By Reuben Sei Waylaun (Monrovia) & Presley Boozahn (Ganta)
A New Republic Newspaper in Monrovia quoting its Correspondent in Nimba County that some citizens of the County who were spoken to regarding the recent selection of Harrison Karnwea by the political leader of the opposition Liberty Party (LP), Charles Brumskine have angrily reacted to this latest political development in the camp of the Liberty Party.
According to report, the pick of Karnwea, who was once a strong pillars of the Unity Party, and former Managing Director of the Forestry Development Authority (FDA), is said to be creating storms in the County with some expressing disappointment while others expressed support, describing it as a perfect tick.
Callers of a local talkshow program (Gompa Talk) on Radio Kergheamahn took different lines in dissecting the ticket, describing it as ‘disappointment and a mismatch.’ The callers, according to our reporter in Ganta, weighed in on the alleged selfish life style of Cllr. Brumskine as well as Karnwea’s alleged failure at Cocopa Rubber plantation and as superintendent coupled with his alleged ‘dictatorial’ style.
The callers also claimed that Karnwea going as running mate to Brumskine is just a waste of time and energy because he doesn’t have the popularity in the county and has lost respect from the people.
Some callers raised the issue of former Superintendent Edith Gongloe-Weh, who is a daughter of Yarwin-Messohnon and a long time partisan of the Liberty Party. They expressed frustration that she not picked, having been earlier tipped to go as running mate to Brumskine.
Instead of Gongloe-Weh, the callers argued the erudite lawyer picked Mr. Karnwea who they claimed does not have popularity. Besides, the callers considered the preferment of Karnwea to Gongloe-Weh as ‘complete betrayal,’ vowing also to resist the Liberty Party in that part of the county.
He quoted people in street corners, market places and on various radio stations in the county as saying that Karnwea doesn’t have the pedigree of winning electorates to the Liberty party whose leader they claimed is already a failure after losing on two different occasions.
Besides the anti-ticket component of the citizenry, there is a component in favor, meaning that not every citizen believes the Brumskine-Karnwea ticket is less formidable.
The proponents argued that those who against the ticket should be grateful that their son, brother, uncle has been chosen as a running mate and possible Vice President after the October 10, 2017 presidential elections.
In their arguments, the pro-callers claimed that the two men don’t have corruption scars and character problems, noting “they are the right people to lead the country.”
Created as a county in 1964 during the regime of deceased Liberian President William VS Tubman, Nimba County has 17 administrative districts. The county is regarded in Liberia as the theater of politics especially votes in electioneering period in the county.
According to the 2008 National Housing and Population Census by the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS), Nimba County has a population of a little over 462,026.
Of recent, Nimba County has been a political battle ground for politicians especially those vying for the presidency, resulting into many lobbying to get their running mates or influential people from the county on their sides in elections.
Back in 2005, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the Unity Party (UP) received a massive win in Nimba over George Weah who won the first round by 8.5%. In 2011, Senator Prince Y. Johnson, the man known in Nimba as the darling-boy turned over the county to President Sirleaf after he came third in the presidential elections, leaving the race to Sirleaf and Winston Tubman who headed the CDC ticket in that election.
Liberty Party is self-assured to make Nimba its second stronghold, with Grand Bassa being the first. And through Nimba, it is targeting the seizure of southeastern Liberia with its new vice running mate, Harrison Karnwea.
What js Karnwea Saying?
In his acceptance message, Karnwea, who is so far the second announced running mate in the October presidential elections after Jewel Howard-Taylor to be announced, said, he sees no ticket so amalgamating than their ticket.
“I see no ticket deserving victory than our ticket. I see no ticket that can be easily entrusted with the future of this country either than our ticket. I see no ticket that sends out clear and loud message of peace, reconciliation, and unity than our ticket. In our ticket, I see a Liberia of the best and proper trajectory for progress and development,” he said.
Karnwea who resigned as Managing Director of the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) joined the Liberty Party from the governing Unity Party (UP) less than three weeks was named as the running mate to Cllr. Brumskine who lost twice, 2005 and 2011.
Although the controversial law is not explicit regarding presidential appointees who perhaps are cutoff in the web of the law who want to be running mate, but Karnwea resigned as MD of the FDA less than three weeks ago after joining from the Unity Party.
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