Liberia: New Dawn's Personalities of the Year

In this maiden edition of the New Dawns personalities of the year, the paper considers two major categories. These categories look at the work of the Legislators and consider the most outstanding performer based on contributions not only within the National Legislature but also outside of the Capitol Building.

The paper also consider the various political parties and how effective they have been since the end of the 2017 general presidential and legislative elections. The paper considers the impact that the parties have made in terms of making though controversial but serious discourse to the entire body politics of Liberia regardless which side the chips fall.

It is against this background that the paper has selects Rep. Fonati Koffa as

Rep. Cllr. J. Fonati Koffa is a member of the 54th Legislature of the Republic of Liberia. He hails from Sasstown, Grand Kru County.

Position: He is the chair of the House Judiciary Committee and is a ranking member of the Committee on Elections & Inauguration as well as the Committee on Human & Civil Rights. He represents the people of District 2, Grand Kru County.

Upon his ascension to the Legislature, Cllr. Koffa, immediately declared his intention to contest for the speakership of the House of Representative, but soon back down due to a political arraignment between the Coalition for Democratic Change and opposition political parties. Rep. Koffa willingly relinquished his speakership's quest and settled to head one of the powerful committees in the House of Representative -House Judiciary Committee, where he enjoys the full support of the current leadership.

As head of the House Judiciary Committee, Cllr. Koffa has been its intellectual source not only that but to the Executive Branch of Government since his entry to Capitol Building.

Government

Prior to his election as representative he served as Minister of State without Portfolio and Legal Advisor to former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf from 2014 to 2016. During that period, he was also tasked by former President Sirleaf as Special Prosecutor and Chairman of a Special Task Force Investigating and prosecuting official corruption across all levels of government.

Politics

He began his entry into politics as a founding member of the Liberty Party, the third leading opposition party in Liberia where he was eventually elected as Chairman from 2011 to 2014. During his time as Chairman he oversaw the growth and expansion of the party including the increase of seats the party held in the National Legislature. He resigned the Liberty Party in 2018 and joined the Coalition for Democratic Change where he serves as a member of the Executive Council.

Legal Career

Hon. Koffa began his legal career in the United States in 1998 in private practice and then moved to Liberia in 2009 and became a founder and Managing Partner of the International Law Group (ILG), now one of the emerging corporate and government law firms in Liberia. He was admitted to the Supreme Court Bar of Liberia as valedictorian of its Class of 2014.

Education

Hon. Cllr. Koffa is a graduate of the University Of North Carolina School Of Law at Chapel Hill, where he obtained a Juris Doctorate (JD) degree in Law. His educational pursuit took him to Raleigh, North Carolina State University, where he obtained a Master of Public Administration (MPA) and a Bachelor of Public Administration (Cum Laude) with concentration in Urban Planning, from Shaw University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA.

Awards & Honors: Best Oralist Moot Court, University of North Carolina School of Law, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United Negro College Fund Meritorious Leadership Award, Shaw University Distinguished Leadership Award, Valedictorian, Supreme Court Bar, Class of 2014.

Publication: Land of My Father. A Pictorial Anthology of Grand Kru County, Liberia. Published by Burd Book Publishing Company, Copyright 2010 Memberships: American Bar Association, National Bar Association, Liberian National Bar Association

Interests: Golf, Politics, History Family: Hon. Cllr. J. Fonati Koffa is married to Mrs. Dama Yekeson Koffa and the union is blessed with three (3) children.

Mulbah K. Morlu, Jr. is a Liberian politician & Civil Rights activist and is the National Chairman of Liberia's ruling party with Ambassador George Weah as President of Liberia.

Morlu as strong critic of bad governance, was incarcerated 14 times during the administration of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for speaking against ills of society, corruption, bad governance and for calling for the establishment of War Crimes Court here.

Despite being national chairman of the ruling establishment, Morlu has openly criticized CDC's administration that brought serious internal tensions among partisans, stalwarts and standard bearer of the party, President Weah.

Due to the realities of criticism, President Weah reconsidered his decision by pledging his unflinching support to work with Morlu's leadership for the betterment of the party and the country at large.

Mulbah K. Morlu, Jr. is the national chairman of the current ruling Coalition for Democratic Change, the grand coalition comprises of former National Patriotic Party of former President Charles Taylor, the Liberian People Democratic Party of former house Speaker Alex Tyler and Congress for Democratic Change of President George Manneh Weah.

Mr. Morlu started his political journey with the Congress for Democratic Change in 2004 in Accra, Ghana where he was recruited by then soccer star, now President Weah.

Morlu move to Monrovia following the end of the wars, and headed the Progressive Action for Change as chairman, a covert group, which recruited young people and discharged some operative of the Congress for Democratic. Morlu worked along with Representatives Acarous Gray and Thomas Fallah. The Progressive Action for Change trained the first ever militant group of the CDC and party's stalwarts.

In 2005/06, Morlu was elected by congress of the CDC as chairman for mobilization and recruitment, the position he used to recruit thousands of people that today are strong supporters and executive of the CDC.

2009, Morlu was elected by congress as vice chairman for operations, his works led the CDC to the second run off during the 2011 Presidential elections that saw former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf elected for the second term.

Morlu served in the capacity for operations, and campaign within the border points of Liberia that led to the first presidential victory of the CDC.

Following the election, many stalwarts of the party managed their way into government, but as founding member of the CDC, Morlu decided to stay with the party to help President Weah in the governance process of the Coalition for Democratic Change and the government at large.

Since his ascendency to the chairmanship of the ruling establishment, Morlu had fought to stabilize the party and partisans from the three political parties, he had control the high expectation of the partisans about chasing government's employment and he had developed strategies in helping the governance system to meet the expectation of the Liberian populace.

According to documentation and information gathered from the headquarters of the CDC in Congo Town, the Morlu's administration has lobbied employment of over 20,000 partisans, his administration had purchased party's land in the 15 counties for the sole purpose of local headquarters structures and he had lobbied for 28 foreign scholarships for deserving partisans who are doing their respective studies in Japan, China, and the United States and 60 domestic scholarships for partisans here.

The headquarters of the CDC hosting the construction of a vocational technical training center for partisans with free of charge facilitates and the Morlu's administration had constructed 19 shops and given loans to marketers selling at the headquarters of the CDC with no interest expected from the loan scheme.

The headquarters of the CDC being modernized under the watchful eyes of chairman Morlu, he had constructed a mini Sycamore Tree Stadium, brand store for marketing of party's products including caps, T-shirts, and other party's related items. He party now owns its radio and television stations, highlighting development of the party and government, seriously putting the interest of the country first in its broadcast.

Morlu had taken the CDC to six by elections and the CDC won three of the six election namely; the CDC won for the first time ever in the history Senatorial by election that brought Cllr. Augustine Chie of Sinoe County to the Capitol Building, the CDC also won Montserrado County Senatorial by election bringing on board Senator Saah Joseph, and Montserrado County Electoral District $15, bringing to the front Abu Kamara as representative for that district.

Morlu promised that impending 2020 Special Senatorial election, his leadership will reclaim Montserrado County by defeating Abraham Darious Dillon and he had promised to win at least nine of the 15 counties seat comes October of this year.

Morlu, born in Zorzor District, Lofa County unto the union of Mr. and Mrs. Morlu and he later moved to Monrovia to acquire formal education. He started his political life with the National Patriotic party as Montserrado County District #10, now electoral district #11 as youth league chairman.

His dream is how transform the political lamplight for the better for all. Being victim of war and having many struggles ranging from stepfather died in Belleh Yalleh Prison for his failure to pay hut tax, his twin brother was killed by forces of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia in 1991, and his mother died from tuberculosis 1992, during the wars. He narrated with terrible experiences; his dream is strengthen the political space.

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