Bong County – The fact that President George Weah and his ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) have lost control of the electorally significant Bong County ahead of the October election is an open secret. President Weah and his Party face a significant uphill job in Bong County if they want to alter the narrative between now and October.
During the 2017 general elections, Weah received 70,668 votes in Bong County, making up 64.20% of the vote. Since the county’s creation in 1964, this was the highest rating a presidential contender in Bong has ever received.
It is imperative that the President and his team rethink their strategy in light of the fact that Joe Boakai, a leading opponent Unity Party (UP), is now in charge of Bong according to Oldman Hallanger.
Given that Bongese are upset with the president for what they perceive to be his refusal to offer the county one proper ministerial position following the dismissal of Dr. Mogana Flomo, who held the position of agriculture minister for a very brief period, the president may shoulder some of the blame.
If President Weah could defend the awarding of Bong County the Vice Presidency—the second-highest office in the land—he might just be right. The query on Bongese’s mind, though, is “how has that position (the Vice Presidency) positively impacted the county over the course of his first term?”
It would be treasonously wrong to expect much from the Vice President’s position alone, given the duties of the office and the conflict that prevailed between the President and his deputy for almost three years.
According to reports, the Vice President (Jewel Howard Taylor) found it incredibly challenging to sit at the table and recommend or otherwise influence anything in Bong County for the majority of their first term because the President and Vice President were apparently at odds for at least half of the first term.
In addition to disagreements over the absence of senior government positions, Bongese are reportedly even more dissatisfied with the selection of some persons to head President Weah’s re-election campaign through the “Bong for Weah” auxiliary.
The team’s front-runners include Assistant Public Works Minister Joseph Todd, Deputy Finance Minister Augustus Flomo, and Assistant Finance Minister James Dorbor Sao.
Many residents of Bong County, especially children, women, and senior citizens, have severe ethical disagreements with some of the team’s leaders, particularly Ministers Flomo and Sao, on claims of conceit.
Son of Electoral District #4, Mr. Flomo ran twice for the Senate but failed to place higher than third in each of his tries. Many Bongese accused the deputy finance minister of being rude and self-centered and has very bad interpersonal skills. He has only been spotted twice in the county since President Weah’s appointment in 2018.
His lack of visibility in the county is a result of his dread of revealing himself, especially to people who usually congregate when a representative of the government is present. From his Ministry of Finance office to his home and overseas for official duties, Flomo spent the entire six years.
Due to the above, many citizens do not feel comfortable working with a team headed by Mr. Flomo based upon fears of not benefiting funds intended for campaign passing through him. Flomo is more like a stranger in his own County because he doesn’t like stretching hands to others.
James Dorbor Sao is the son of Electoral District #5, the CEO and owner of Bong Communication Service Inc., which runs Voice of Kpatawee in Phebe and Super Bongese radio in Gbarnga. Another bogeyman that scares away many people from the thought of Bong for Weah is Dorbor.
He shares the same tendency to place all of his faith in his family and not in anybody else. He typically visits the county unseen since, as a presidential appointee, he doesn’t believe that giving is the correct course to take. In the general elections of 2017, he ran for the District 5 representative seat, although he had no real impact.
Like Augustus Flomo, many people also feel uncomfortable working with this “Bong for Weah” team with Mr. Sao playing a leading role.
In contrast to Flomo and Sao, Todd is respected among young people for his openness and generosity. He doesn’t visit the county as frequently as one might anticipate, but when he does, it usually has a greater influence on the lives of many residents, particularly young people. But the real query is: What part does Mr. Todd play in the Bong for Weah team? Even if Todd were to be considered the team’s lesser evil, would that be enough to alter President Weah’s story in Bong?
The word “NO” in bold will be the response.
Although many people in Bong County still adore President Weah personally, some of the people who are close to him might be too expensive in October. The president might be able to rewrite the narrative in Bong with the help of new recruits with an open mind.
By: Joseph Armstrong Doloyuwah