Nimba Senator Prince Yealue Johnson (PYJ) has began to receive massive support in his native county head of the official campaign date of November 16. The Special Senatorial Election campaign is expected to last for two weeks.
According to reports, barely a week following the setting of the mid-term senatorial election at December 16, Senator Johnson’s Campaign Committee was joined by several other persons, who until recent had opposed his senatorial bid. These included some of the very lawmakers from the county who were highly critical of the Senator, but have now turned the tide in the Senator’s favor. This has therefore boosted his chance of another landslide victory, a commentator in the county told this newspaper via mobile phone.
One of those now in Senator Johnson’s camp is the Representative of Nimba County Electoral District #1, Jeremiah T. Koung.
Rep. Koung was the very person who presided over the convention that unseated Senator PYJ from his National Union for Democratic Progress (NUDP) in 2013 at the party’s Convention held in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.
But Mr. Koung over the weekend surprisingly accepted to spearhead the Senator’s re-election campaign for another nine years.
Already, the NEC has qualified several individuals, including Cllr. Yarmie Quiqui Gbeisay, Sr., former Superintendent Edith L. Gongloe-Weh, and former Education Minister ,Dr. Joseph D.Z. Korto, who will challenge Senator Johnson for the post.
Expressing his willingness to lead Senator Johnson’s campaign, Rep. Koung said: “We need to start the ball rolling. I have started talking to few of my guys. We need to erect a checkpoint that is to stop others from dethroning our dear Senator.”
He indicated that in this political process Senator Johnson needs everyone to his support.
“What makes you a leader is your ability to bring people together. What matters is victory. How we get it doesn’t matter,” Koung told a group of PYJ’s supporters in the presence of Dr. Arthur Karnuah, Chairman of the “Friends of PYJ.”
Prior to the Koung’s statement, Dr. Karnuah had earlier explained that the decision to support the lawmaker for a second term was sanctioned by the Senator himself who is aware of what Mr. Koung is capable of doing relative to electioneering.
Shortly following his public declaration of support, several persons in Nimba began questioning whether Koung could make any impact during the upcoming campaign.
Rep Koung’s popularity as a Ganta-based businessman prior to his ascendancy to the national Legislature, according to some locals, does not extend to areas like Yarwin Mennsonner—considered former Supt. Weh’s stronghold.
It is not clear what would be the ramification of Representative Koung’s acceptance to campaign for Senator Johnson. The fact is that not the entire Nimba is convinced of being ready for the Senator’s re-election.
Koung, elected in 2005 on Senator Johnson’s erstwhile NUDP ticket, was among several executives of the party, who distanced themselves from the Senator, when they replaced him at the 2013 National Convention held in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.
Senator Johnson was barred from attending the Buchanan Convention due to threats from several of the partisans, including one Meddrics Gontee, an executive of NUDP, who openly threatened to flog PYJ if he should showed up for the Buchanan convention.
Prior to this, both Gontee and Senator Johnson had serious disagreement over who should take the party to convention.
The 2013 National Convention elected Representative Ricks Toweh as Political leader of the NUDP, replacing Senator Johnson. Toweh is a businessman, who was also elected through the influence of Senator Johnson.
Senator Johnson is not running on the party’s ticket but as an independent candidate.