Gbarnga, Bong County - Loyalty, they say, is a fragile thing that when put to test, may falter, especially among politicians during electioneering period.
Politicians seem to cooperate whenever the land is fertile, and they are quick to take to their heels when the once green land changes into an unfavorable color.
This could be the situation between Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor and presidential hopeful, Dr. Mills Jones of the Movement for Economic Empowerment.
Senator Howard-Taylor and Dr. Mills Jones were best of friends.
During the 2014 special senatorial election when Senator Taylor was seeking re-election, it was reported that the then Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia gave over L$30 million to fund Taylor’s campaign. Said report could, however, not be independently verified by FPA.
One point in time, Senator Taylor was heard on tape lauding the former CBL governor for making available L$72 million for her to distribute to market women in Bong.
And the “loan politics” paid off as she received tons of endorsements from marketers in the county who hailed her and Dr. Jones for their “farsightedness and Kindness” to humanity.
Dr. Jones’ first visit to the Gbarnga administration building in 2013 when he gave loans to entrepreneurs in Bong County was reportedly made possible by Senator Taylor.
As a testament of their deep relationship, Senator Taylor publicly announced support for Dr. Jones’ candidacy when she addressed youths at the Gbarnga Intellectual Hataye Center describing him as the “man for his people”.
The relationship between the two heightened the speculations in Gbarnga City after Senator Taylor after won her second term, thanked the Central Bank of Liberia for the loan scheme.
It was then speculated that she was poised to go as running mate to the former Bank governor in the crucial 2017 general and presidential elections.
Even those in the “Jewel camp” began branding her as the “next vice president” simply owing to her relationship with Dr. Jones.
Jones’ stigma haunts Jewel’s CDC in Bong
Before her re-election in 2014 and subsequent fallout with Jones, Senator Taylor used to be a popular figure in Bong County and she received unquestioned loyalty from citizens. But it seems there is a glaring crack in the number of her loyalists.
Her fallout with Dr. Mills Jones and the level at which her popularity in the county has diminished is seemingly because of her rift with an influential lawmaker in the county, Representative Prince Moye.
This political pundit believes the situation could hurt the chances of the Coalition for Democratic Change – which Senator Taylor could contest as vice running mate to Senator George Weah.
Commentators and political analysts are unanimous in saying that Senator Taylor is already having her fingers burnt and if this dangerous water is not baled at this ankles length, it may send her into political obscurity.
There is an unfolding drama and crisis engulfing the Bong legislative caucus that many observers have noticed one obvious fact: Senator Taylor is reportedly being haunted by ‘what is turning out to be a failed campaign promise and can’t be rescued by her old protégé - Dr. Jones’.
Jewel’s camp in Bong rejecting CDC?
FrontPage Africa has gathered that insiders in Senator Taylor’s camp in Bong County are feeling very uncomfortable with the newly-formed CDC because of former speaker Alex Tyler and Senator George Weah.
Recently, a group known as the “Friends of Jewel” accused Weah in particular, of not doing enough for the people of Bong County.
The body, which warned citizens of the county against being used by desperate politicians during electioneering period, said “Bong County has been known to always submit to politicians despite its huge population and it was time to rally behind a ‘consensus candidate’ to achieve collective goals as a county”. According to many political pundits in the county, this may not be the best of times for Dr. Jones in Bong, but he has always known how to rise above betrayals and rediscover his magic wand of holding loyalists together and winning new ones.