Cllr. J. Fonati Koffa has revealed that he is not eyeing a challenge to incumbent Senator of Grand Kru County, Peter Coleman, despite the many praises citizens of the County have bestowed upon him over developments.
Cllr. Koffa, the Representative of Grand Kru County District #2, was petitioned by elders, women and youths of Chengbetee in 2018 and was followed by youths and women groups including the traditional leaders after he led the the football team to championship at the National County Sports Meet, breaking a trophy drought of more than 34 years.
Rep. Koffa served as the Chairman of the Steering Committee of Grand Kru County Sports Association and also the Mobilization Chairman.
Regarding his continuous contributions to the fight against the COVID-19 and the distribution of micro-finance money to women’s groups in the county, Rep. Koffa was called a “COVID-19 Hero”.
Also, Rep. Koffa’s latest stance in ensuring accountability and transparency at M2 Bank in the county due to the delay of salaries of his constituents, his “love for county” swelled. Besides requesting for an audit by the Central Bank of Liberia (which was endorsed), he wrote the bank manager for copies of the bank annual reports since its inception.
Despite of all his “developments” and the constructions of schools roads as well as support to the educational and health sectors, including his humanitarian works, the clarity has relatively quieted the political tension in the county.
Rep. Koffa was elected in 2017 and in January 2018, he was appointed as the Chairman of the House’s Judiciary Committee. After serving as the Guest Speaker during the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) 2019 Congress, he subsequently founded and dedicated the Ahteena Radio in Barclayville.
Rep Koffa settled the dust, and wrote on social media on Monday: “Many have been the speculations and calls that I run for the senatorial position in the 2020 mid term elections. After careful thought and reflection I have decided not to participate in the special elections. I was elected for 6 years by the people of district 2 and there must be an extraordinary case that presents itself for me to leave that mandate to pursue other political objective.”
He chose to represent the people of district#2, until they further mandated him otherwise, so he added: “There is no compelling reason to do so at this time. More besides, the fiscal constraints nationally which has greatly affected our development efforts in the county means we must focus all of our financial capacity towards our infrastructure and humanitarian effort in district #2. To divert valuable resources towards a campaign now would be costly to the district and the returns will be marginally selfish.
“The pace of our development efforts is not to our satisfaction and we cannot betray the people of district two by mounting a protracted political campaign to further slow those efforts down. They deserve 100% of our attention. Ours is a legacy building political career not a transient one. Therefore we must complete the job for which we have been elected.”
Meanwhile, Rep. Koffa’s clarification has reduced the over 20 incumbent Representatives who are contesting the Midterm Senatorial election.
Deputy Speaker Prince Moye is leading the array of Representatives for the challenge as he faced Senator Henry Yallah in Bong County.
The House’s chairman and co-chairman on the Ways, Means, Finance and Development Planning Committee, Thomas Fallah and Jeremiah Koung are contesting in Montserrado and Nimba Counties, respectively.
It may be recalled in August 2019, the Daily Observer reported that among the 73 members of the House of Representatives, there are at least 20, who are expected to contest the 2020 senatorial elections.
Others are Representatives Samuel Enders (Montserrado County); Cryton Oldman Duncan (Sinoe County), Hanson Kiazolu (Grand Cape Mount County), Matthew Joe (Grand Bassa County), Isaac Roland (Maryland County) and Mambu Sonii (Grand Cape Mount County).
Also, Representatives Julie Wiah (Lofa County), Mariamu Fofona (Lofa County), , Zoe Pennue (Grand Gedeh County), Alex Grant (Grand Gedeh County), Ivar Jones (Margibi County), Ben Fofana (Margibi County), Nathaniel Barway (Grand Kru County), Francis Young and Kanie Wesso (Gbarpolu County).
Interestingly, the two former Speakers, J. Alex Tyler and J. Emmanuel Nuquay, are also contesting the senate election in Bomi and Margibi Counties, respectively.
Also in the 2020 senatorial Elections, Foreign Affairs Minister Gbehzohngar Findley, is expected to run in Grand Bassa County. Others are former Foreign Affairs Minister Thomas Yaya Nimley (Grand Gedeh County); former Finance Minister Amara Konneh (Gbarpolu County); and former Defense Minister Brownie J. Samukai (Lofa County) .
There is no doubt that a victory by any of the current members of the House of Representatives in the senatorial by-election would trigger a new round of by-elections for their seats left empty in the House.
Political analysts believe that the mass entry of Representatives in the midterm senatorial race is unprecedented and, if a sitting representative should win, it will be the third time for a sitting representative to be elected. It can be recalled that former Representatives Francis Paye (River Cess County), and Saah Joseph (Montserrado County) were elected to the Senate.
Pundits further believed that, besides the probable US$37 million budget for the 2020 senatorial elections, the government should also allot an additional US$10 million for the expected by-elections.
Relating to incumbent Representatives contesting the Senatorial elections, one of them who asked to remain anonymous, said: “There are some extraordinary cases. Certain parties want the strongest candidate to contest.”