TOTOTA, Bong County – FrontPageAfrica has gathered that former Bong County Senator Henry Yallah is contemplating contesting as representative in electoral District Six in 2023.
Yallah, who lost his re-election bid to Senator Prince Moye in 2020, couldn’t deny the rumors surrounding his ambition when contacted by FrontPageAfrica Friday. “I have been under pressure from residents of the district to contest in 2023 and I’m looking in that direction. Anything is possible,” he said.
According to him, it would be a disservice to the district if he failed to contest considering his “wealth of experience” as a senator for nine years.
“You know I served in the legislature for nine years before I was defeated in 2020. In fact, my former colleagues from the legislature say I am on sabbatical,” he said.
Yallah has maintained a strong presence in the political scene in Bong County even before he was elected senator in 2011. The former president of the Bong County Students Union (BONSU) had contested for represenative of electoral District Three in 2005 and lost by 100 votes to George Mulbah.
He has also enjoyed unfettered movement across parties, from the New Deal Movement in 2011 to the People’s Unification Party (PUP) and now President George Weah’s Congress for Democratic, under which he’s expected to contest.
Yallah, a native of Kokoyah District in upper Bong County, could face hurdles in his bid to become represenative of the district, particularly at a time when the agitations for power shift are high in lower Bong. Currently, there are arguments in some quarters that lower Bong should produce the next senator of the county, following the election of Senator Prince Moye, a native of Jorquelleh District, Upper Bong.
Andrew Tehmeh, a represenative aspirant of electoral District Six, is one of those leading the campaign for a lower Bong consensus candidate for the Senate. “The next senator of Bong County should come from lower Bong to satisfy geo-political balance in the county because we already have a senator from upper Bong,” he posted on his Facebook page.
But that quest seems to be a difficult one amid the declaration of interest for the Senate by popular District Five lawmaker, Edward Karfiah. Karfiah has embarked on a county wide tour, soliciting the views of residents about his intentions to contest the Senate race in 2023.
He continues to enjoy overwhelming support from residents of lower Bong, particularly Fuamah, Sanoyea and Salala Districts. Foday Fahnbulleh, a prominent resident of Fuamah District in lower Bong, disagrees with those pushing for a consensus candidate from lower Bong in 2023. “There is only one Bong County. I support Karfiah for the Senate in 2023. I believed he has all it takes to unify the county,” he said.
Also, former Bong County superintendent Selena Polson-Mappy, who hails from Salala District in lower Bong County, has reportedly announced her support for Karfiah’s senatorial bid. Polson-Mappy said the decision of who becomes senator in Bong County is hinged on the person’s ability to bring back the dividends of democracy to the people of Bong and not sectional to politics as people have been preaching in some quarters.
Will Briggs-Mensah survive the coming onslaught?
Yallah’s ambition could pitch him against Moima Briggs-Mensah, who is the present lawmaker for the district.
Her fate hangs in the hands of residents who will decide in the next two years if she deserves to win a second term in an election that promises to be tough and intriguing.
Briggs-Mensah is said to have done well in building roads and other infrastructure in District Six and thereby endearing herself to the ordinary people in the district, but on the other hand she is said to have alienated the elite and the politicians by “creating enmity with them”.
Aside from her parting ways with her one-time friend, former Bong County superintendent and the influential Polson-Mappy, Briggs-Mensah appears to have had a challenge in managing her relationship with the people around her. And that, definitely, is going to count against her in the election.
Take, for instance, Salala District Commissioner, Daniel Tubman. The fact that her rift with the commissioner who’s an another influential figure in the district speaks volumes about the lawmaker’s inability to manage crisis in the district.