Speaker Emmanuel Nuquay, Rep. Ben Fofana Reconcile Differences


Cinta Clan, Margibi County – Key members within the hierarchy of the ruling Unity Party are still wondering what has gone wrong for the party in one of its strongholds, Margibi County.

Report by Selma Lomax, [email protected]

“We are happy that Speaker Emmanuel Nuquay and Rep. Ben Fofana have reconciled their differences. We hope this peace will be maintained after the election.” – Cecilia Cooper, resident of Margibi County 

No county has the best history of voting for the Unity Party than Margibi County as the support to the Unity Party in the county dates far back as the 1997 presidential election.

While former President Charles Taylor won more than 75% of the votes cast in the first round of voting in 1997, Margibi County was one of the counties where the Unity Party accumulated the highest number of votes.

Again, in the 2005 general and presidential elections, the Unity Party won Margibi County in both the first round and the runoff elections.

History repeated itself in 2011, when Margibi County massively supported the Unity Party to the extent of electing Oscar Cooper, a Unity Party candidate at the time as the senator of the county. 

Strange things occurred during the recent first round of voting during the just ended first round of voting, the CDC was able to break what has become a jinx for all other political parties in the country, beating the Unity Party in its political backward for decades.

Hopes were high that the long history of the party in Margibi County would have been bolstered by the selection of Emmanuel Nuquay as vice presidential candidate on the ticket of Unity Party but things did not go as wished by the ruling party.

But things went terrible for the UP in Margibi County when the CDC won 47,212 votes in the county while the Unity Party got 29,149 votes leaving a difference of 18,063 votes.

Trying to mend fences, the feud between Speaker Nuquay and Representative Ben Fofana, which was visible during the period Nuquay was elected as Speaker has now turned the starting point for the resuscitation of the Unity Party campaign in the county.

When Nuquay was elected Speaker by his colleagues overwhelmingly without the support of Fofana, for him he was more powerful than Fofana and was the “face” of Margibi but failing to reconcile with his colleague has come back to hurt him few months later.

In Electoral District #4, Fofana won 7,977 votes about 38.8% of the votes while Francis Cooper who was endorsed by Speaker Nuquay got 5,363 votes coming second to Fofana.

Speaker Nuquay and his longtime foe Fofana, on Tuesday brokered peace, thanks to the intervention of Vice President Joseph Boakai and the religious community in the county. 

Many in Margibi County are welcoming the decision for a truce between Nuquay and Fofana. Cecelia Cooper, a citizen of Margibi County, posted on her Facebook page Tuesday following news of reconciliation between Nuquay and Fofana.

“We are happy that Speaker Emmanuel Nuquay and Rep. Ben Fofana have reconciled their differences.”

“We hope this peace will be maintained after the election,” she posted.

Derrick Benson, a resident of Kakata who supported the re-election bid of Fofana told FrontPage Africa that the reconciliation between the two individuals was long overdue.

  He called on the two lawmakers to maintain the peace for the common interest of citizens of the county.

“Election will come and go and we will still be here. We are glad to the Vice President for the intervention,” he said.

The reconciliatory move by Nuquay and Boakai could boost the UP chances in the county but whether it is a genuine reconciliation and not a runoff road show to get votes for the ruling party is another question that remains unanswered.

Already, an audio of Speaker Nuquay threatening political opponents surfaced in the media days after his selection as running mate to Vice President Boakai.

In the audio, he is heard threatening that people who are coming for jobs and behaving arrogant will be dealt with after October.

But Speaker Nuquay in a FrontPage Africa interview moved to dispel that he was not threatening any Liberian but simply warning people who are attempting to disrupt the peace of the country.

It seems many are not convinced about the explanation by Speaker Nuquay concerning his attempt which has gone viral and being played on opposition radio stations in Kakata, Margibi County and other parts of the country.

With religious taking the lead in the reconciliation process of in Margibi County, it remains to be seen how such process will help the Unity Party from such embarrassing performance in the county of its vice presidential candidate and more besides a stronghold for many years.