Former Internal Affairs Minister and ex-senatorial candidate Dr. Henrique F. Tokpa reflects on the 2014 senatorial dispute with now Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor, four years after he won the case at the Supreme Court, but gave up his right to re-contest for the seat against Jewel.
“Many of us know that in 2014, I was in a heated race or the senatorial race; it was declared that I lost. I challenged the result up to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court ruled in my favor but for the peace in Bong County, for the peace of our people; given the information that I heard, what could have happened at that poll, I decided to wave that election. And I said in my faith, for peace in Bong County I will not re-contest even though I won the Supreme Court case but I will not contest because I want peace in the county. I was not going to sacrifice anybody blood just because I wanted to be a senator. I did not want to be a senator for disunified county”, Dr. Tokpa explains in at recent forum in Bong County.
Serving as a guest speaker in Sanoyea, Lower Bong County recently the former Internal Affairs boss maintains that he let go everything between him and former senator Jewel Howard Taylor for the sake of peace and the people of Bong.
According to him, given the information he gathered about what could have happened at the poll, and taking into consideration that he needed not to share blood to win or lead a disunified county, he decided to forget about everything.
He had challenged results of the poll from several precincts in electoral district#7 citing irregularities at Sanoyea Market, Yarbayeh Public School and Bletenda Palava Hut, respectively in lower Bong County.
The National Elections commission upheld the results, but Dr. Tokpa sought an appeal at the Supreme Court.
However, weeks after the Supreme Court issued its order for a re-run, Dr. Tokpa announced his withdrawal from the re-run saying, he only wanted to prove that there were irregularities that denied him the chances of winning.
That crucial re-run election paved the way for Madam Jewel Howard Taylor, who was seeking re-election, to ascend to the nation’s highest office after her ex-husband (former President Charles Ghankay Taylor’s) National Patriotic Party or NPP collaborated with the Congress for Democratic Change or CDC and the Liberian People Democratic Party or LPDP to form the Coalition for Democratic Change or CDC, which won the 2017 presidential election going as running mate to George Manneh Weah and eventually emerging as Liberia’s next Vice President.
Dr. Tokpah had already declared his intention to contest the upcoming Bong County Senatorial by-election, joining what is becoming a crowded field of candidates against former Superintendent Selena Polson Mappy, ex-Ambassador Jeremiah Sulunteh, Emmanuel Lomax, and Attorney James Syabay, among others.
The upcoming senatorial by-elections are for two vacancies in the Senate created by the election of Senators George Weah of Montserrado County as President and Jewel Howard Taylor of Bong County as Vice President, respectively of the Republic of Liberia.
By Ramsey N. Singbeh, Jr. in Margibi-Editing by Jonathan Browne