By Omari Jackson
Many residents of Montserrado District #16 who had qualms with Rep. Edward Forh of the Congress of Democratic Change (CDC) from issues within the party and his personal errors were excited last Friday at the end of its primaries that saw him losing to potential candidate Dixon Seboe.
At the end, Seboe secured 30 votes against 13 for incumbent Forh, a loss for which his opponents in the party said is about time for him to rest and give another person (in this case, Seboe) a chance.
Though the primaries were held at the party’s headquarters in Congo Town, the Borough of New Kru Town was alive with celebration and congratulations, with Forh’s party opponents commending each other saying that it was the end of the proverbial hat-trick, meaning winning for the third time. Many said Rep. Forh and his sympathizers had boasted of a hat-trick in campaign messages before the primaries.
While some of his opponents told the Daily Observer about the little that Rep. Forh did for the community in the last 12 years, his sympathizers, including Wolo Nah, points to several projects, some completed and others in progress that can be credited to Rep. Forh.
“The New Kru Town Hall, the St. Paul Bridge Town Hall and the on-going Magisterial Court and Police Department are some of his doing,” Nah says. “I also know that he secured US$100,000 for the D. Twe High School coastal defense and he is working to secure further US$500,000.” He regretted the failure of the CDC to give Rep. Forh a third chance.
He credited Rep Forh for looking out for those who devastated by outbreaks of fire and other disasters in the borough, pointing to a recent fire incident in Borbor Garage where two houses with eleven rooms were destroyed, rendering several people homeless.
“Rep. Forh provided eleven mattresses and US$330 to the victims as his initial contribution and assured them of further help,” Nah said. “I am sure that majority of the people will miss Rep. Forh’s leadership ability.”
However, party opponents told the Daily Observer in the stronghold of the CDC in New Kru Town that Rep. Forh had had enough at the House of Representatives and therefore he should allow another person to contribute his share at the House.
“Two terms (12 years) is enough for him,” said Johnson Toe, who said he is excited about Rep. Forh’s exit. “Since being at the House, he has never called a town hall meeting to meet with the people.”
Perhaps, Rep. Forh’s greatest weaknesses included two instances, when in 2011, his opponents said, he joined Senator Geraldine Doe-Sherrif to go against the CDC, eventually returned and was pardoned. They said his greatest sin was committed a few years ago when he was involved in a financial scandal trying to siphon the Montserrado County Development Funds. He had demanded that the Montserrado Superintendent, Madam
Grace Kpahn, share the County Development Funds between them.
When she expressed fear of how the then Minister of Internal Affairs, Blamo Nelson, would react to such a proposition, Forh told her not to worry, for the Minister, too, was waiting for his share. In an expression of reassurance to the superintendent, Forh told her in a phone conversation, which she recorded: “You will chop, I will chop and the Minister will chop.”
Rep. Forh might have lived to regret that modern communication could expose someone unexpectedly and could have condemned the weakness of his human nature, but the results of the primaries, particularly his loss, has made it apparent that the rank and file of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) never forgave him for bringing the party’s name into public disrepute.
Another tragedy for Rep. Forh was the unfortunate death of his daughter Nikita Forh who was refused care at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center following an asthmatic attack which she suffered during the heat of the Ebola crisis on September 26, 2014. Rep. Forh’s pleas with hospital staff to admit his daughter fell on deaf ears, resulting in her death on the grounds of the hospital.
Compounding his agony was his failure to get justice for his daughter’s death in a US$25 million suit for damages against the John F. Kennedy Medical Center. Though many opposing CDCians did express sympathy for Rep. Forh losing his daughter, they were not sympathetic for him losing the primaries and rejoiced for his downfall.
But Wolo Nah believes that “Rep. Forh will fight back,” to demonstrate his leadership ability to win for the third time, if there is any possibility.