Whether Rep. Saah Joseph of Montserrado County District #13 likes it or not, among the several candidates that want his job on October 10, S. Alexander Sonpon, has emerged as his main rival.
Mr. Sonpon is from the Alternative National Congress of Alexander Cummings, while Rep. Joseph is from Senator George Weah’s Coalition for Democratic Change.
In spite of the praises they heaped on Saa Joseph for his yeoman’s role during the epic Ebola crisis of 2014, many residents of the district, particularly New Georgia Estate, say there is still need for a new representation.
“Look at our roads,” complained a resident of New Georgia Bassa Town. “They are in a mess, and what has he been doing?”
Though his campaign posters describe him as the ‘real leader,’ Rep. Joseph’s opponents think it is time for someone else to make his or her mark.
Among the other contestants vying for Rep. Joseph’s job is Ma Rose, whose platform includes love and unity, clean environment, sanitation, health care and education and empowering the youth in the district.
Then there is Alexander Sonpon, who lost his wife recently and has dedicated his political campaign to her. His platform focuses on education, proper representation, health care, youth empowerment, development and accountability.
While many residents point to Rep. Joseph’s innovative development of the district, including a nursing school, providing a new bridge for residents to be able to reach Oakfield easily, among other initiatives, still others believe that aspirant Sonpon has more leadership abilities, because of his experience in business and his international travels, including to the United States, that he could utilize to the district’s benefit.
“Mr. Sonpon has toured the various communities in the district, helping them to understand why it is necessary for them to give him a chance,” said Doris Quiah, who said she voted for Rep. Joseph in the last two elections.
“I am not saying Rep. Joseph has not done enough,” she said, “but I think Mr. Sonpon deserves a chance to continue to do more for us.”
Many residents interviewed told the Daily Observer that among the issues that have worked against Rep. Joseph is the poor road condition that leads to New Georgia Bassa Town.
“The street lights are poorly installed in the community, where some come on during the day and not at night,” another said.
A few days ago, another resident said a team of Rep. Joseph’s campaigners, with his support, decided to fill potholes that have been around for a long time, starting from the New Georgia Estate junction.
“We felt that because elections are around the corner, Rep. Joseph rushed to fill the holes; and even with that, there is much to do because it is terrible to travel from the junction to inside the Estate,” said another resident.
Overall, Sonpon seems to make most of the people feel comfortable. “He talks about accountability which I think is a good thing,” said Jeremiah Sackor. “We need to give Mr. Sonpon a chance to work for us,” he added.
However, supporters of the incumbent told the Daily Observer that “We want Rep. Joseph and we don’t need anyone to stop what he has been doing for the district because he is a good man.”