Liberia: Primaries Have Not Been Fair; CDC Has Been Hijacked – Jemima Wolokolie Discloses
MONROVIA – Before the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) could announce the hosting of primaries for the special senatorial election, Ms. Jemima Wolokollie, deputy minister of commerce had declared her intention to take on the arduous task of unseating the incumbent, Abraham Darius Dillon (Liberty Party), who now appears to be arguably the most popular politician in Montserrado.
Wokollie is not one of the well-known members of the CDC, but she believes that she carries a different and a better vision than what the party itself carries.
“If I become Senator, there will be a difference in people’s lives. But right now, people are only greedy, accumulative and spending the money within the close proximity of where they live… I am part of the party but I have different vision for this Country,” she said during an interview on SKY FM in Monrovia on Wednesday.
When she declared her intention to contest the senatorial election on Sunday, she said “I submit my fellow compatriots, that at this time, and in this place, I am that singular woman suitably positioned, adequately prepared, willingly able and ready to represent the people of Montserrado County.”
“This process has not been transparent from the side of the CDC and I stand by my words. But they will choose me because I am bringing out all the ills that have happened in the party. It is just right to do that. People in Liberia are known for not correcting the wrongs, so when something happened they will say just leave it. It is wrong and we must correct the wrong go move forward. But if we keep doing the same things over and over we are going to get the same results over and over.”– Jemima Wolokolie (CDC, Senatorial aspirant)
Though the process is opened for primaries where delegates would vote who should represent the party in each county on the CDC ticket, Madam Wolokollie was, obviously, not one of the names that was expected to take the bull by the horn in the Montserrado County senatorial election.
Among those reportedly being considered are Montserrado County District No. 5 Representative, Thomas Fallah, Rep. Acarous Moses Gray (District No. 8, Montserrado), Assistant Gender Minister Mamensie Kabba, former Deputy Internal Affairs Minister Paulita Wie, who ran against Dillon last August, Rep. Munah Pelham Youngblood (Montserrado County, District No. 9), Professor Wilson Tarpeh, Minister of Commerce and Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson Koijee.
Not Fair, Not Transparent Primaries
Speaking on the radio show, the CDC senatorial aspirant said previous primaries within the party had marred by fraud and lack of transparency.
According to her, the status quo would have to change.
She said: “This process has not been transparent from the side of the CDC and I stand by my words. But they will choose me because I am bringing out all the ills that have happened in the party. It is just right to do that. People in Liberia are known for not correcting the wrongs, so when something happened they will say just leave it. It is wrong and we must correct the wrong go move forward. But if we keep doing the same things over and over we are going to get the same results over and over.”
Her criticism came just a few days after the party’s chairman, Mulbah Morlu had announced July 15, 2020 as the primaries date and vowed that there will be no sacred cow during the primary.
“We believe in our delegates and trust their judgment in making the right decision by putting up the best candidates across the country that will defeat anyone that would stand against the CDC. We will put out the best of the best and we will defeat our opponents,” Morlu said.
But Wolokollie who should be submitting herself to the primary on July 15 said there’s the need to liberate the party from certain individuals who have hijacked the party and running its affairs as their personal property.
“This time around we will not allow certain individuals to hijack the party and just carry on all they want to do. How can a few individuals – four or five persons – hijack the party and just do what they feel like doing?” she asked rhetorically.”
“It is wrong. And when you talk, they sent people to curse at you on Facebook. They send people on the radio to curse at you and say negative things about you that are not true.”
She was smart enough not to mention names, but she once upon a time fell off with the party chairman, Morlu.
The Executive Committee of the party in 2019 suspended Wolokolie for allegedly extorting money and carrying out a fraudulent representation of the party through a loan scheme.
The CDC in a statement at the time stated, “The CDC, in a statement said Madam Wolokolie is also being suspended for being the “criminal mastermind-in-chief in the unauthorized running of a fake loan scheme suspiciously orchestrated to tarnish the party’s ethical image and disintegrate its ranks.”
Despite it all, Wolokolie said her decision to contest the senatorial election was blessed by Chairman Morlu as their differences have been trashed.