Citizens of Buutuo, Nimba County have overwhelmingly petitioned Mr. Nya Twayen, Jr, a son of the county to contest for the senate in 2023.
Buutuo is a border town in Nimba that served as launching pad for the December 24, 1989 rebel invasion of Liberia.
Mr. Twayen is opting to replace incumbent Senator Prince Yormie Johnson, who is seeking a third (9-year) term to perhaps become the longest-serving senator in the history of the Liberian Senate.
Twayen’s senatorial journey kicked off in the historic town on Saturday, 30 April when elders, women, youth, and citizens from all walks of life petitioned the former deputy director-general of NASSCORP to enter the race.
The petitioners believe that he is the suitable alternative to the self-proclaimed political godfather of Nimba in the pending election.
In the official petition read by Madam Regina Laqua, the citizens said: “We the people of Buutuo Township have hereby resolved to petition Mr. Nya D. Twayen, Jr, a son of Nimba to contest for the senatorial seat of Nimba County in the coming 2023 general and presidential elections in the Republic of Liberia.”
According to them, their aim for reposing confidence in Mr. Twayen is because they believe he is capable enough to alleviate them from abject poverty and high level of ill-literacy.
The citizens also described him as a selfless son of the soil’ exemplified by his numerous contributions towards meeting their various needs through his Nya D. Twayen, Jr Foundation.
The citizens said they are of a strong belief that electing Mr. Twayen will unify the people of Nimba in spite of their ethnic diversity.
At the occasion, they bestowed upon him a traditional name called “Sēh-Zøhn” which when interpreted means “A man who holds the land [Nimba] dear to his heart.”
The aspirant was also gowned and decorated with several gifts by women groups, elders, youth.
Responding to the petition, Mr. Twayen, who is also a former Assistant Minister for Youth Services at the Ministry of Youth and Sports, wholeheartedly accepted the petition to contest for the senate next year, saying that he was exceedingly overwhelmed by the trust reposed in him by his kinsmen.
He said, “Today, Buutuo is about to make history again. On December 24th, 1989, a little over 33 years ago, a revolution was launched through this same region. Whether that change was positive or not…Buutuo still remains an integral part of our [national] history. Today, the 30th of April 2022, you the people of Nimba County through the people of Buutuo have launched another revolution.”
He said it is a revolution that will not only liberate the people of Nimba, but one that will deliver development, unity, and prosperity.
“The great people of Buutuo, our elders, our young people, and [Nimba] citizens abroad and home, I hereby accept your petition to run for senator in the upcoming 2023 general elections. I promise you the people of Nimba from the bottom of my heart that I’ll not let you down.”
He also promised to promote unity in the county when elected senator, saying I’ll make sure to reconcile us. There’ll be no Mano [Mahn] Nimba or Gio [Dan] Nimba…we’ll have one big and United Nimba.”
Following the petitioning by citizens of Buutuo on Saturday, other towns including Gbhanwhea, Beeplay, Gbloulay which is the historic hometown of one of Nimba’s highly recognized political figure, the late Jackson F. Doe on Sunday, May 1, 2022, endorsed the senatorial bid of Twayen.
Buutuo (Buu-Yao) has been noted as one of Senator Johnson’s primary strongholds in the past two elections that have brought and kept the former warlord in power.
Situated in Buu-Yao District #5, Nimba County, the region has been noted as a kingmaker, owing to citizens’ uniformity and sincerity when it comes to supporting individuals during political season.
The entire District #5 is dubbed as the electoral college of Nimba due to its overwhelming population.
The petitioning of Twayen by citizens in Senator Johnson’s own backyard presents obviously a huge boost for the aspirant but signals a serious threat to the third term bid of incumbent Senator Johnson for the fact that the district hosts his [Senator Johnson’s] native hometown, Yor-Gomanplay. Editing by Jonathan Browne