Eleven of the nineteen community heads of Johnsonville Township recently endorsed the representative bid of former police officer Lt. Col. Jimmy W. Smith, who hopes to replace Rep. Sekou Kanneh in Montserrado District #2 after the October polls.
Assembled at a privately owned school in Lower Johnsonville, the chairman of the Councilmen of the Township, Mr. Jackson C. Nyepan, said the decision to endorse Col. Smith is based upon the fact that “he has not left” them, even after losing to the incumbent nearly six years ago.
“Your ceaseless support in making road connectivity in this part of our country a priority, genuine scholarships for a good number of our young people, and many other community-based projects, including the construction of key bridges, are among the reasons for which we believe giving you a chance to serve us at the Capitol Building beginning in 2018 is a must. We are confident that you will do better when elected and each of us is prepared to campaign through the length and breadth of this district to ensure you are elected,” Mr. Nyepan said.
He said Johnsonville, founded in 1887, had a population of 11,000 in 2011, “but now the township can boast of having over 45,000 inhabitants.”
“It is a sad thing to note that this township, with the fast growth of its population, has only one public high school and 11 privately owned schools.”
The councilmen’s chairman added that their endorsement is given with the aim to see improvements in all sectors in District #2, including health, education, and sanitation.
According to him, Smith’s singlehanded sponsorship of 110 students from District #2 at the Monrovia Vocational Training Center (MVTC) and other institutions in the country is a clear manifestation that when elected he will double up his desire to create space for more of the district’s children to learn and help improve the community’s living conditions.
Nyepan said there is no need to reelect Rep. Kanneh, because “he lacks the demographic understanding of the district as well as the political will to unite its citizens,” who are said to be polarized.
Responding to the endorsement, Col. Smith said he will not applaud the councilmen and their followers as yet, but would instead wait and see the translation of their words into action come October 10.
“Let us all get it very clearly that you will not be doing me a favor if I am elected through your votes. It is a will you possess to entrust the leadership of this district into the hands of those you believe will deliver to your expectations; and if it is on this basis you are endorsing my representative bid, then you have made no mistake,” Smith said, pointing out that he is not in politics because he wants to get rich, but rather to serve his people.
“There are developmental potentials in this district but they require serious minds to tap on the available resources in order to shape the lives of our people, most especially the young people, whose dreams are still at stake,” he said.
He called on residents of the township to be vigilant in order to thwart any manipulations in the upcoming elections.
“Now that you are aware that there are huge salaries and benefits given to lawmakers and others but very little of your job is done, no one needs to tell you that you have to be serious and use 2017 as a steppingstone to better the future,” he added.
Col. Smith said with 49, 0000 persons to have reportedly registered to vote in the district, he expects “an overwhelming victory this time around.”
He assured the residents that if elected he will work with them to lay out District #2 in the correct way and build structures that will result in more development.