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UP, Alliances reject Boakai’s appointments in Margibi

-Petition senate to halt confirmation of nominees

Ruling Unity party local chapter and alliance parties reject President Boakai’s nominees for local government positions. 

By Ramsey N. Singbeh, Jr., Margibi County

Margibi, Liberia, May 21, 2024—The mainstream leadership of the ruling Unity Party and several of its alliances, including institutions and individuals in Margibi County, have rejected President Joseph Nyuma Boakai’s recent appointments of local officials and written to the Liberian Senate not to confirm those nominees, citing many reasons.

A copy of the aggrieved UP partisans and alliances’ communication to the Senate dated May 13, 2024, lists four major counts against all sixteen nominees.

The nominees include county development officer, county administrative officer, commissioners, city mayors, and other positions recently filled by the President to form part of the local government of Margibi.

The disenchanted signatories are Unity Party County Mainstream Leadership, Margibi Rescue Mission Alliance Political Parties Leadership, Unity Party Margibi County Stakeholders & Elder Council Leadership, and the Unity Party Margibi County Auxiliary Council Leadership.

Others include Margibi Women Leadership Representations, Margibi Rescue Alliance Motorcyclists Leadership Representations, and Margibi Religious Community Leadership Representations.

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An excerpt of the letter reads: “That there has been series of disenchantments that have led to a mass citizens’ protest and street gathering in both upper and lower Margibi surrounding the President’s recent April 17, 2024 Nominations of Local County Officials to Margibi County of which we believe doesn’t reflect the full representation of the Unity Party, the Alliance Collaborating Political Parties, and people of Margibi County.”

The communication also says there is growing tension in the county surrounding the controversial list of presidential nominees to the local government structure of the county for which they, as stakeholders, elders, auxiliary group leaders, and even Local Party Leaders of UP-Margibi and the Rescue Mission Alliance Collaborating Political Parties of Margibi County have decided to officially write this joint petition statement to the Senate and the legislative caucus of the county, seeking quick intervention in the matter through able use of its legislative functions on oversight and representation to bring the Margibi County Local Leadership matter to a logical conclusion that will restore peace and harmony amongst the people.

They also disclosed that evidence in their possession has proven that the list of nominees submitted to President Boakai for appointment to local government officials was deceitfully made in the name of the UP Margibi County Chapter Local Leadership without the knowledge, consent, and approval of the party’s local leadership in the County.

The UP and its alliances also stated that Margibi County’s politics is a long-standing traditional politics that takes into account geopolitical, religious, tribal, and regional inclusion before electing or appointing local and national leaders to ensure a smooth balance of power that reflects the full representation of the people in local and national government.

Claiming reliability, the groups informed Senate President Pro-Tempore Nyonblee Karnga Lawrence that the list of sixteen presidential nominees currently before her was secretly, falsely, selfishly, and unilaterally done in Monrovia and submitted to the President by the Unity Party National Vice Chair for Governmental Affairs Ben A. Fofana, a former representative of Margibi County District #: 4 and his team on behalf of the local party leadership.

 They noted that it didn’t meet the approval, input, and inclusion of the Unity Party Local Leadership within the County, nor did it meet the consent and approval of the county’s elders and stakeholders and the Rescue Alliance Collaborating Political Parties of Margibi County, which supported the government coming to power.

They described Mr. Fofana’s action as undermining and divisive, a recipe for stirring up the county’s conflict.

“Honourable Pro-Tempore, since this matter is a local government matter and we elected you people to serve as our direct representation in central government to ensure our views are heard and our concerns are adequately addressed, through your oversight and representation, we have therefore seen it needful in the best interest of our county and people, to petition you officially and the Honourable House of Senate to deny and or reject said controversial lists of presidential nominees for confirmation to calm down the growing tension in Margibi County,” the communication further reads.

The disappointed partisans maintained that they seek kind and timely consideration through their humble request and petition against the controversial list of presidential nominees.

They want the matter to be sent back to the county for all parties involved to sit on a round table to draw out a comprehensive list for submission to the President that will reflect the full representation of the people within the local government structure of the county to restore calm to the county.

Meanwhile, this paper has a letter written under the signatures of the Chairlady of the Unity Party in Margibi and Mr. Ben A Fofana on April 23, 2024, to Deputy Minister for Administration of the Ministry of States for Presidential Affairs Cornelia Kruah Togba requesting the swapping of nominees.

A portion of the letter says, “Therefore, we recommend the swapping of B. Lewis Kaine is the county Development officer, who is more experienced in this area with a Degree in Economics, while Togea Samu Zarwea serves as county Administrative Officer with over ten (10) years of administrative Experience and Qualifications.” 

The letter also recommended that James Ketter be swapped for Samuel N. Y. Ketter as Cinta Township Commissioner.

In a related development, Margibi County Senator James Emmanuel Nuquay, while making his legislative report in the county recently, stressed a need for the senate’s leadership to look into the complaint in consultation with the county’s legislative caucus as well. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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