While over 200 Liberians, including at least 20 members of the House of Representatives, are getting in gear for the 15 senatorial seats which are up for grabs come December 8, Nimba County District #5 Representative Samuel Kogar, is looking in a different direction. He wants to become the next Deputy Speaker of the 54th Legislature.
The current Deputy Speaker, Prince Moye of Bong County District #2, is challenging incumbent Senator Henry Yallah in the December 8, 2020 midterm election. But come what may, either win or lose, there are reports that the Deputy Speaker position will still be up for grabs, come January 2021.
The Daily Observer has gathered that, ahead of the Deputy Speaker’s seat being declared vacant, Rep. Kogar has announced his ambition and begun early “lobbying”, positioning himself as the “best choice” for the post.
Announcing to reporters on Sunday, July 19 his ambition, Rep. Kogar said: “I have decided to contest the Deputy Speaker post, if there will be a vacancy.”
Rep. Kogar was elected to the House of Representatives in 2011 and reelected in 2017. He also chairs the House’s Committee on Commerce.
Recently, as House Chairman on Commerce, Rep. Kogar urged the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to arrest any business center caught selling the 25kg bag of rice at L$3,500 and above.
Speaking to reporters at the Capitol Building, Rep. Kogar said the importers of rice are not the ones increasing the price on the market, but rather business people are the ones selling the commodity at that price.
He said the Committee on Commerce has visited the United Commodities Incorporated (UCI), Supplying West Africa Trading (SWAT) and other rice importers at the Freeport of Monrovia.
Rep. Kogar said the Committee has documents from importers on dates that more rice will be arriving.
Rep. Kogar is also on record to take the Liberian Government to court if it does not pay the county social development fund in the tune of US$6.8 million within one month. After he made this statement, the government disbursed the amount of U.S.$3.1 million as part of Social Development Fund’s contribution to three counties. The amount, given by ArcelorMittal Liberia, represents 80 percent of the company’s required allocation to counties where it operates. The counties to benefit are Nimba, Grand Bassa and Bong.
If Rep. Kogar is elected as Deputy Speaker he will break the over 14 years for a Nimbaian to hold any of the two top posts.
Up to present, no Representative has openly declared his/her aspiration for the Deputy Speaker position, but the Daily Observer has gathered that Rep. Clarence Massaquoi is also eyeing that post in the House of Representatives.
It may be recalled, following the Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA) in Ghana in 2003, George Dweh ascended to the post of Speaker of the National Transitional Legislative Assembly (NTLA) from 2003 to 2005 March 14, and he was suspended from the Assembly after being accused of financial mismanagement and corruption and was unanimously replaced by George Koukou (from Nimba County) from 17 March 2005 to January 2006.
Earlier, another Nambaian, Speaker Samuel D. Hills, served as Speaker from 1986 to 1990.