Liberia: Bill Twehway Petitioned to Contest River Cess Senate Seat

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MONROVIA — Ahead of the 2023 Presidential and General Elections in Liberia, National Port Authority (NPA) Managing Director, Bill Twehway has been petitioned by citizens of Nyorwein District in River Cess to contest the senatorial election in that part of the country next year.

Managing Director Twehway was petitioned during the weekend at an elaborate ceremony held in Yarpah Town, a township known to be the commercial hub of Central River Cess.  

The petition, according to organizers, is the first in a series of petition ceremonies for Mr. Twehway.

Different groupings including the Council of Chiefs and Elders, youth and women groups, political parties and business community, presented statements requesting Mr. Twehway to contest the election.

They described him as a man of vision whose desire is to see River Cess transformed from its current state of political and economic backwardness, evidenced by his contributions to the human resource and infrastructural development.

The citizens among other things said their decision to ask the managing director to contest the election was due to his countless humanitarian interventions in River Cess. They named construction of roads, housing units, teachers quarter and provision of scholarships as some of the reasons that prompted their move. 

In his petitioning statement, the speaker of the National Council of Chiefs and Elders, Chief Bob Kofi Zah, an influential traditional leader in River Cess, said the citizens want Bill paired with Senator Wellington Geevon-Smith, believing the county would flourish under their representation. While outlining some of the NPA boss’ undertakings in the county, Kofi called on incumbent Senator Francis S. Paye to give Mr. Twehway the chance to serve as well.

“We want to thank you for transforming Cee Town. You built teachers quarter in Cestos City. We, the citizens want you to contest the election so you and Geevon can work together for the good of the county. We made Francis Paye superintendent, from superintendent and then senator. He needs to give you to also serve”.

He assured that the votes from Yarpah Town will not be divided once Mr. Twehway accepts the petition to contest the election.

The chairman of Liberty Party for River Cess, Daniel Gbassagee, was among the petitioners. Gbassagee, a member of Chairman Musa Bility’s faction of the LP, said his party will not field a candidate in the 2023 elections in River Cess, promising to talk with other opposition political parties to decline on fielding candidates.

“The Liberty Party will not field a candidate in the upcoming election in this county. We will hold talks with other political parties including the ANC and UP not to field a candidate against Dr. Bill Twehway “.

Responding, Mr. Twehway declined to take a definite position on the petition, but promised to give a response following a personal assessment about citizens view about him going to the race.

“As you asked me here to contest, I will not say yes and I will not say no. I will do what we call exploratory visits. I will use from now to December to visit every part of River Cess. During those visits if I find out that you’re sincere to me, then I will accept to be your senator by contesting”. 

Even though he’s yet to accept the people’s petition to contest, Managing Director Twehway assured citizens of more development opportunities. According to Bill, his personal assistance to the county over the years is not hinged on his desire for political office. The seaport boss told the gathering that his passion for humanity is provoked by his history of childhood hardship.  

“I remember walking from Timbo River to Cee Town. At age two I walked from Cee Town to Big Joe Town.

“I witnessed long distance walking. I know what it means to not have access to road. I remember when we were in high school, I slept on the floor. I have not come to tell you to make me senator. That will not stop me from doing good.

You didn’t ask me to be senator when I electrified Yarpah Town. You didn’t ask me to be senator when You were able to watch the County Meet games here. You didn’t ask me to be senator when you have somewhere to entertain yourselves”.

“Before this week can end, I will send to the Yarpah Town School cement and molding machines so they can start molding bricks for the construction of teachers’ quarter”.

The issue of accommodation for government assigned teachers at the second high school in River Cess is one problem undermining academic performance. The former Montserrado lawmaker promised to construct teachers quarters at the school.

“Since teachers in Cestos are having their teachers quarter, I will make sure the teachers here will have place to sleep too”.

He also promised microloan for market women of Yarpah Town.

“There will be a microloan for the market women of Yarpah Town under the sponsorship of Bill Twehway and Senator Willington Geevon-Smith”.  

As an economic empowerment scheme, the MD said he will provide 500 bags of rice to be sold at affordable price for the benefit of the ordinary people.

“For the business community of River Cess, we will give you 500 bags of rice to be sold at a reasonable price so that everybody can buy it”.  

A sachet of plastic bag ‘mineral’ water is sold at 10 Liberian dollars in the county. In Bill Twehway is the current managing director of the National Port Authority. Before joining the NPA, he served briefly as director-general of the Liberia Institute of Public Administration (LIPA). He represented Montserrado district # 3 in the 54th Liberian Legislature.

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