Liberia: Senatorial Hopeful Kouyateh Suggests Collaboration as Option for Progress

Sheikh Al Moustapha Kouyateh, senatorial hopeful of Montserrado County

Monrovia – Sheikh Al Moustapha Kouyateh, a senatorial hopeful of Montserrado County in the pending special election, has frowned at “self-glorification” by some members of the Liberian Senate.

Placing emphasis on Senator Abraham Darius Dillon for the assertion of “being the light in the darkness”, Kouyateh said self-glorification creates more division at the upper house.

“The Senate is a place of ideas and is not for individuals to self-glorify themselves, this is while I am coming as a candlelight, since others are making things to be theirs, by saying they are light, I am a real candlelight,” Kouyateh told FrontPage Africa Monday, March 9, in an interview.

For Kouyateh, collaboration is the best way forward and will discourage “act of competition” at the Senate – a style of leadership he hopes to introduce if given the chance to be a senator.

Kouyateh is amongst few names popping up to compete for the Montserrado County seat, which is currently being occupied by Senator Abraham Darius Dillon of the Liberty Party.

Kouyateh contested the 2014 senatorial elections that brought President George Weah to the upper house but he earned some of the least votes.

However, he is not perturbed by that performance and claimed that his “negotiation skill, international connection and capacity building” as hallmarks that have boosted his popularity.

He is also hoping to be selected for the ticket of the Coalition for Democratic Change but registered that he will not be seen as a challenger among other senators if elected to the Senate.

“The challenge at the senate is that the house is being viewed as a competitive house, instead of being a place of collaboration. The public sector is an area to make an impact and not affluence,” Mr. Kouyateh stated.

“The reason I am better than others is that they have declared themselves as the light, and consider others including their own party chair as darkness.”

As a senatorial hopeful, he’s optimistic to see a Liberia where citizens will not be identified by tribes or religion and where there will be no ‘zogos’ (disadvantage youths) across various streets in the county, but where all will be considered one.

When quizzed about what he hopes to bring to the National Legislature, Kouyateh furthered that his primary advocacy will center on the establishment of a “National Youth Service” – where young people will be trained in various capacity building programs that will help develop the country.

At the same time, Kouyateh has backed calls for the establishment of a War Crimes Court in Liberia.

The Montserrado County Senatorial hopeful said the establishment of a War Crimes Court in Liberia will erase the memories from the minds of those who were victimized during the Liberian civil crisis. 

“We need a war crime court in Liberia and since 2009, that has been our advocacy and I believe justice must be given and this is what we want to reclaim the future of the next generation, rather than supporting people who are going for reelections, only to glorify themselves,” Kouyateh maintained.