Liberia: Soniwein Community Blames Rep. Gray

The head of grievance and ethics in Soniwein Community, Central Monrovia Stephen Papa Cooper has blamed Montserrado County District#8 Representative, Moses Acarous Gray for the long-running leadership crisis in the community.Presently, there are three individuals fighting over the community chairmanship, including Lusine Teah, Mabeyan Kanneh, and Tarley Johnson.

Addressing reporters recently in Monrovia, Mr. Cooper disclosed that in 2018 after the community leadership elections, which pronounced Mr. Tarley Johnson as winner, confusion ensued. He explained that two other contestants from the race namely; Messrs Teah and Kanneh challenged the poll results on grounds that Tarley Johnson did not win fairly.

According to them, ballot papers from the poll were taken to the headquarters of the Liberia National Police (LNP) in order to investigate the matter and make findings to the National Elections Commission (NEC), the body that is charged with the responsibility of conducting free, fair, and transparent elections, including national and local elections.He continued that at the end of the LNP counting the ballots, the elections commission of Soniwein Community declared Tarley Johnson as winner.

Mr. Cooper said since the end of the elections, the leadership has written Representative Gray to intervene and reunite the residents, but the call has fallen on deaf ears.He said as a result of Gray's alleged failure to settle the leadership crisis, the community is being denied several opportunities, including the recent rice distribution to some slum communities by Liberia's biggest GSM Company, Lonestar Cell MTN.

He noted that parties to the dispute community elections are still looking up to Representative Gray for his intervention because it forms part of his responsibility as their direct representative to the National Legislature.

Meanwhile, Mr. Cooper has expressed gratitude to Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson Koijee for providing 100 (50kg) bags of rice to the people of Soniwein Community to help fight the Coronavirus. He said the rice was presented to the community on behalf of Mayor Koijee by a former representative aspirant in the district, Mr. James N. N. Fallah.

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