By Joaquin M. Sendolo
In the 2017 Legislative Election, Zoe Emmanuel Pennue and Jerermiah Garwo Sokan, Sr. could not see face to face as both of them were contesting for the same seat in Grand Gedeh County District #1. Each could say anything against the other to gain favor with the electorates in order to win the Representative seat.
The two men ran as independent candidates but in the end, Zoe Pennue, who came to prominence since 2005 reclaimed the seat in 2017 with 8,499 votes (55% of the total votes) and Sokan lagged behind him with 3,166 (20.8%).
Now, the mid-term election for the senatorial seat is just six days away, and Sokan and Pennue, who were once political arch-rivals, have joined hands. Sokan has now pledged his unflinching support to Pennue for the senatorial seat, against the likes of former warlords, Thomas Yaya Nimley and George Segbe Boley. Others in the race for Grand Gedeh senate are Cyrus Cooper, II, Felicia Duncan, Joseph Geebro, Beatrice Johnson Wonnah, William G. Nyanue, and Amos Zleh.
During a brief ceremony marking the pledge of support on November 27, 2020 at the residence of Representative Pennue in New Matadi in Monrovia, Mr. Sokan said, “I am here to put my full weight behind Representative Pennue to succeed in the election in Grand Gedeh.”
Even though Sokan did not squarely say that all who voted him in the 2017 election are likely to support his current political bedfellow; he, however, indicated that those who believe in him will follow him and will vote for Representative Zoe Emmanuel Pennue to win the upcoming election.
While the duo are tightlipped about what benefits would accrue to Sokan should Pennue win the senatorial contest, it cannot be ignored that Sokan, who performed impressively in his own right in the 2017 election, might now have a golden opportunity to succeed Pennue in the House of Representatives. However, Sokan says his support for Pennue is purely based on party solidarity, and he is standing by to campaign vigorously to ensure that Pennue, the candidate for the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) wins so that he will help to push for the success of the “Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development.”
Following the statement of solidarity and alliance, Sokan said, “I am going to Zulu Whisky to begin the campaign as we have just a few days to the election, and we will do all we can to convince our people that you are the choice of the people and [of] the President of the Republic of Liberia.”
Grand Gedeh County continues to be a stronghold for President George Weah and the CDC, demonstrated lately in most uncanny terms, if the recent attack against Montserrado County District #10 Representative Yekeh Kolubah and Collaborating Political Parties Chairman and political leader of the Alternative National Congress (ANC), Alexander B. Cummings while on a political tour in Grand Gedeh a few months ago, is anything to go by. There, the angry citizens had accused Kolubah of insulting President Weah and therefore told him and his political leader not to hold any political rally in “our County”.
In response to Sokan’s support, Representative Pennue acknowledged that he knows the political weight of Mr. Sokan and receiving his support is a plus in ensuring that he becomes the senator-elect after December 8. He wholeheartedly welcomed the support of Sokan and said they are in the struggle together as they ensure that the CDC led government succeeds in its development agenda.