Duncan Bolts: Key Aide to Ex-Liberia Bank Governor Backs VP For President
Monrovia – Trumpeting himself as the Architect of the Dr. Mills Jones Presidential push, Mr. Clayton Duncan, the former Chief of Staff to the former Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia reiterated to FrontPageAfrica Tuesday, a statement being attributed to him that he had jumped ship on his former boss in a bid to support the candidacy of Vice President Joseph Boakai.
“I was never on a ship to jump. I established everything from beginning to end. On my birthday, I told Governor Jones in the presence of his wife that he should consider running for President”- Mr. Clayton Duncan, Former Chief of Staff to Dr. Mills Jones
The only concern his wife had was as long as he wasn’t’ using his life savings, she was fine with it. I told her we will find the money. I started with the first resistance in the house, followed by the burial of his mother and then we began a county-to-county push pitching Jones which showed my strength.
But suddenly, he allowed D. Maxwell Kemayah, head of the Liberia Business Association to make decisions in his life”. -Clayton Duncan, former Chief of Staff to Governor J. Mills Jones
Duncan is said to have pledged his support to the election of Vice President Joseph N. Boakai who is currently touring the South Eastern region. According to information from Sinoe Duncan is mobilizing Sinoe citizens for the visit of Vice President Boakai.
Sinoe Comment Confirmed
Duncan, speaking from Greenville, Sinoe County where VP Boakai was attending a number of programs last week, confirmed the reports and speculations, some of which suggested that he had betrayed the trust of the man who made him relevant with a high-profile post at the financial center of the Liberian government.
Said Mr. Duncan: “I told the people of Sinoe that the last time I came I brought somebody here and introduced them to your but I think I made a mistake…and I think I made a mistake. But I will come back and explain why I think I made that mistake. That is it… that’s what I told them. I will not lie on what I said.”
Asked what prompted him to jump ship, Duncan retorted. “I was never on a ship to jump. I established everything from beginning to end. On my birthday, I told Governor Jones in the presence of his wife that he should consider running for President.
The only concern his wife had was as long as he wasn’t’ using his life savings, she was fine with it. I told her we will find the money. I started with the first resistance in the house, followed by the burial of his mother and then we began a county-to-county push pitching Jones which showed my strength. But suddenly, he allowed D. Maxwell Kemayah, head of the Liberia Business Association to make decisions in his life”.
Duncan, who was Governor Jones’ Chief of Staff for much of the Governor’s tenure claims that it was he who established everything from beginning to end and is leaving now solely because of the influence of Maxwell and partly because the former he had lost the former Governor’s ears.
Kemayah was recently named the Chairman of the Movement for Economic Emancipation and Empowerment (MOVEE).
Speaking Sinoe County where he once accompanied his former boss Jones, Duncan recounted the numerous contributions he made to Jones before insisting that he made a mistake to take Jones to the people of Sinoe.
‘Governor Took Sides’
Added Duncan: “It came to a point where nobody wanted to talk to me and the Governor took sides.”
The former Chief of Staff said, his influence in the Governor’s circle had diminished with the rising influence of Kemayah who he said was pushing for the start of a new Friends of Mills Jones. “If we were to start new friends of Jones, the people who we had gone to, to mobilize would feel disenchanted.”
Duncan accused the Governor of being unaware of the impact of diminishing his influence. “He did not know the problems he created because people started saying ‘but we started with this man (Duncan) first, how come all of a sudden we have new people here.
So, when that one happened that’s when he and myself started having confusion because I started telling him what is happening here is not fair. People are getting disgruntled.
After I had worked hard to form the party, Movement for Economic Emancipation and Empowerment (MOVEE); he started talking about finding somebody who is renowned in the society which was when he started calling Maxwell into the picture.
As a result, they started getting rid of the old people and bringing in new people into the picture. All my efforts that I put down they started seeing me as not being relevant anymore. This is it.”
Mr. Duncan says he fought for everything to get the political party linked to Jones registered; but felt betrayed when people thought he wanted to become Chairman of the new party. Mr. Duncan went on to claim that his wife lost her pregnancy on the Sinoe road because he was running after the push for Jones to become President.
“He believes I want to be chairman of the party which is not true. It is ungrateful. My wife lost her pregnancy on that Sinoe road. I cannot go and hide under my bed because me and Mills Jones are having a fight. I don’t like people to be ungrateful to me. If they will play with me I will go to great length to fight back – if they fight me,” said Duncan.
Mr. Duncan accused the MOVEE of manipulating the convention that led to the election of party officials and Mr. Kemayah of wanting all and trying to kick out others who were in the picture from the beginning.
“I established the party. They knew nothing about it. We gave US$5 million to Liberian businesses in Liberia and US$5 million to the Liberia business association. As President of the association, he does not have any support. He went and collected fees from members and put us on a losing end. He wanted to be President of the Grand Colio, conglomerate of businesses. People started feeling unhappy when they tried to sideline me for Maxwell who went on to appoint new people. They took my secret of mobilization and ran with it”, Mr. Duncan lamented.
Liberian politics is known for maneuvering especially during elections period as individuals move from one party to another in search of relevance and comfortable homes.
With the 2017general and Presidential elections year more than a year away, several individuals have been making headways building early constituency ahead of the political process.
Jones first made known his popularity when the burial of his mother shock the entire city where thousands of people gathered to bid farewell to the Governor’s mother.
Central Bank of Liberia Governor Jones has been one of the individuals moving across the length and breadth of Liberia using the CBL loan scheme to make his presence felt in the rural parts of country.
In nearly all fifteen counties, Jones became a household name during his latter days at the Executive Governor of Central Bank and wherever he visited people wore t-shirts with his picture inscribed and banners of support for his stance in empowering locals.
Behind the scene was in organizing the mammoth crowd gracing Governor Jones visit to mainly South Eastern counties was his Chief of Office Staff, Clayton Duncan who took Jones to his native Sinoe County like it was done with other counties.
Even the National Legislature could not succeed in getting Jones to abandon his loan scheme which the lawmakers believed was becoming political. When the lawmakers were pressuring Jones, Duncan was in the forefront organizing support for Jones against critics of the Governor.
Over to Boakai?
Although former Governor Jones is yet to announce his intention to contest the Presidency, he has already been petitioned by citizens at a mass program held at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium in Monrovia.
Jones promised that he will respond to the petition sometime in the future but there are strong indications he could contest the presidency especially with the formation of a new political party where his former Chief of Office Staff is admitting that he played a lead role in organizing the party.
As the 2017 general and Presidential election draw nearer, political observers say many can expect more shifting of allegiances and merger of strange bedfellows to dominate the political circuit, adding more intrigue to what is building up to be a daunted but pivotal 2017 Presidential race.
Samwar S. Fallah, [email protected]