A major post-2017 elections’ political marriage was witnessed on Wednesday, August 15, between Reverend Hananiah Zoe of the defunct Liberia Educational and Development Party (LEDP) and Senator Prince Y. Johnson (PYJ) of the Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MDR).
Rev. Zoe made his intent known by affixing his signature to an executive membership card of the MDR at a brief press conference, convened at the party’s headquarters in Congo Town.
“I am more than pleased to willfully, willingly and, with all fingers, ready to submit my leadership and total allegiance to become a member of this institution, and to also pledge my total loyalty to the political leader, [Senator Johnson] of this great institution,” Rev. Zoe said, while affixing his signature to the executive membership card given him by the party’s chairman, Moses Ziah.
Rev. Zoe said his decision sprang from a cultural and nationalistic perspective, wherein the love of unity for the forward march of the country should be put ahead of individual benefit.
“I have established political parties before and up to this date, still have the machinery to redo or resurrect the same, but I come here with the understanding and complete acceptance of the fact that MDR is one of the most credible political parties, not only in Liberia, but in West Africa, and in Africa as a whole,” he said amid thunderous applause from the audience.
Rev. Zoe described Senator Johnson as an “international role model,” who he admires so much.
“When you look at the steps the political leader, a visionary of this institution, has taken, you will readily agree that Senator Johnson is an international role model. So why should I not team up and put aside all of our differences?” he asked rhetorically.
He expressed his gratitude to MDR partisans for allowing him to sign a membership card in open declaration of his desire to work for unity and to seek after the presidency to which Senator Johnson has been tied to since his entry into politics.
“Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction is not just a mere political party, but a great symbol of national survival,” Zoe said.
Reverend Zoe added, “Movement moves nations and the world in general, while democracy and reconstruction liberate a people and rebuild not only their lost or broken infrastructure but also their shattered hopes and aspirations.”
He pointed out that it is his hope that after Weah’s presumed 12-year rule, the MDR will be the new revolutionary political institution that will usher Liberia into a renewed democratic civilization.
Rev. Zoe attempted contesting the 2005 and 2017 presidential elections but did not succeed, after he fell short of meeting requirements from the National Elections Commission’s (NEC).
He is the senior pastor at the Jubilee Church and a businessman said to be in partnership with a number of top business owners in Africa and the Diaspora.
In declaring his presidential ambition in 2005, Zoe said: “My vision is to make the great Liberian dream possible for all Liberians.” However, he failed to get his political party registered during presidential elections in 2005 and 2017.
Zoe joined the then ruling Unity Party (UP) but saw his dream go down the drain.
Senator Prince Johnson, who arrived after Zoe’s declaration, described Zoe as an asset not only to Nimba County but the country as a whole. As such, his political party looks forward to a great collaboration that will help usher in a new dispensation after Weah’s tenure.
“It is good that Zoe has come to join us. As a constructive opposition political party, we are always prepared to do the best we can in the interest of our country,” Senator Johnson said.
Prince Y. Johnson, who is known as the political “godfather” of Nimba, said he is pleased with the political partnership he is currently enjoying with President Weah’s CDC. “We are an opposition party but a very constructive one. We are interested in seeing Weah succeed, even though we wished in 2017 that MDR took the presidency through the ballot box,” he said.
He said the MDR prays and hopes that Weah, being the second non “Americo-Liberian” president, succeeds. “Although we are an opposition political party, we are in strong partnership with the CDC-led government depending on its good performance for the next 12 years,” he said.
He added that it is his prayer that state power should no longer slip in the hands of “typical countrymen who have no allegiance to any foreign country.”
Earlier, the chairman of MDR, Moses Ziah, welcomed Rev. Zoe’s decision to join the party for the reconstruction of the country’s broken fabric.