Members Of The 55th House Of Representatives May Favor Deputy Speaker Koffa Speakership
Members of the 55th House of Representatives are said to be having series of in-house discussions as to who will be their new Speaker for the next six years, with many including those who were elected favoring the current Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Cllr. Jonathan Fonati Koffa who was re-elected during the just ended October 10, 2023 as Grand Kru County District number 2 Representative.
With these reported in house discussions on Capitol Hill amongst lawmakers, sources hinted GNN disclosed that even the new commers are advocating for the interest of the Deputy Speaker to be the only person fit for the speakership of the 55th Session of the House of Representatives.
In other to do a detail investigation by some investigative journalists from several news organs including the most informative GNN-Liberia, it was however discovered that the pick of Representative Koffa by his colleagues, was a result of his at any willingness to come to the rescue financially of anyone who is in need.
Autobiography of Cllr. J. Fonati Koffa
Hon. Cllr. Jonathan Fonati Koffa, the deputy speaker of Liberia’s Parliament, is not just a politician in Liberia, but rather a complete gentleman politician who knows the trapping of power and leadership engaging both to the benefit of his people. Koffa is a pride to not only to his constituency and family but a pride of Liberia in general.
Hon. Koffa is a responsive leader who is loved by people and earns respect for his efficacious legislative agenda beyond the border of his country. He has been instrumental in passing crucial gender-responsive bills, including the Domestic Violence Bill and the Female Genital Mutilation Bill which has earned him international commendations.
JFK, as affectionately called, is a promising political leader in Liberian was born in then Sasstown Territory (now Grand Kru) County in 1963 into the union of Major Stephen Jaitoh and Margaret Mona Koffa. The son of a military officer, his family relocated to Monrovia, Liberia, in 1966, where he grew up and began his educational journey, Congress of African Journalists (CAJ) Magazine in Nigeria recently caught up with the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives in Liberia and in an exclusive interview he told us why he is supporting the reelection bid of Liberia’s President George Weah and also why he wants to be the next Speaker of the House of Representatives in Liberia. Excerpts:
Support of Deputy Speaker Cllr. J. Fonati Koffa To President George Manneh Weah Re-election Bid
Deputy Speaker J. Fonati Koffa, believes firmly that President George Weah should be given a second six-year term due to his developmental works around the country, ranging from road constructions and pavements, and other infrastructure including housing units for grassroots citizens in the leeward counties, health facilities, free education at state university the University of Liberia the fishing industry by providing top-class nets and engines through donor supports, construction of market building for grassroots marketers, scholarships to train Liberian medical practitioners abroad, among many countless development initiatives, especially taking Liberia to another level never seen before in the history of the country.
Accomplishment & Respectability of Colleagues @ House of Representatives
Cllr. Jonathan Fonati Koffa an eccentric political leader skillful in the sciences and arts of constituent representation, has a healthy understanding of the Liberian political structure, especially his ability to cut across political and ethnic divides that will certainly lead to imaginary accomplishment both locally and internationally for the House of Representative, Republic of Liberia. As Deputy Speaker, Hon. Fonati Koffa was very instrumental in passing crucial gender-responsive bills, including the Domestic Violence Bill and the Female Genital Mutilation Bill.
As second in command, Deputy Speaker of the 54th Legislature, office is home to all his colleagues, including ordinary people from all walks of life. Dozens of people in need of financial assistance visit to express their gratitude to him signifying his generosity at all time. Many of the beneficiaries have poured endless praises on him and called him a ‘man of good heart’. Most of those includes his kinsmen, youths and women groups.
In the frontline of support to the wellbeing of his people, at some instant, his support to the interest of the people is always borderless, meaning his kindness has no border. Some individuals who usually speak about Cllr. Koffa are most times over excited for the level of help been provided to them for their education, and medical needs, noting that he will forever be remembered in their lives for what he have done to improve their livelihood and their respective families.
As Deputy Speaker, Cllr. Koffa continues to solve the people’s problem at all levels, especially in the passage and amendment of the Third Amendment to the ArcelorMittal Liberia (AML) Mineral Development Agreement (MDA), which ratification by the Legislature is key.
Political Journey And Credential As A Satisfied Lawyer
Incumbent Cllr. Johnathan Fonati Koffa, is the founder and Managing Partner of the International Law Group (ILG), with legal practice law since 1997, both in Liberia and the United States of America. With distinction, Cllr Koffa was admitted into the Supreme Court Bar of the Republic of Liberia as valedictorian of the graduating class. Cllr. J. Fonati Koffa, journey into politics commenced in 2016 following his appointment as Minister of State without Portfolio and Special Prosecutor of the Sable Mining Bribery scandal case, by former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
Few months into this, Cllr. Koffa resigned late July 2017 to participate in the Presidential and legislative elections as a candidate for the Representative seat in Grand Kru County District 2. On October 19, and was declared the winner of that electoral process, and subsequently elected as Deputy Speaker of the 54th Legislature of the Republic of Liberia in 2021.
Prior to becoming Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Cllr. Koffa played leadership roles at the House, including Chairman of the Judiciary Committee of the 54th National Legislature, member of the Committee on Elections and Inauguration and the Committee on Human & Civil Rights. Currently Deputy Speaker serves as acting Chairperson of the Grand Kru Legislative Caucus at the 54th National Legislature.
Support to Sasstown And Grand Kru County
Cllr. Johnathan Fonati Koffa continue to provide financial aid or scholarships to thousands who cannot afford it. The scholarship supported by Cllr. Koffa has brought financial relief to hundreds of parents and lasting benefit to hundreds of school-going kids across District number 2, in Grand Kru County.
Within the last five years, Deputy Speaker Koffa has constructed six modern Elementary & Junior High Schools, including the Changbetti School, in Bolloh, the Taybue, and Wropluken Schools, in Buah, and George P. Worjloh School, in Sasstown, Grand Kru County. Other schools constructed include the Kayken Big Flineken Schools, in Barclayville City Kplio. I continue to contribute immensely to the renovation of other Schools within District 2, Grand Kru County, with the provision of US$50,000 to the Barclayville Central High School, 200 bags of Cement to George Toe Washington School, 200 bags of cement to Barforwin Public School in Bolloh, 50 bags of Cement to Jarkakpo Public School, and 50 bags of cement to Kaykpo Public School, of Bolloh respectively.
Additionally, Cllr. Fonati Koffa provided 100 bags of cement to Dioh Public School in Jolh, 4 bundles of zinc, and 50 bags of cement to A. A Huff Jr. High School and 60 bags of cement to also Wutuken Public School and 50 bags of cement Public School Joploken all of Kplio. Another donation and support provided is the provision of 15 bundles of Zinc to Putu Town (Civilized Village) School, and 30 bags of Cement to Niplakpo Public School. I am also continuing my support to hundreds of youths at various Universities through the Jonathan Fonati Koffa Financial Aid Program.
Over the years, the Jonathan Fonati Koffa (JFK) Financial Aid Program at various Universities across Liberia has produced several Graduates, most of whom are enterprising Grand Kru youths with high national leadership potential. The Jonathan Fonati Koffa, Financial Aid program is currently addressing the financial needs of Grand Kru County youths at Tubman University, where sixty students are currently enrolled.
At the United Methodist University, the Jonathan Fonati Koffa financial Aid is supporting thirty-five students, while the Program continued to support at African Methodist Episcopal University (AMEU) at least twenty students. For the African Methodist Episcopal Zion University, (AMEZU), the Jonathan Fonati Koffa Financial Aid program has fifteen (15) students, including ten (10) students at the Stella Marries Polytechnic.
The Jonathan Fonati Koffa Financial Aid program has extended to the Smart Institute and other smaller community colleges, with at least twenty other students. At the Graduate School level, the Jonathan Fonati Koffa, Financial Aid program is supporting ten graduate students at the Cuttington University and the University of Liberia. Most recently, citizens of Grand Kru County, District 2 praised me for what they say are my strides to have completed up to ninety-five percent (95%) of all projects earmarked during my campaign in 2017.
Incumbent Representative of electoral District number 2 in Grand Kru County and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives (HoR) of the Republic of Liberia, was elected on the ticket of then and still opposition Liberty Party in 2017 and took office in 2018 after defeating then-Representative Numene Bartekwa. He still enjoys the confidence of the people as scores of citizens from Buah and Forpoh statutory districts support my reelection bid.
The Africa Summit 2023 took place in London, United Kingdom on Tuesday, July 11, and was organized by the African Leadership Magazine (ALM). The summit featured a series of conversations on the future of African trade, as well as showcase Africa’s business and investment opportunities to the rest of the world. It brought together policymakers, private sector leaders, civil society leaders, leaders and all stakeholders in Europe, the US, and Africa to discuss issues that would prepare the private sector leaders for a more integrated and competitive African trade environment.
As an acclaimed international lawyer (Counselor) with over 24 years of experience Cllr. Koffa spoke on the future of African trade, as well as showcase Africa’s business and investment opportunities, under the theme: “New Opportunities for African Investments, partnerships, and opportunities.
ALM sees the summit expedient as the wave of rivalries and strategic shifts between major economies and their allies have become intense, and as such, Africa now has a better opportunity to rack up more beneficial diplomatic and economic cooperation and partnerships. With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the power struggle between the US, Europe, China and Russia particularly and increasingly, and at intensifying pace, involves the expansion of influence in economic and diplomatic ties with Africa. Experts and pundits have therefore opined that a realignment of Africa’s trade and investment partnership strategies is necessary to raise the geostrategic profile of the continent to advance the region’s broad-based economic interest, globally.
As one of the most outstanding events for the African Diaspora, the summit brought together over 700 policymakers, private sector leaders, civil society leaders, and all stakeholders in Europe, the US, and Africa and discussed issues that would prepare the private sector leaders for a more integrated and competitive African trade environment. ALM uses the summit to leverage unique access to some of the world’s most influential leaders, policymakers and entrepreneurs uniting those global forces to harness their collective knowledge to address current critical issues by finding innovative solutions. Other global leaders who also graced the event as speakers were Baroness Sandy Verma, Member of the UK House of Lords; Lord Dolar Popat, member UK House of Lords; Hon. Johnny Ohisa Damian, Governor, Bank of South Sudan and Mrs. Josielle Rafidy, CEO, Economic Development Board of Madagascar. Others were Prof. Muhammed Bello Abubakar, Managing Director/CEO, Galaxy Backbone Limited, Nigeria; Dr. Renganaden Padayachy, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Mauritius, and H.E. Rindra Hasimbelo, Rabarinirinarison, Minister for Economy & Finance, Madagascar.
During the address, Deputy Speaker Koffa told world leaders that if the share values of new opportunities for African investment, partnership and collaboration should be sustained between the United Kingdom-Africa trade relations, there is a need for the fullest recognition in the battle for the hearts and minds of Africa. He stated that the prevailing governing model in Africa made out of western democracy, has now been accepted by millions across the African Continent that government is ‘for, by and of the people. Cllr. Koffa further stressed that Elections is Africa’s new norm where many young and innovative African leaders have gone beyond the old era of politicking and are now calling for reduced terms and term limits as led by presidents George Weah of Liberia and Macky Sall of Senegal. Even more so, the normalisation of women in politics was championed by Liberia’s election of the first democratically elected female head of state in Africa and a female vice president today. Liberia joined Rwanda, Senegal and South Africa in championing the cause of women in politics both in the executive and legislative branches.
Another potential candidate is current Chairman of the Opposition Collaborating Political Party (CPP) Musa Hassan Bility, who is sanctioned by World Governing Football body FIFA. Bility has also been associated deeply with politics in Liberia but with unspeakable credentials, especially his international conviction on criminal charges by the world football body which continued to limit his international lobbying capacity.
The third person is a new comer Prescilla Abram Cooper, the only female candidate with little known political credentials. She was recently elected on the ticket of the opposition Unity Party in District No. 5, Montserrado County. Priscilla is a business entrepreneur turned politician and humanitarian.
The fourth person, is veteran lawmaker and businessman, also of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) Thomas P. Fallah , now, Representative elect of Lofa County, District N0. 1. He served as chairman of the House Standing Committee on Ways, Means and Administration at the 54 Legislature…