The 2017 elections clock is ticking at 477 days to October 10 and political players are sparing no effort in ensuring that their chance of clinching state power is not jeopardized by internal wrangling or any vice.
But the writings on the wall paint a cloudy weather for the main opposition Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) of soccer star cum Senator of Montserrado George Weah in a triangular format: the party’s founding members are securing new political home under the banner “Independent Congress for Democratic Change (ICDC); Grand Gedeans who saw Senator Weah as incarnate of slain former President Samuel K. Doe are expressing frustration over being neglected by the CDC’s political leader despite giving him overwhelming support in 2005 and 2011 elections; party members are seeking the removal of Chairman Nathaniel McGill on grounds that the special arrangement under which he came to power has expired. The organizers of the proposed ICDC are sparing no effort in ensuring that every member of the CDC who left as a direct result of “poor leadership” and misgivings within the main opposition party’s hierarchy sees this new caravan as a secured political safe haven. “The ICDC was founded by original founding members and ordinary members of the Congress for Democratic Change who were disenchanted and disenfranchised by a rigged intra party political folklore,” the founders of the proposed political establishment said in a statement. Some supporters of Senator Weah who put their necks on the line just recently have defected to this new group whose membership comprise founding members of the original CDC including Emmanuel A. Roger, James E. Birch and others who chose not to be named at this point. That was just a tip of the iceberg of the internal wrangling within the CDC that many political pundits believe poses serious threat to the party’s 2017 ambition. To compound the situation, prominent citizens of Grand Gedeh are vowing to ensure that the CDC does not get the support of their kinsmen because the party has not shown appreciation following the votes garnered in the 2005 and 2011 Presidential elections. According to the National Elections Commission (NEC) final results for the 2005 elections, the CDC got 20,171 votes constituting 88.3% out of the total 31,730 votes cast whilst the Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf got 522 votes comprising 2.3% of the votes cast in Grand Gedeh. Again, in 2011, the Congress for Democratic Change got 21,877 or 73.5% out of the 49,680 votes cast. The alleged lack of appreciation from the CDC, particularly Senator George Weah, has sent shock waves down the spine of prominent sons of the county who took to social media Facebook to vent their anger, threatening to rethink their decision to support to the CDC in the pending 2017 elections. “Grand Gedeh is not ready to trade its political and development agenda for someone it helped make and he does not care about the county and its citizens,” maintains Shelton Kraty Dowaity, a self-proclaimed student of Finance. “It tells me that any business that's not profitable needs to be reexamine and maybe changed for another one that will profit you because shareholders are concerned about their dividend,” he added. “It won't be wrong if we decide to abandon Weah this time. Besides, he abandoned us first. The man has said our vote is harmful to him,” says Jowulu Gbarwho Jaidah. The son of former President Doe, Samuel K. Doe, Jr. indicated that citizens of the county will only vote for someone that values, respects, appreciates and sincerely have the people of Grand Gedeh County at heart! “Anything contrary to those attributes will be seriously frowned upon! Presently, CDC has done nothing tangible to suggest that they merit our unequivocal and unflinching support they have enjoyed in the past!! The onus is on them now to step up their game come 2017. I can surely tell you that come next election, It will not be business as usual!” said a very emotional Doe Jr. For his part, Isaac Wehyee Nyenabo, Jr. stated that Grand Gedeans gave their support to the CDC without weighing the attending realities and not allowing the political party to play its role by “engaging us to say why we should vote Weah, because of this we have less value to CDC, our decision made in both elections make others political party hit on us and not only UP. We’ve got to define our status this come 2017 election”. Another citizen of Grand Gedeh, Armstrong Theo Geneyan, added his voice saying, “I strongly hold the opinion that no single Grand Gedean can determine the way our people will vote 2017. This has never happened in post war Grand Gedeh. Moreover, if elections were conducted today in Grand Gedeh, Weah and the CDC will beat his entire rival. However, will we have opportunities in a Weah led government? We have shown everything one can show in relation to commitment. Has the CDC recognized this? Big No. Frankly speaking, Amb. Weah and the CDC should reciprocate the trust, respect and support given the party by our people. I am still a CDCian but this issue of CDC not showing gratitude to our people who have been placed at the edge of the governance system due to their massive support to Amb. Weah MUST be addressed. Trust me, if this is not addressed, we will lose a substantial amount of vote in that county. You are currently active and in contact with the leadership of CDC. Please ask McGill (Chairman), Morlu (VCO), Garbla (VCA), Koijee (Youth League Chair) and Musa (VCM). They will give you informed updates on my stance on this subject in the CDC. My position has not been to show gratitude to Grand Gedeh only but all other counties that supported and continue to support the party though Grand Gedeh stands out due to electoral statistics”.
But in defense of his political godfather, Kanio Bai Gbala inferred that it is politically premature to determine which way Grand Gedeans will go come 2017. “Also worth noting is that no one Grand Gedean can propose/midwife the political direction of the county,” Kanio said. “That said, I still maintain that our problem is and has never been CDC or the Political Leader Amb. Weah. Our problems are ourselves and until we take charge of our destiny, being cognizant of political meanderings, get ready to keep singing kumbayah my brother,” Kanio railed. Additionally, the chain of hullabaloos remain unending as a group of partisans of the main opposition party are asking the National Executive Committee (NEC) including the National Chairman, Nathaniel McGill and all those who came to power through the special arrangement, following the expulsion of former Chairman George Solo in 2014, to resign. The spokesman of the group, J. Cephus Miller, said the NEC of the party should have gone to convention long before June 9, 2016 - the date their tenure expired. Nat McGill was elected following the expulsion of George Solo as Chairman in 2014. He is supposed to leave office at the end of the four-year tenure on June 9, 2016. He has refused to do so. According to the CDC’s Constitution, Section 86, “the National Chairperson shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the CDC and responsible for its daily administrative operations and without limiting the generality thereof s/he shall assume the following specific responsibilities: a) presides over the NEC and the National Congress; b) remain the custodian of the decisions taken by the National Congress and ensue that c) all organs of the CDC implement these decisions and operate within the parameters of policies, principles, and philosophies of the CDC; d) carry out such additional tasks as the NC or NEC may instruct and or appoint and establish a committee from time to time deemed necessary to enhance the work of the CDC; e) be an ex-officio member of all committees; f) be the official spokesperson for the Party.” Article 12 section 70 of the party’s organic law states that the National Chairperson should serve for a term of four (4) years. According to Mr. Miller, in the case of McGill, he was elected to end the tenure of former Chairman Solo who did not end his term because he came in conflict with the CDC’s constitution for which he was expelled. Hence, Chairman McGill was supposed to step aside and set the stage for convention that would elect a new corps of officers. Political pundits have opined that these happenings do not depict a favorable political atmosphere within the main opposition party, especially on the heels of the political season leading to the holding of Presidential and Representative elections.