Will Korkoya Go?

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Opposite the main entrance of the NEC, LNP Deputy for Operations, Abraham Kromah, attempts a peaceful dispersal of the women demanding the NEC chairman's resignation

Two-day protest at NEC headquarters joins the clamor for NEC chairman’s resignation

For two days running, a group of protesters, predominantly women, led by renowned Liberian songstress Miatta Fahnbulleh, have gathered near the headquarters of the National Election Elections Commission (NEC) demanding the resignation of its chairman, Jerome George Korkoya, ahead of the proposed December 26 runoff election.

But,  will Korkoya go?

The answer to this hypothetical question remains a challenge not only for the protesters but for many other Liberians including President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf who hired Korkoya to preside over one of the nation’s foremost integrity institutions.

As was expected, the Police led by Deputy Inspector General for Operations, Col. Abraham Kromah, made a strong show of force apparently to deter the protesters from blocking entrances to the NEC headquarters as they had done on the previous day.

Col. Kromah informed the group that according to their mandate no one or group(s) is allowed to stage a demonstration at the NEC headquarters, most especially when the demonstration threatens to hamper the free movement of people and the operations of the Commission.

But rather than using force to disperse the protesters, the Police opted to engage in dialogue  to persuade them to relocate from the front entrance of the Commission on 9th Street to 10th, almost directly in front of a local Chinese owned hotel where they could continue to freely exercise their right of peaceful assembly. The protesters complied although with great reluctance.

Addressing the media after their relocation, the group’s coordinator, Miatta Fahnbulleh, reading from a prepared text, said Korkoya must resign before the runoff election is held: “Standing up for ‘Mama Liberia,’ we the women of Liberia, represented by diverse groups across party, religious and political affiliations, being concerned about the peace and security of our country, especially a conducive environment in which Liberians can elect their president and vice president without any fear or favor, we call on Her Excellency Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to ensure the removal of Jerome Korkoya as chairman of the National Elections Commission.”

Madam Fahnbulleh said the full implementation by the NEC of the Supreme Court’s eight-count mandate before the runoff election is a critical concern motivating her group’s protest before the Commission’s headquarters.

“We believe that the failure of the NEC to adhere to our call will not only taint the hard-earned peace we fought for, the legacy of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for being the first female president of Liberia and Africa, but will also create an insecure atmosphere and expose us, our children and families to unnecessary fear and instability,” she said.

The group displayed placards with slogans such as “NEC DA NA YOUR PA FARM,” “This Election is our future,” “Korkoya must go,” “Korkoya, Liberian people don’t trust you,” “Korkoya must resign,” “Ellen, save our country from Korkoya,” “Korkoya you are not fair,” “Go Now Korkoya,” “Korkoya lacks credibility” and “Go Korkoya Go,” among others.

The protesters expressed their preparedness to defy all odds and continue to press for Korkoya’s removal to allow the NEC to proceed with the implementation of the Supreme Court’s mandate without further problems.

A young woman  who appeared so agitated by Korkoya hanging on at the NEC, said her motivation to join the protest was because of people having multiple voter cards. “My quest is that Jerome Korkoya must resign. He has violated the Liberian Constitution which says each voter is entitled to one voting card, but to the contrary, people were caught having multiple voting cards. How can one man have five voting cards and think that it is not a threat to democracy? We want Korkoya to go,” Mardea David contended.

She further warned that if Korkoya does not heed to their peaceful protest, they will use other means to have their objective accomplished. Although she did not say what other means will be used, Ms. David noted that Korkoya should not underestimate them. “Let him know that President Sirleaf will not always protect him. He will not preside over our runoff election. He must go,” she insisted.

When contacted for reaction to the protesters’ demand, the NEC Director of Communications, Henry Flomo, said it is the right of the people to assemble and make demands, including the resignation of a public official, but it is also the right of the official to stay put when all indications prove that he or she has not violated any law.

“I think the chairman is still functioning within the confines of the law. He has the right to stay on because the protesters’ demand is yet to prove anything that warrants his resignation,” Flomo said.

Author

  • David S. Menjor is a Liberian journalist whose work, mainly in the print media has given so much meaning to the world of balanced and credible mass communication. David is married and interestingly he is also knowledgeable in the area of education since he has received some primary teacher training from the Kakata Rural Teacher Training Institute (KRTTI). David, after leaving Radio Five, a broadcast media outlet, in 2016, he took on the challenge to venture into the print media affairs with the Dailly Observer Newspaper. Since then he has created his own enviable space. He is a student at the University of Liberia.

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David S. Menjor is a Liberian journalist whose work, mainly in the print media has given so much meaning to the world of balanced and credible mass communication. David is married and interestingly he is also knowledgeable in the area of education since he has received some primary teacher training from the Kakata Rural Teacher Training Institute (KRTTI). David, after leaving Radio Five, a broadcast media outlet, in 2016, he took on the challenge to venture into the print media affairs with the Dailly Observer Newspaper. Since then he has created his own enviable space. He is a student at the University of Liberia.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Why is the president keeping this incompetent and arrogant man at NEC when it has been proven that he is not upcapable of handling this crucial job? I am getting to believe the rumors that president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf put Jerome Korkoyah at the NEC to cheat for the opposition coalition for Democratic change, because she is afraid that a Boikai government would prosecute her for corruption.
    Ma Ellen, you got name oh, you’re the “iron Lady”, prove it.

  2. What Mr. Kokoya is doing is perhaps in the best interest of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Her intention is to make sure that her Vice President is defeated by CDC. Why would President Sirleaf still have a man like Kokoya whom the people have lost credibility with? He is being remote controlled by the President who appointed him to this position despite public outcry to remove him. This president is not moved by public sentiments. It is the same way President Sirleaf refused to remove Education Minister despite his inexperience to effectively run the ministry.Mr. Kokoya is not going anywhere as long he is backed and supported by the president.

  3. Why not let the process interpreted by the highest court set forth before acting crazy. Find something to do until the time to run-off. Eat, cook, sell, work, go marry, sleep, or find something to do until it is time to vote or not vote. You should be canvassing for either of the candidates or abstaining. In as you have a right to protest, you cannot infringe upon the right of votes and abstinences. No one cares about NEC or its pallet chair. Neither do any interest..will not spoil legacy or peaceful atmosphere if each trouble maker stays within the confines of their jurisdiction. The nation’s final law about the run off has been decided and the Presidential silent 57% control in action will carry out the executive function set by constitutional provisions. Your incumbent has just 34% power left in and noting in her box enough for herself. She can dismiss or keep in any Official she put in, it will not have any connection to time to leave or the people’s options. Her leaving the President seat for the next President to sit down got nothing to do with her going-out time This cannot stop the run-off. Commissions obviously, as part of the Executive branch of the Liberian government, send in writing the completion of the Process to the Highest court and you will hear the announcement on time in keeping with constitutional time. The election run-off has a chamber in the majority, automated in the majority, and awaits to be finalized in the majority. To sustain Liberian democracy, We must have security, stability, equality, tranquility, for peace and prosperity in the majority. Do not wait until the silent majority commands you to get in the majority. You need your as well as I need my freedom of choice. So, let us all get there and find the actual factual count of the President of the Republic of Liberia in peace. No fighting, no touching, no fussing. When the time comes, to get in the voting booth only God, you and the box to put the ballet in and to leave the scene to go back to what you doing. Speaking Liberian. If you cannot understand my own, ask another Liberian. Or pay something to.
    Do not worry with trouble makers, the spy spying them. Liberians will handle their own peace in peace.
    Gone to do something else. Do not answer my box.

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