Liberia: Foreign Minister Gbehzohngar Findley Petitioned to Contest Grand Bassa Senatorial Seat
MONROVIA – Gbehzohngar M. Findley could not regain the confidence of his kinsmen and women in Grand Bassa County in 2014 when he contested special senatorial election that year though he was the incumbent Senate Pro-Tempore at the time. Six years later, Mr. Findley believes his alliance with the governing Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) is formidable enough to make his comeback a sure case.
When the presidential elections were heating up in 2017, Findley, a member of the then ruling Unity Party, appeared hopeful of being selected as vice standard bearer to Mr. Joseph Boakai. He announced his resignation from the party when Mr. Emmanuel Nuquay who was at the time Speaker of the House of Representatives, was picked as running mate to Boakai.
Findley would later become one of the lead campaigners for the election of George Weah as President and promised to deliver Grand Bassa County – a stronghold of the Liberty Party to the Coalition for Democratic Change. And though the CDC did not win the county, it’s performance there was quite enviable.
He was later rewarded with the post of Foreign Minister.
Howbeit, FrontPageAfrica gathered that Findley’s quest to contest senatorial election in Grand Bassa County stems from the CDC’s conviction that he could be the most formidable candidate to unseat the incumbent, Senator Nyonblee Kangar-Lawrence (Liberty Party) who has never played blind eye to what she considers ills in the Weah-led regime.
Both Montserrado County, held by incumbent Darius Dillon and Bassa are seen as top priorities for the ruling party, looking to regain control of the county they lost and gain a football in two of the biggest vote-rich counties in Liberia.
Petitioned to Contest
Traditional leaders of Grand Bassa County along with youth and women groups on Thursday petitioned Findley to return to the county and represent them at the Senate by contesting the December 8 special election.
The Traditional leaders headed by the Chief Grand Zoe of Grand Bassa Edward Garmah, said they have evaluated all of the aspirants and believe that Findley is the most suited to make a representation for them.
“We have come to petition you to contest the 2020 Senatorial election in Grand Bassa County. I want to say sorry and inform you that what happened 2014 will not be repeated,” the chiefs said.
Reading the petition statement, Bassa Culture Coordinator Isaac B. Toe said they have come to the realization that what happened in 2014 was an error and begged Findley to accept their petition.
“We want to tell President Weah that we now know our wrongs and we need Mr. Findley to take over the county in 2020,” he added.
The petition further stated that “realizing his vision to promote peace and reconciliation which will bring all Bassa people together with a shared vision for a prosperous county; invest in agriculture and build the capacity of smallholder farmers and access to financing for sustainable livelihoods as being demonstrated through his ongoing county-wide agriculture development program, support youth and women empowerment by ensuring the enactment of deliberate policies that address the human resource needs of the county through scholarships, employable skills development, and adult literacy program.”
They also noted that through his presence at the Foreign Ministry as Minister, he has created opportunities for many young people in the county to travel abroad for educational advancement and has also been instrumental in the appointment & employment of more qualified Bassa citizens into responsible positions of trust in the country.
“Whereas, his persistence to ensure the economic viability of the County through Port Concession and the establishment of an Economic Free Zone in Grand Bassa which will attract more companies and job opportunities, and his quest to build a hundred-bedroom hospital which will address some of the current health constraints on the county health sector speak of his leadership qualities that is so desired right now in Grand Bassa,” the petition statement further noted.
Representative Matthew Joe of Buchanan District received the petition from the elders, stating that he would liaise with the County Superintendent, Janjay Baikpeh to take their petition to allow Foreign Minister Findley to return to the county to the President.
“I want to say to you my elders that the Superintendent and I will take the communication to President George Weah to hear from him,” he said. “The Superintendent Janjay Baikpeh and I will return to let you know the response from the President,” he added.
Meanwhile, Minister Milton Gbehzohngar Finley assured the residents of Grand Bassa County of his commitment to reach out to President Weah to acquaint him with the Bassa people request for him to contest the Special Senatorial Election in Bassa.