— Says Senator Cooper; as he announces his second Senatorial bid
Senator Oscar Cooper, the Margibi incumbent who has decided he will retain his seat in the coming midterm Senatorial election, has challenged those intending to run against him that the senatorial position is not a district position that with a narrow scope, but a position that requires an individual with a broader mindset.
Cooper was elected Senator in 2011 with 36,000 votes to replace Senator Clarice Jah.
Though popular at the level of the Senate in terms of performance, his opponents are expressing their wish to remove him from the first branch of government on allegations that he has not done much locally to impact the lives of the common people.
There are about ten persons expressing their desire to contest against Senator Cooper, notable among them being former House Speaker Emmanuel Nuquay, who resigned recently from the Liberia Airport Authority for that purpose; Margibi District #2 Representative Ivar Jones; and District#4 Representative Ben Fofana.
Nuquay contested on the ticket of the Unity Party in the 2017 presidential election along with the standard-bearer Joseph N. Boakai, and his party was defeated in Margibi by the Coalition for Democratic Change.
“I am a senator; I have a responsibility to five districts and not a representative because they are only responsible for one (kinja). Me, I am toting five and, when we do the census in 2021, Margibi will be go to seven and this is how big Margibi is going, so Margibi is not a play toy.
“Nobody should think that this county would come and play with one district. You will be responsible for the people in certain district and so you should have the vision, drive for the social needs in education, quality health care, quality infrastructures and job creation,” Senator Cooper said when he formally declared his intention do seek a second term as an Independent Candidate in the December 8, 2020, Senatorial seat in Margibi County as an Independent Candidate.
The Margibi Senator, who spoke to several journalists on Thursday, August 6, 2020, at his rubber farm, said his campaign would be marked by professionalism, tolerance and a desire to restore the lost hope to the people of Margibi.
Highlighting some of his achievements, Senator Cooper said he has educated over 400 school going children, provided US$13,000 for the refurbishment of the Lango Lippaye School System in the county, as well as support and undertake many other projects in the county, respectively.
“As the incumbent, I am running on my achievements over the nine (9) years and my vision of how our county and people can develop. I have tried to live up to my people’s expectations and worked hard for them, but have more to accomplish for them.
“Given the opportunity to serve my people for the second term, based on my experience of the first, I know I will be able to make Margibi a home for quality education, quality health care, infrastructure development and job creation, he added.
As our slogan, The Oscar Cooper Xperience states, “If you care for human being, human being will care for you.”
“Therefore, we will continue to be a mighty voice for the voiceless, we will continue to fearlessly confront wrongs and the ills within our society, no matter whether it is with the Executive, Judiciary, or Legislature,” he noted.
According to him, the only way to change Liberia for the better is to do the right things for the right reasons that will benefit our people.
Senator Cooper promised to continue to advocate for those who are being wrongfully treated and will also continue to form alliances with like-minded and genuine individuals and groups.
He added: “I commit to you that I remain true to my moral compass and will not ever deviate from my true conscience. You the people of this great Margibi County will always come first and we will win together.”
Senator Cooper further lauded the people of Margibi for giving him the opportunity to serve them and once more asked that they afford him the opportunity to work for them again and get the job done.
Senator Cooper was one of three sitting Senators to declare his candidacy for the 2017 presidential race, in addition to Montserrado County Senator George M. Weah and Prince Y. Johnson of Nimba County. In that election, Cooper ran as an Independent Candidate.
In 2013, the Margibi County Senator also called on the Liberian Senate to set a threshold before the passage of the “Decent Work Bill”.
The House of Representatives passed the Decent Work Bill and forwarded it to the Senate for concurrence, but Senator Cooper at the time urged his colleagues not to concur with the Representatives until a threshold was set. The Decent Work Bill seeks to provide skilled and unskilled workers with better wages.
The Margibi Senator also frowned on the increase in the rate of the US dollar against the Liberian dollar.
“Many Liberians transact in Liberian dollars,” he said. “They are not fortunate like some of us that earn United States dollars. Those who are earning U.S. dollars do not feel the inflation because they exchange at the prevailing rate but those who are earning only Liberian dollars, their buying power is reducing by the day, not a week.
“If you are telling us to give the government more time, it means you are telling us to keep making Liberians poorer,” he noted.