GBARNGA, Bong County – Businessman Johnny K. Kpehe is amongst 10 candidates vying to become senator of Bong County. In this interaction with FrontPage Africa’s Selma Lomax, Kpehe speaks on the essence of governance, his programs plans of action for the people of Bong County and the imperatives for commitment, integrity and a rounded knowledge base on the conduct and management of public affairs.
FrontPageAfrica: Kpehe, I like to say welcome to this interview. This has been long pending, but I am glad that both of us are available now.
By Selma Lomax, [email protected]
Kpehe: Thanks, Lomax. It’s indeed a great pleasure to sit with you on your recognized and widely read platform to share my perspective about the governance and public good of Bong County and Liberia at large.
FrontPageAfrica: Sir, why really do you want to become senator of Bong County?
Kpehe: The people of Bong County have asked me to serve them as Senator for the county based on my numerous developments, humanitarian, agribusiness, youth and women empowerment, agriculture, infrastructure, scholarship, investment activities in the county coupled with the love for the county. Their call to service and demand for continued interventions in the areas of health, education, road, agribusiness, women empowerment, cultural heritage protection, and other social utilities are sources motivating me in wanting to serve them as Senator of Bong County. As a native son of Bong County, who is qualified constitutionally, I am confident that I can work with all sons and daughters of the county to bring the developments and interventions our people need to better their lives.
Besides, my love for the people of Bong County over the years has taken me through bushes, mud and floods to provide relief and rehabilitation to communities in distress. In my schedules, I steadily appreciate that public service should really be directed at people, communities and organizations that need it. It should not be an elite obsession with the flamboyance of undue protocols, sirens, motorcades, wild parties and so on.
I am offering myself for service in the knowledge that I have a program of action that would elevate the county and our people economically, socially and politically.
FrontPageAfrica: What is your program of action and how is it different from those of other senatorial aspirants?
Kpehe: Bong County is blessed with resources like water, minerals, good climatic conditions, land, sites for eco-tourism, human capital, etc. These blessings have the potential to alleviate poverty, food insecurity, inequalities, insecurity, and social injustices. The programs of action focused on poverty alleviation, food security, mainstreaming gender related issues in development and decisions making, climate mitigation and job creation. Based on the programs focused, I will work with leaders of county, Bong County citizens Associations, and citizens everywhere to actualize the plans for the county that is in the statement of intent, which is also expected to be well thought-out by the team members and me. Howbeit, There is also the issue of commitment to implementation of promises made doing contestation but with the experienced in Bong County on unfulfilled promises and deception that have undermined the development, aspirations and progress of the people, we will work hard to change that negative narrative.
FrontPageAfrica: You are reputed in Bong County to have done so much for people, including the provision of loan to market women, provision of tuition aid to students. Do you propose to do same for the people of Bong County if elected senator?
Kpehe: The world is increasingly assuming the character of a global village where best practices determine who makes the most progress and stays ahead of others. When I am elected senator, I will leverage on my international contacts and goodwill to attract varied international support for our programs and projects. Beyond the international arena, I will explore and pursue collaborative ventures with the fellow colleagues, including members of the Bong Legislative Caucus, the ruling government in 2024. My tenure as senator will not be restricted to the public sector, but extend to supporting the private sector to grow and develop. In the final analysis, the public and private sectors involve Bongese (people of Bong County) one-way or the other. Will work with friendly government and people to promote mentees program, scholarship, students exchange program, etc. we will further relationship with other universities that will help improve learning at the Bong County Technical College.
FrontPageAfrica: The election campaigns of some candidates give the impression there is a kind of war ahead. Are you not worried that things may get nasty?
Kpehe: I agreed that politics have divided us in Bong County. I also believed that because of the division we have little in development and reconciliation in the county. It is shameful that a few of the aspirants are beginning to fight dirty, which will not give credits to our county and people at large. For me, I see the campaign as an exchange of ideas, commitments and history of service as the basis for election to serve.
Of course, I am worried about peace and unity in the county. Peace and Unity is the foundation need to stand on to promulgate development, heath, education, road, environment, security, ecotourism, etc. I promised that my campaign will on focused on ideas.
FrontPageAfrica: How would you assess your main rivals in the forthcoming election? Do you really think you can defeat them, especially the incumbent senator?
Kpehe: My rivals in this election are my people expectations about genuine change in their living conditions. Elections are about timing and I see it everywhere I travelled in the county. Bong County people are in geared to make the change the county needs. Some of our best are want to serve as senator for the county but assessment shows that it is not their time to be called to service. The typical politicians have been tested, their results are written on the walls and our people have understood their results. Based on their results, I am called from my business and humanitarian role to politics. I will make the difference our people need.
FrontPageAfrica: What is your vision for Bong County?
Kpehe: Bong County possesses a wide range of potentials in human and material resources which can only be successfully explored and exploited by men and women of integrity and clear purpose for the benefit of the people. I will not just lazy around awaiting the next allocation of Social Development Funds from the government, but re-energize our people and institutions to our famed vibrancy in resourcefulness, entrepreneurship, scholarship, administration and management. I am confident the people will make an informed choice of who can and will guide them to meaningful and sustainable progress.
FrontPageAfrica: You are not known to have a very rich political background in Bong County, what brought you to this level?
Kpehe: Politics is about the People. My rich political background is entrench in the people. I am in this senatorial race because of my people. The people are the reason I am at this level.
FrontPageAfrica: Kpehe, it was wonderful speaking with you. Thanks so much.
Kpehe: Lomax, thanks so much.