Liberian Elected Mayor in U.S. Laments Political Impasse in Liberia
Monrovia – Mr. Wilmot Collins, a Liberian elected as Mayor of Helena in the Western State of Montana, has called on his fellow Liberians to put their country first.
Report by Lennart Dodoo, [email protected]
Speaking to the Voice of America on Wednesday, the newly elected mayor lamented the political situation in Liberia and urged Liberians to put country above individual. He also admonished Liberians not to get involved in violence irrespective of the electoral crisis in the country.
“Our country is way too delicate for us to even think about what I have been reading in the social media. Let the political process play out. I hear it is in the hands of the Supreme Court. Let the Supreme Court play it out. We have to be patient; we have to put Liberia first. We cannot continue to put individuals first.
It should be Liberia first, and if they will go with that message of putting Liberia first, I think we will get away from crawling and we will start to walk because we’ve been crawling forever; we need to start walking. We can start to walk by putting Liberia first. That’s what I am doing. I’m putting my community, Helena, first,” Mayor Collins said.
Helena is a white dominated city where racial tensions are high, but speaking to the VOA on Wednesday, Collins said, he considered himself fortunate to have lived in city and though he had experienced racial discrimination of some sort, the community had always worked with him through the process.
Collins: “I remember, when I first came, people marked my home with KKK, but guess what? My neighborhood got together and my neighborhood washed my walls down. Now, I know we see racial tensions everywhere, but do we see the kind of results I have seen in Helena, No. We don’t see those results.
So that’s why I love this community because even though we do have a few people who are pretty negative, the overwhelming experience I’ve had here with my family has been positive.”
He told the Voice of America that his victory was based on the type of campaign he employed. According to Mayor Collins, his campaign was exploratory, where he spoke with voters to ascertain issues that were pertinent and important to them.
Collins said, “We knocked on doors; we had forums; we spoke to almost everybody. I ran on a ticket with other two progressives who were running for commissioners, and all three of us won because the voters heard our issues; they heard our platforms and that’s what they wanted, and they spoke loudly.
We didn’t leave anything undone. We did everything a campaign should do. We knocked on doors; we attended different candidate forums; we spoke to different groups, and we did a hunk and wave; we did everything and they knew it was time for us. And they spoke.”
Being an immigrant in the United States, the newly elected mayor linked his success to his family and hard work. According to him, upon fleeing Liberia to the United States, hard work remained his focus, which he said, has brought him to where he is now.