By Emmanuel wise Jipoh
Gbarpolu County Senator-elect Amara Konneh has revealed how he rejected an opportunity to serve as Vice running mate to President George Weah on the ticket of the Coalition for Democratic Change in 2017 (CDC) something he said could have led to a complete disaster in the country if he had not managed his ambition for power, when the offer came to him 2017.
Speaking at his residence in Congo Town Friday, 8 November shortly after he received his certification as Gbarpolu County Senator-elect, the former Finance Minister said he declined the opportunity because he didn’t want to betray former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, for whom he had worked for over the years, regarding her as his political mother, and a person he had worked so hard for setting up all her administration policies and programs, so he couldn’t be a betrayal of her trust.
“In 2017, I supported the CDC and I was supposed to be President George Weah’s Vice President; my good friend, Nathaniel McGill, and President Weah came here and asked me to be his vice-running mate and I said no, because I didn’t want to be a betrayal,” Konneh disclosed.
He explained how he met with the CDC leader at his Rehab home in Paynesville, and in the meeting, the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) persuaded him to become Vice Presidential Candidate to Mr. Weah, to remove current Vice President Chief Dr. Jewel- Howard- Taylor, but he persistently rejected their plea.
“I met with President Weah, and he said Konneh, you are good; come let’s work together, come and be my Vice President because you’re clever and have the potential and I said No” because I couldn’t betray Madam Sirleaf.”
Konneh continued that he had informed the CDC, to get Madam Sirleaf’s consultation, and if she agreed he could consider their offer. “I said no because, in life, you got to manage your ambitions. So, I told them to go to the old ma, and if she agreed, I will consider; they went and held the meeting, saying they wanted to produce the First Muslim Vice President, and my people here will ask why I rejected the opportunity because in Life you got to manage your ambition, I didn’t want to be greedy and cause disaster, allow my friends, my family to suffer,” Konneh, intoned.
According to him, he was in Washington D.C, when Madam Sirleaf called him “and said what I make of the offer and I should come down, so we could discuss. Therefore, per her instructions, I came from Washington, and she explained to me what the offer was, that she was leaving the picture as President and the future of this country would last in our hands.”
In furtherance, the former Finance Minister explained how he rejected the CDC request because he didn’t want calamity,” saying that when Madam Sirleaf asked me, Konneh, my son, why you wouldn’t want this offer and I told her Mommy, the man who you entrusted and did all your programs to go stand at the ATS, Voijama, Tubmanburg and condemned you, abuse you and she said no” so I told her those people are opposition and their work is to oppose and condemn, therefore, I wouldn’t be part of it to castigate and betray you”, he narrates.
The newly certificated senator highlighted another reason why he refused the offer because he didn’t want to go against the women of Liberia, and to break the Bong County tie with the CDC, something, he said could have led to consequences.
“I didn’t want to go against women, because the woman who is there, Jewel, if they remove her and put me there, the women of Liberia will get vexed and I didn’t want it. Secondly, she’s from Bong County and Bong County is a big county here, connected to almost every part of Liberia – Gbarpolu, Lofa, Bassa, and even Montserrado. So, if you take their daughter from there, they’ll get vexed and say you’ve removed their daughter and put your son there, because you have done bad and want me to protect you, which isn’t true and the people of Bong County will move from behind the party, while CDcians will get mad and burnt down our houses, even kill us, and our supporters will retaliate, and there will be casualties, which isn’t the right way to get power,” Konneh, explained.
According to him, despite his rejection, he still supported the CDC and ensured that they were successful during the 2017 Presidential election.
“I supported them, I helped with strategies, we generated funding and we won the election, but when they got power, CDC betrayed me; they treated me wrongly.”
He slams the Weah-led government for being ungrateful and abusive of power, using it to denigrate the Unity Party and the Ellen Johnson- Sirleaf- led regime, then rather focusing on what they could do for Liberia.
“We thought that the children from the slum communities, the poor people children when we give them power in this country, they could think of where they came from and bring development, but they betrayed us and tried to use all of the six years given them to denigrate us,” Konneh asserted.
At the same time, he commends the people of Gbarpolu for allowing him to serve as their Senator, vowing to do all to ensure the country receives focus in terms of development.
“I want to thank all of you for taking your chances with me, you didn’t mind the small tribe I’ve come from but you voted for me in bags, and I can assure you of a better Gbarpolu. What you’ve done is remarkable in Liberian politics, and I want Liberia to know, if you want to learn about inclusive politics, come to Gbarpolu, Konneh brags, while pledging his commitment to protecting the culture of the county.
“Let me assure you, that I’m a culture man and my name is Sumo, so I want you to know, I will be the custodian of our culture”, he promises. Editing by Jonathan Browne