By Hannah N. Geterminah and Lisa Lumeh
Montserrado County senatorial candidate, Jamima H. K. Wolokolie, has described women as the bedrock of a society and as such, they need equal representation with their male counterparts at the decision-making table.
In a special interview highlighting women’s participation in politics, Wolokolie claims “Women are more transparent; less corrupt and do things differently.”
Without stating directly what her goals for going to the Senate are, the female senatorial candidate expressed that she has come into the race to ensure that women have equal opportunities with the men, citing historical statistics since the establishment of Liberia in 1847, men have always played the leadership role of the country but with nothing substantial done to move Africa’s oldest independent state forward.
Madam Wolokollie, whose political opinion only reflected the long duration of men in power, did not take into consideration the two terms of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf that saw more women in top government positions and the worst corruption reports came out.
“I have decided to come into this race to add my voice to the voice of Senator Nyonblee Karngar Lawrence who happens to be the only female senator in the upper house”, Wolokolie stressed. Senator Karngar Lawrence herself is contesting in Grand Bassa County with other challengers who are also politically potential to kick her out of the Senate.
Wolokolie, a candidate on the ticket of the Movement for One Liberia (MOL), headed by its political leader MacDella Cooper, told the Daily Observer that a single female among men in the Senate cannot succeed unless there are other females added to make the voices of women heard.
She said if democracy must prevail in Liberia, the citizens must show to the world on December 8, 2020 during the special senatorial election by electing more females at the highest decision-making table which will give them equal opportunities with men.
Wolokolie said after realizing that there was a need for women representation at the Legislature; she pushed forward young women at the level of the Congress for Democratic Change where she formerly served as an executive member.
“I realized over some years ago that women needed more representation in the Senate and that is why I have been the ‘King Maker’. This means, I have sat in the background pushing the young people at the front in my old party (CDC). People like the late Geraldine Doe Sheriff and Hannah Grant Bryant were elevated through my effort and they represented the country well,” Wolokolie told Daily Observer.
She promised to bring more women to prominence if she becomes the next Senator for Montserrado County, adding that it has been her dream to have women at the decision-making table.
About Wolokolie’s Platform
Disclosing her platform to Daily Observer, Wolokolie named Women’s empowerment and protection, and drastic punishment for rapists as some of the issues she intends to address when elected.
“You need a strong Senator who can actually summon the Gender Ministry because I think if the Gender Ministry were doing its job, they will not be there while children are raped”, she said.
As part of her role, if she gets to the Senate, Wolokolie said she will use her oversight responsibility to ensure that the government accounts for the taxpayers’ money.
“The reason why most people do not go to court but believe in mob justice is that they do not get proper redress from the various courts.”
Giving an example, Wolokolie said, “If you take a case to the court, you have to pay the sheriff to go and arrest the person, and if you get to the court, you have to buy papers and different things.”
“I do not blame the court much because if there were right budgetary allotments for the various courts, it could be better,” she noted.
According to Wolokolie, one of the reasons the society turns violent is “people taking the laws into their hands.”
“Those people do not get the necessary redress and, as a result, society turns violent, people taking the laws into their hands to accomplish their desire for justice.”
She said the Rule of Law (justice and peace) must be adhered to and should not be applied only to the poor.
“What makes America great today is because Justice is blind. Justice has no eyes. Justice sees no one, and justice belongs to the rich and poor”, Wolokolie stressed.
The candidate also named Youth Empowerment and Skills development as one of the key issues on her platform. She said it is because Liberia has a youthful and vibrant society.
“Youth cannot graduate from college or high school and do not have a cadet job to do. When we were growing up, we did vacation jobs.”
“We should have more than one trade school in Liberia. With this, we can send people there to learn a trade,” she said.