Liberia: Traditional Leaders from Lofa County Block Road to Lofa over Samukai Induction into the Liberian Senate
MORNOVIA – FrontPageAfrica has gathered that the grand wizard of Lofa County has commissioned the head of the traditional leaders in the county to summon all the ‘zoes’ and ‘country devils’ to block the St. Paul Bridge which connects Lofa to Bong County until Senator-elect Brownie Samukai is certificated and inducted into the Liberian Senate.
By Lennart Dodoo, [email protected], With Files from Yawah Jaivey
FrontPageAfrica gathered that the traditional leaders came from multiple locations including Foya, Kolahun, Voinjama, Zorzor, Salayea, etc. to converge at the Bridge. They also comprise leaders of the Poro and Sande Societies.
A FrontPageAfrica correspondent in the area observed a long queue of vehicles queued at the Bridge waiting to either enter into the county or leave the county.
The head of the traditional leaders who spoke to FrontPageAfrica said they will remain uncompromising until Brownie Samukai is allowed to take his seat at the Senate.
“The grandmaster called us here. He said, he said he hand the land before humans could come here, but now, Lofa County is crying, the citizens are crying in that they stood under the sun, and in the rain for someone to represent them. But it’s been more than a year now, the nobody representing them. So, the grandmaster sent us here and I took oath not to agree to anyone until I hear from the grandmaster,” said Oldman Gole, the head of the traditional leaders.
He said they as traditional leaders have decided to remain resolute on the issue until their demand is met or otherwise ordered by the grandmaster.
According to him, their action is not about the ruling CDC or any other party or individual but for the representation of Lofa County in the Senate.
He said, the government must respect the decision of the Lofians who trekked and stood in the sun and rain to elect Samukai to be their representative.
Though the Superintendent of Lofa County tried to intervene, the Oldman Gole said they was under oath not to compromise their decision. “If I agree to anything that the grandmaster has not agreed to, I’ll die,” he said.
According to him, if the government did not want Samukai to have been Senator, he was supposed to be stopped from contesting but now that the people of Lofa have chosen him, their will must be respected.
J. Brownie Samukai, former Minister of Defense and a member of the former ruling Unity Party was overwhelming elected Senator during the December 2020 Special Senatorial Election.
Prior to his election, there were petitions seeking his prohibition to contest in that he had been found guilty of economic sabotage and misuse of entrusted property, criminal conspiracy. This emanated from the reported misuse of funds intended for the pensioning of soldiers. Samukai along with his principal deputy and the comptroller, all of whom were found guilty by the court, argued the money was used on the orders of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf who was the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Liberia at the time.
Both the lower court and the Supreme Court, however, found the trio guilty of the charges and requested that they restitute the money.
Since the Supreme Court’s ruling, some prominent citizens of Lofa, Nimba, and others from the south East in the Diaspora, as well as some Liberian business persons in August raised nearly USD$182,000 and presented same to the Friends of Lofa County-Senator-Elect Brownie J. Samukai.
The amount represents the former defense minister’s share of 50% required by the court (USD$191,276.05).