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Special Feature

The day politics died in Grand Bassa County

Not even the absences of Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine and Senate Pro Tempore Gbenzohngar Milton Findley could dampen the victorious celebrations of the Bassonians. Over the weekend, the port city of Buchanan came alive as thousands of Bassonians and hundreds of other Liberians stormed the city to officially celebrate the county’s end of almost 24 years of trophy drought as far as the annual National County Meet is concerned.

Yes, jubilant moods they were indeed in what was like a trinity-of-celebrations in the port city that began Friday night (January 31, 2014) with the arrival of guests and continued on Saturday, February 1, 2014 with the grand possession through the principle streets unto the under-renovation Doris Williams Stadium and ended on Sunday, February 2, 2014 with the one-one draw football match between the champions and Senior Professionals. Of course, social outings climaxed the celebrations on the city’s nice and beautiful beaches.

In a nutshell, the Bassa celebrations are real indications that politics can cease and probably die for a while despite the diverse political differences the people of Bassa share. With Grand Bassa County’s victory coming at a time when the county, like the other 14 counties, prepares for a crucial senatorial race, the kicking-aside of politics began right at the Samuel Kanyon Doe (SKD) Sports Stadium on January 19, 2014 when the county repeated its historic win over Nimba during a match that pulled the largest crowd ever in National County Meet history (whether pre or post war days). And at the very end of that match, Bassa politicians (lawmakers and aspiring ones and others) went beyond their respective political boundaries and hugged one another before they could probably even realize it.

At least, because of Grand Bassa’s victory, an independent Findley could afford to hug his Liberty Party rivals while others jumped onto the shoulders of those sharing similar but opposing political ambitions. When the Bassa people decided to adequately celebrate their victory two weeks later in their capital city, the political tensions in the county died as if God Almighty had visited the place and everyone needed to show that all was well. It’s no doubt that Bassa politics had been getting deadly weeks leading to the county’s dual championships in football and basketball triumphs. War of words, including some of the worst uncouth words, had been leaving from the mouths of the political missiles of Bassa politicians either eyeing or having an interest in the pending senatorial race few months away.

But on that day, the day when thousands of Bassonians gathered at the Monrovia Junction in Buchanan to begin the grand march while hundreds lined the streets, politics were buried; at least while the celebrations lasted. Even without Brumskine and Findley, the Bassonians celebrated as supporters from both sides probably forgot about their respective political idols. The pair happens to be the county’s current political giants, with each gowning their own line of political generations of loyalists who seem prepare to go extra miles in showing their unflinching loyalties to their respective political godfathers. Oh yes, they stand ready to do anything deadly to each other’s political camp if the “need arises” in protecting their respective political bases.

But certainly, not during those days (from the days their teams qualified for the Monrovia knockout stages) up to last weekend’s celebrations in the county. Others argue that the presence of the pair could have probably changed the environment. Whether it was God’s timely intervention that prevented them from attending, the end result was a very joyous and tolerant celebration from the people of Grand Bassa County who seemed ready to have shown past winners how they (like immediate past winners Grand Cape Mount, Nimba, Bong, others) probably under-celebrated their respective triumphs.

Besides Senator Findley and Representative Mary Kaiwor, the other five Bassa lawmakers including Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence, Deputy Speaker Hans Barchue and Representatives Byron Brown, Gabriel Buchanan Smith and Robertson Siaway all graced the occasion while LPRC’s T. Nelson Williams, II led an array of Monrovia-based Bassonians to include Simeon Freeman, Cllr. TC Gould, LBDI’s John BS Davies, Israel Akinsanya, Levi Deemah, the LNP’s Victor Gboyah, Chris Neyor, James Salinsa Debbah, Sundaygar Dearboy, among others.

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Behind the scene activities in extensive planning leading to Saturday’s successful program saw no political divide when prominent, eminent and ordinary Bassonians to include media personnel, marketers and student representatives joined hands and shared ideas under the T. Nelson Williams led-planning committee. At the end of it all, the theme was crafted and realized: “Two Trophies, One Goal….Bassa First!”

It was also interesting when the acting head of the county’s legislative caucus, Representative Smith, in presenting the trophies to the county, remarked: “By virtue of the level of collaboration and coordination that existed amongst us as members of the Bassa Legislative Caucus, with God above and the support from the county administration and all of our citizens, our elders…. Distinguished people of Grand Bassa County, it is now our humble and singular pleasure to on behalf of the Bassa Legislative caucus, present these trophies over to the peace loving people of Grand Bassa County…. May God bless us”.

Several others not even connected to the county dominant by an apparent group of Monrovia-based social lovers and other lawmakers of the current 53rd National Legislature including Lofa’s Eugene Fallah Kparkar, Nimba’s Matenokay Tingban, and Montserrado’s Acarious Gray didn’t mind the huge inconveniences that characterized the city arising form the overcrowdedness of Buchanan from Friday evening till early Monday morning.

Now, it is clear from the Bassa victory that Bassonians, inspite of all the different political ideologies, can achieve a whole lot more in propelling that great county to higher heights once politics can die for a while just as it did throughout the National County Meet till the county’s victory.  Above it all, it was Bassa who won: “Two Trophies, One Goal….Bassa First!” May Bassa always win so we can always bring out the general good we all share.

At least we have all proudly converted our battle song from ‘A Mu Wa Badian, Deh Wu Ya Yun’ (‘We shall beat them, they shall be shame’) to a victorious one ‘A Na Wa Badian, Deh Na Ya Yun’ (‘We’ve beaten them, they have been made shame’).

Nat Bayjay is a Media Consultant/Communication specialist. He hails from Grand Bassa County and was very instrumental in his county’s County Meet Glory when he served as the media specialist on the Sundaygar Dearboy led Mobilization Committee. He’s reachable on: nbayjay2010@gmail.com/0777-402737.

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