The admittance of newly elected Bong County Senator Dr. Henrique Tokpa into the county legislative caucus has been greeted by serious tension between the office of Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor and Bong County District #6 Representative Moima Briggs-Mensah.
The former Internal Affairs Minister Dr. Tokpa was admitted into the caucus over the weekend after defeating Mrs. Taylor’s candidate Representative Marvi Cole in a senatorial by – election conducted to fill a vacant seat left by the vice president.
Madam Taylor’s Office describes the entire ceremony held to admit Dr. Tokpa into the Bong Legislative Caucus as “disrespect to her office” due to the lawmakers’ alleged failure to invite her during the occasion.
Dr. Tokpa’s admittance to the Caucus in Gbarnga was attended by seven of Bong County’s nine lawmakers.
Defeated ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) senatorial candidate Representative Josiah Marvin Cole (District #3) did not attend the program on grounds that he was not invited.
But Representative Edward Wormen Karfiah (District #5) sent a communication to the program committee about his absence.
Vice President Taylor’s Office alleges that Representative Moima Briggs Mensah allegedly refused to tell the actual time of the program to the Vice President, even though there was no written communication.
Speaking to our Bong County Correspondent during investigation on Monday, 20 August, the Deputy Press Secretary in the office of the Vice President Phillip Sangbeh stated that the Vice President was prepared to attend the program.
But he alleges that the actual time was not given to her by the planning committee.
Mr. Sangbeh states that the advanced team from the Vice President’s office earlier went in Gbarnga to setup things
before her arrival.
According to him, when the Vice President placed telephone call to Representative Mensah, she (Representative Mensah) allegedly told the Vice President that she did not know the time of the program.
When contacted by our Bong County correspondent, Representative Moima Briggs Mensah denied the allegation and stated that she invited the Vice President and actually told her the appropriate time of the program.
According to her, Vice President Taylor’s failure to attend the program was due to the Caucus’ refusal to honor her.
“When I sent the invitation to the Vice President, she told me that we the members of the Caucus should honor her at the admittance program. But I told her that we will do it later because it was not timely for that,” Representative Mensah claims.
According to her, The Vice President was raising issues that since her election as Deputy Head of State, she has not been honored by the Bong Legislative Caucus.
Representative Mensah claims that Vice President Taylor is saying that it is important for the Caucus to honor her.
“Maybe since I told her that we will plan the program for another time that’s what made her not to attend the admittance program,” Representative Mensah concludes.
Our correspondent says it is yet to be seen if the much talked about post election reconciliation process in Bong County will be adhered to, given unfolding political situations in the county since the 2017 polls.
In Bong County, there are persistent misunderstandings between opposition lawmakers and Vice President Taylor and her ruling party CDC lawmakers.
By Joseph Titus Yekeryan in Bong–Edited by Winston W. Parley