A retired army general of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), retired General John G. Teah, has joined the Nimba County senatorial race, which is coming up in the Special Senatorial Election. The special election is scheduled for October 2014.
General John G. Teah, at a well-attended rally in Ganta City Monday, May 27, told the people of Nimba to give him the senatorial seat of the county in October when they go to the poll to vote in the special election, which is being organized by the Nation Elections Commission (NEC).
In his rhetoric to supporters, General Teah said he was one of the sons of Nimba who had stood and defended the county during the regime of former President Samuel Kanyan Doe.
“As one of those who fought for the safety of Nimba, I think I should be given the chance; and I need your support to contest the senatorial seat,” he said.
He added that all of the county's “liberators” deserve the right to represent the county as senators and that it was not incumbent upon one person.
Even though Teah did not call any names, incumbent Senator Prince Y. Johnson, who is seen as the “God Father” of the county by some youth, has always boasted that he is the "liberator" of Nimba County and that no one can match him in a contest and win in the county.
Senator Johnson is, too, a retired senior officer of the AFL.
“Nine years is enough for a person. So, at this time we need your support to go there, too,” he added.
Gen. Teah explained that when Nelson Mandela was freed from jail and became President of South Africa, he served for only a term and then left power for others, but did not try to hold onto power in the name of being the liberator of this people from apartheid.
General John G. Teah was also among other rebel fighters, who fought within the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) of convicted former Liberian President Charles Taylor.
He also served in the AFL when Charles Taylor became President. He was among the many army personnel, who were disbanded in 2006 when President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf became president.
This is not the General's first attempt at entering politics. In 2011, he contested for District #4 Representative seat in Nimba, but lost to Garrison Yealue.
Some have said that his declaration poses no threat to incumbent Senator Prince Johnson who, upon entering the race for the first time, using the same ‘liberation’ rhetoric, won by a landslide.
Presently, the political field in Nimba is gradually becoming congested with several prominent Nimbaians entering the race: former Supt. Edith Gongloe Weh, Cllr. Yarmie Quiqui Gbeisay, former Education Minister, Dr. Joseph Z. D. Korto, Dr. Kardiker Rex Dahn, and Mr. Peter Weatoe.
Development Superintendent Teeko Tozay Yorlay, who appears to be favored by the young people, is also among those who have declared their intentions for the senatorial seat in the pending October 2014 special election.
The ceremony marking Gen. Teah’s declaration was well attended by residents of Ganta.
Despite the considerable crowd attending Gen. Teah’s declaration ceremony, obervers it is unlikely that he can best Senator Johnson. However, this will be decided in October as Liberians head to the polls to vote in the Special Senatorial Elections.