By Kadiker Rex Dahn, MA, M.Ed, PhD
In 2020, Nimba County like the other 14 counties will be going to the poll to reelect or remove incumbent senator.
In Nimba County, Senator Thomas Grupee will be seeking reelection, and in doing so will justify to the people of the county why he should be retained. There are other potential citizens in the county, who likely may participate in the senatorial election. Namely: Superintendent David Dorr Cooper, Madam Edith Gongloe-Weh, Mr. Taa Wongbae, Representative Jeremiah Koung, and former Senator Adolphus Dolo.
Some of these potential contenders are fine sons and daughter, who in their own rights are prepared to lead the county. What is so disturbing is because of transactional politics, Senator Johnson has made a public declaration that Rep. Koung is his choice for the senatorial election.
I will argue in this article that Senator Johnson is very wrong for his public declaration because, if Koung does not win, Nimba County’s development initiatives will be impeded in that the winner, and Prince Johnson will be in conflict with each other. We simply ask Prince Johnson to be a referee during the 2020 senatorial election in Nimba County.
According to the Daily Observer January 28, 2019 edition under the captioned, “PYJ Picks Koung against Grupee in 2020 Senatorial Election,” Senator Johnson claimed that since Grupee became a senator, “no benefit to the County, because he has nothing to point to as development initiatives.”
Let me be emphatic here: I am not the campaign chairman or spoke person for any of the potential candidates mentioned above, or is it a deliberate effort to promote them against Prince Johnson’s interest.
Equally so, I will not tolerate Senator Johnson, because of transactional politics to denigrate and undermine efforts made by any citizen in the County. I am an intellectual, and all concerned parties and citizens of Nimba know my impartial role in the County.
Senator Johnson’s attacks on Senator Grupee on grounds that Grupee has done no development in the county is a malicious lie, distortion of the fact, and a concocted conspiracy embedded in Senator Johnson’s love for transactional politics.
When Prince Johnson speaks of Grupee not doing development in the County, is he simply talking about Grupee’s inability to give him money for his personal projects in Ganta? I am convinced that this is Prince Johnson’s motive, because looking at the two senators, Prince Johnson’s activities and performances both in Nimba and at the Senate cannot be compared to Grupee. Senator Johnson as a senator for 15 years.
In Nimba County, Senator Johnson has one investment, which is his building that he calls ‘polytechnic’ in Ganta. Though built in Nimba, earnings from that ‘polytechnic’ go directly into his personal pocket. The ‘polytechnic’ is a private enterprise where the sons and daughters of the County, who intends to enroll there will be charged a required tuition and fees even tough, the ‘polytechnic’ in question was partly erected with funds from the county’s social development funds.
Prince Johnson has served the people of Nimba County for 15 years, and his private initiative, the ‘polytechnic’ is what he has; will it not be prudent, and an honorable thing to turn over the ‘polytechnic’ in question to the people of Nimba since funds used to erect the ‘polytechnic’ are partly from the County’s Social Development Funds?
Reality of this assumption is remote, because the ‘polytechnic’ is Senator Johnson’s private property, thus my contention that Prince Johnson has an investment in Nimba County, and not development.
In the same way, Prince Johnson owns an investment, like his ‘polytechnic,’ so his choice, Jeremiah Koung.
Rep. Koung owns a hospital in Ganta where the sicks go to for treatment, and earning from that hospital goes directly into his personal pocket. Thus, Prince Johnson and Rep. Koung are two business partners, no matter whatever means they obtain their earnings. As a representative of the people, funds for development, intended for the people must be free of charge.
Senator Grupee’s Eight Years
In those eight years, to the best of my knowledge, he has constructed a high school in Gbi and Doru; Presidential Palace in Tappita; Elders’ Compound in Karnplay; A clinic in Yao Tiaplay and contributed to the construction of the Conference Hall in Yao Nanlah.
Not only has Senator Grupee constructed infrastructures, he has also provided 75 scholarships to students at the Nimba County Community College in Sanniquellie and 50 students from various universities and colleges in Monrovia.
If these are some of the developments, and not investments, Senator Grupee has made in Nimba County and yet Senator Johnson is claiming that Grupee has done no development in the County, what does that say about Prince Johnson?
It clearly points to Senator Johnson’s deception and distortion embedded in transactional politics for personal enrichment.
It is alleged that Rep. Koung donated 300 bags of cement and US$8,000 to Prince Johnson for his ‘polytechnic.’ Slots allegedly given to Prince Johnson to incorporate his citizens into the Government of President Weah were allegedly sold by Senator Johnson.
Eleven names of Nimba citizens (Dr. Arthur Karnuah, Gbor Phil Tougbay, Gonlee Sehgren, Jackson Paye, Yarsuo Weh-Dorliae, etc. submitted to President Weah by Senator Grupee for appointment were blocked by Senator Johnson.
It is also alleged that the only ministerial position occupied by a Nimbaian, the occupant paid US$10,000 as a recommendation fees. Thus, when the citizens of the County are not in their numbers as compare to previous government, Senator Prince Johnson is culpable, and not President Weah. This is the same Prince Johnson who is claiming that Senator Grupee has no mark in the County.
Bizarre Allegation against Superintendent Dorr Cooper
Another bizarre comment from Prince Johnson was that Superintendent Dorr Cooper constructed a hotel, and that a hotel will be used for committing fornication and adultery. This is an informed and lazy argument. Before the construction of his house in Ganta, Senator Johnson used to sleep in hotels in Ganta.
He frequently travels to Nigeria where he sleeps in hotels. Are those his activities when he was in the hotels in Ganta or in Nigeria? Jeremiah Koung equally have a hotel. If hotels are used for fornication and adultery, are those not being done in Koung’s hotel?
Prince Johnson is on record using indecent words against Rep. Koung, his choice and Koung equally so, is on record with nasty words against Senator Johnson. It is about time that someone, who claims to be a leader behaves like an honorable man.
Conclusion and recommendations:
Senator Johnson is the political leader and godfather of Nimba County. We plead with him to be a referee in the 2020 election because, he is a father to all of those taking part in the election. I do not think that contenders of 2020 senatorial race are afraid of Senator Johnson’s endorsement, because his endorsement of 2017 representative candidates was a disaster. I feel for Senator Johnson because publicly declaring endorsement for another candidate makes him vulnerable to criticisms.
Importantly, if his choice does not win, what will be the relationship with the incoming senator, whom he canvassed against? Nimba County’s legislature is not functional to expectation, because of the same scenario. Senator Johnson canvassed against Representatives Prince Tokpah, Samuel Kogar, Larry Younquoi, Roger Domah, Dorwouan Glekiah, Joseph Sumwabi and Johnson Gwaikolo, but all of them won against his handpicked candidates.
I am convinced his relationships with these lawmakers are not bread and butter, but one of confusion and uncertainty. It is in this light, we appeal to Senator Johnson for the betterment of Nimba County that he remains neutral and serves as a referee.
About the author: Kadiker Rex Dahn holds two masters and a PhD in Historical, Philosophical and Social Foundations of Education from the University of Oklahoma. He formerly served as a Deputy Minister of Education and Deputy Director General, National Commission on Higher Education. He is a member of the North America Scholar Consortium, membership with the Highest Honor. Contact: [email protected]