Liberia: Who’s Ruining Pres. Weah’s Chances of a Reelection as Several Key Players Pullout Support?


MONROVIA – Backstabbing, manipulation, and political arm-twisting are vividly crippling the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), as some key individuals associated with the party are attempting to impose their significance in order to be considered for key role in the re-election of President George Weah. 

By Lennart Dodoo, [email protected] 

FrontPageAfrica has gathered that recent waves of withdrawal of support from the CDC have been a result of some of these background maneuverings intended to bring the current decision-makers within the party to their knees and open room for discussions for those seeking to reignite influence within the CDC.

Sources hint that the former influential Minister of State, Nathaniel McGill, credited as being the glue holding the president’s re-election together, has been quietly working behind the scenes in a bid to win his way back and show his strength in the aftermath of recent sanctions placed on him by the US State Department.

McGill played a crucial role in the election of President Weah in 2017 as Chairman of the CDC.

Political observers say McGill’s absence from the President’s inner circle is becoming a concern for the ruling party heading into the October presidential and legislative elections.

Several sources within the CDC have informed FrontPageAfrica that the former Minister of State for Presidential Affairs has been the brain behind some of the recent breakaways from the CDC. 

McGill, according to reports, has not had the leverage with the President and the party since he disgracefully left government. 

“While the party sympathizes with the situation in which he finds himself, the party cannot go against the decision of America. They know why they sanctioned him,” a source said. 

FrontPageAfrica gathered that McGill’s disenchantment heightened when it became clear that he wouldn’t be offered a slot on the party’s ticket to contest the senatorial race in Margibi County. 

“McGill feels abandoned by the party and, therefore, he is fighting to show his significance. He wants to be the one to make George Weah President again. So, what he’s doing now is destabilizing the party and making the election difficult since he is no longer in the driving seat,” the source said. 

McGill is said to be the mastermind behind Prince Johnson and Jeremiah Koung withdrawing support from the CDC. “Even with Henry Yallah from Bong County and Jeremiah Sulunteh, we have reasons to believe that it is the work of McGill,” the source said. 

FrontPageAfrica gathered that when McGill still held the office as the President’s Chief of Staff, he promised Sen. Johnson that he would ensure that Nimba County produced the next Vice President under Pres. Weah.

“He made Sen. Johnson sent three names from which the President was going to pick. That is the assurance he gave Sen. Johnson. The essence was to undermine Vice President [Jewel Howard] Taylor, now, because this is not forthcoming from President Weah, he is sowing seeds of discord between the MDR and the CDC,” the source narrated. 

Several meetings called by the President for the renewal of the agreement between the CDC and Sen. Johnson’s Movement for Democratic Reconstruction have been futile, often with Sen. Johnson boycotting reportedly on McGill’s orders. This explains why Senators Johnson and Jeremiah Koung have said they will not be supporting Pres. Weah’s re-election. At the same time, there are rumors of Sen. Koung contemplating on going as running mate to former Vice President Joseph Boakai.

In the months preceding his sanction, McGill embarked on multiple enormous goodwill gestures and scholarships to students in vote-rich Bong, Nimba, Bassa, Margibi and Gbarpolu Counties, where he solidified his influence. 

He worked under the guise of helping the Vice President who delivered Bong County to the CDC in the 2017 election to lure critical stakeholders in the county over to Pres. Weah.

However, according to pundits, it was McGill’s plan to endear himself to the residents of the vote-rich counties including Bong, Nimba, Grand Bassa and Margibi where he established his “Porcupine Brigade” political movement.

The “Porcupine Brigade” is McGill’s “army” meant to canvass for President Weah’s re-election.

“All the crisis within the NPP now is because of McGill. He has been pushing Biney. Sen. Biney is a good man but he and McGill have a long-standing relationship. So, creating chaos in the NPP is just another strategy employed by McGill to undermine the progress of the CDC without him,” the source said. 

Currently, the NPP under Biney wants VP Taylor ousted from the party on grounds that her tenure as the standard bearer of the party has expired. This means she will not be eligible for selection as a running mate to Pres. Weah under the Coalition’s arrangement. 

At the same time, the Liberia People Democratic Party (LPDP) headed by former Speaker Tyler, is contemplating a pullout of the Coalition. The LPDP has complained of marginalization within the Coalition.

The former Minister of State for Presidential Affairs has maintained a strong relationship with key political actors in Bong County, some of whom still rely on him for political direction.

Rep. Marvin Cole, the only CDC lawmaker in Bong County, has never hidden his loyalty for McGill. Following news of McGill sanctions last year, the lawmaker posted on his Facebook page. “My dear brother Nathaniel McGill, the God we serve will vindicate you in the future. Be strong.”

In Rep. Cole, the CDC has a strong voice in Bong County, but his proximity with McGill is said to have soured his long-standing relationship with his former boss, Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor.

Howard-Taylor during a town hall meeting held in Gbarnga last year, a month after McGill was placed on sanctions, threw a pointed jibe at the former minister, calling in residents of the county not to embrace “stranger” in the county at the expense of “the real children of the county”.

A recent statement by the lawmaker that he was prepared to snub the CDC to contest as independent candidate in 2023 due to “internal differences” within the party has given rise to speculations of a fallout with the vice president amid reports that she’s poised to head the party’s campaign in Bong County.

The CDC faces a fight to win Bong County ahead of October, particularly with some of major stakeholders within their ranks in Bong County paying more loyalty to McGill than the vice president.