A ‘Strange Sunrise’ in Politics

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"A Strange Sunrise in Eden" was the theme which the Rev. Toimu A. Reeves, Pastor of Providence Baptist Church, the nation's oldest church, chose for his sermon on the Sunday following a Rice Riots on April 14, 1979.

It was a captivating theme that many who listened to that powerful, prophetic preacher's sermon remembered.

The celebrated Liberian footballer, James Salinsa Debbah's decision to switch from Liberty Party (LP) to the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) has nothing to do with April 14.  But his sudden switch was, like that fateful date in Liberian history, most certainly surprising–and strange. Remember that during the 2005 presidential campaign Salinsa courageously, and to the surprise of many, spoke out against the presidential bid of his football colleague, George Weah, declaring, as eventually did the majority of  Liberians,  that Weah was "unfit" for the presidency.

Debbah threw his weight behind Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, though he later joined Liberty Party, whose standard bearer was his fellow Bassonian, Charles Walker Brumskine.  During the 2005 campaign, however, Debbah, due to his football popularity, swayed many youth to Ellen' side.  It is possible that he may have remained with Ellen's Unity Party (UP) had she offered him a good position in government, such as Minister of Youth and Sports.

As one began reading  Observer Roving  Correspondent Leroy Sonpon's Tuesday story announcing Debbah's sudden switch to the CDC, one could not help but guess that it was all pure politics, and that something grand was afoot (going on).  For these things don't just happen for nothing.

Surely enough, later on in the story came the bombshell: Debbah has senatorial ambitions and became angry with his party, (LP), for sidelining him in favor of House of Representatives Member Jeh Byron
Brown to be the senatorial candidate in the forthcoming legislative elections!

Debbah has now developed confidence in the mass appeal of Weah's CDC, believing that it can help him win the Bassa senatorial seat currently being held by the President Pro-Tempore of the Senate, Gbezohngar Findley.

Herein then lies another definitive affirmation of the historic political dictum, "Politics makes strange bedfellows." Weah, whom Debbah rejected in 2005, has now become Debbah's political ally in his bid for the senate seat.

Can Debbah or Jeh Byron Brown win the incumbent, who has become the most powerful person in the Senate? That is for people of Grand Bassa to decide.  In this forthcoming election, they must determine   who would better and more effectively serve their interests–a senatorial novice, who will now be Junior Senator to the newly elected Senator Nyonblee Karnga Lawrence or Findley, who has been in the Senate since 2006, rising in seniority to assume the most powerful position of leader of the whole place?  Bassonians will have to decide whether to settle for a beginner, who will now become the county's new Junior Senator, or whether they will vote to hold on to their overwhelming Senate seniority, which Grand Bassa has not enjoyed since Charles Walker Brumskine during the Taylor administration and Edwin A. Morgan during the Tubman era.

The people of Grand Bassa will also have to decide whether Senator Findley has been good for them or whether the time has come to try someone else.

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