers.
    Liberia’s problem is a group of people without dream, vision, plans and required managerial skills to harness the enormous natural resources the country is endowed with.
    Ellen has served and gone. The current government was voted in by 15% of Liberians because they said they could fix things. Let them fix it.
    When I was in school, whenever a question was asked and I did not know the answer, I would keep my hand down. Why raise your hand to say rubbish or do nothing? You make yourself a laughing stuff. Don’t raise your hand and expect your seatmate to pass on the answer to you for you to take the credit.

    We can deliver to the Liberia people. Vote ANC in 2023. There are qualified and seasoned Liberian managers who wish to put their expertise to the disposal of their country, not under the leadership of ineptitude and dumbness.

  9. There was a time in the US when a popular TV commercial used to go like this: “American Express card, Don’t Go Out Without It”. Well, guess what? That popular TV commercial has had its time. These days in America and I suppose in most of the developed world, anyone can leave his or her house without bothering to carry the American Express Card! The debit card has taken the place of the once famous American Express Card. But there’s something else that’s more important and popular than the American Express Card and you debit card…..it is called “the cell phone”. These days, people tend to talk more than they did. In fact, the constant use of cell phones has made a whopping 99% of its users become lazy. How, you might ask? Okay, listen to this …the constant use of cell phones has made every user to be unable to memorize telephone numbers of friends and family! Let me ask this question….how many telephone numbers are stored in your box today? Probably less than three. The numbers are stored in the phones. Why memorize them, right? Well, that’s my point!

    We’re often told by some people that in 2023, there’s a ready-made answer for the Liberian people. We’re told that the Liberian people do not have to worry about the economy, the schools, salaries of the “do nothing legislators”, the roads, electricity and just about anything that you and I can worry about. Furthermore, we are told that there is an individual who is angelic. This individual will brush Liberia up with hyssop to the point where all corruption will be purged.

    Warning:
    I urge all Liberians to be cautious! A TV commercial constantly runs on this circuit about 2023, which in and of itself, is not egregious. But we have to be careful with people who brag about having all the answers for Liberia. Let’s pray and hope for a better government. But let’s be extremely careful with TV commercials that tell us that in one particular individual, the problems of Liberia are already solved, come 2023. We need a new different commercial. Hopefully, the present commercial that runs here every day about the uniqueness of one particular individual will fade in oblivion before 2023. I have no illusions. I break no bones. It will happen

    If the cap fits, wear it.

    • To all prospective customers of this TV commercial, note that we are not selling a product without imperfections. It will however be the beginning of a transformative life in Liberia.
      We may change disc before 2023 if we get a product better than what we have on hand.

      Bonne nuit mon Vieux.

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