Bong County Politics and Impact on the County’s Unity and Progress: Generally, politics (borrowing from the Greeks) actually means ‘of, for or relating to people/citizens)
It is an art or social science characterizing influences on a civic or individual, wherein more than two people are involved. Modern political discourse everywhere focuses on democracy and the relationship between people and politics. It is thought of or about as the way people “choose government officials, who decision-makers on policies which impact the socio-economic and political growth and development on their constituents..
For us in Central Liberia, especially in Bong County, our situation has, is and will continue to be far different from the reality as referred to by the preceding paragraph, if our minds and attitudes remain the same, in terms of way of making decisions during the process of identifying our political leaders. The sentiments which characterize our choice-making among candidates during electoral processes without any sense of their true identities most often lead us to frustration, especially so when they become insensitive to our region’s aspirations/needs.
Again, ourselves in Bong County are to blame because we always fail to listen to the “voice of reasoning”- that which guides us to making sound political decisions for our own benefits and growth.
Since the 2005 Legislative elections, the people of Bong County continue to express disappointment in their leadership, especially at the level of the Liberian Legislature, in terms of providing guidance and sincere leadership for their county’s over-all development with the availability of the county and social development funds. And I must admit that one impact of such funds was the face-lift given the City of Gbarnga and a few other district headquarters with the inspiration of the President of Liberia. Who visited the county sometimes twice or thrice a week to ensure the full implementation of the various projects earmarked for the 2010 July 26 Independence Celebrations.
Up to and following the 2011 electoral process, personal achievements propelled by ‘politricks’, including underling/back-biting, usurpation of county administration functions by some legislators, as well as harassment of contractors, among others continue to characterize Bong County politics to the detriment of the majority .
As the mid-term Senatorial election in 2014 approaches, Bong County politics is again threading on the same dangerous path with little notice by the population. Other than focusing on their achievements in the past for the county as a way of convincing the people of Bong County to base their decision on such achievements, a few politicians have begun engaging in castigative and meekie-mouth politics against institutions and individuals, whose contributions to the socio-economic well-being are well visible.
Such reference is to the County’s Senior Senator and former wife of former President Charles Ghankay Taylor, who has been representing Bong County at the highest level of the Liberian Legislature for the last eight years. Senator Taylor and an insignificant number of individuals have been verbally attacking the Cuttington University in Suacoco, threatening to ensure that support from the national government, through the level of the Liberian Legislature is either withdrawn or reduced because, according to them, the President of the University, Dr. Henrique F. Tokpa, was using funds intended for the institutions to pursue his political agenda for next year’s mid-term senatorial election.
Whether Senator Taylor’s continuous threat against Cuttington University-the highest learning institution in the Central region of Liberia, is because of Dr. Tokpa’s perceived political ambition or her fear of the political weight if he should have can be a justifiable reason for pursuing such negative objective, I am of the strongest conviction that the Honorable senator is threading a very dangerous political path.
As a former student (1986-1989 at the undergraduate level) of Cuttington University and citizen of Bong County just as Senator Taylor (at the master’s level), I am fully aware that the University is governed by a Board of Trustees, and should there be any official information about Dr. Tokpa’s political ambition, decision regarding his status with the institution would have, by now been made.
Cuttington University as an institution has a policy which guide against national politics, and if Dr, Tokpa had, in any way, violated such principle, its Board would have made him to resign. This is, unfortunately, what Madam Taylor seems to be all confused about, and has chosen such a negative campaign against the institution- something that may not necessarily favor her in pursuing her second-term goal.
In my mind, the Honorable Senator may just be play the role of the mother who would prefer the “death of the baby” as opposed to the other who would want her take possession it as a way of resolving its ownership. No one would want to accept Senator Taylor’s position against Cuttington as an alumnus only because she harbors the perception that Dr. Tokpa wants to contest her current position in 2014.
In my mind, Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor’s ambition to succeed herself in next year’s mid-term election must be on the basis of her practical achievements for the 9-years she would have served the people of Bong County as a Senior Senator-and that’s all.
If the people of Bong County, including me, cannot point to any tangible achievements of the Senator Taylor for all of the years she’s been senator of the county, Cuttington University, my alma matter, must be left alone to continue to make its impact on Liberia’s socio-economic and political development, as far as its contributions are concerned.
And if its President, Dr. Henrique F. Tokpa decides to challenge her in whatever she thinks, including next year’s election, he absolutely make such decision in consonance with the University’s policy. Let Mrs. Taylor not jitter over something she has no control over; it is only the people of Bong County the ones to who should be-come 2014.
Part II coming soon
George K. Barpeen, Jr.
Former Student/Cuttington University and Citizen of Bong County