Liberians still have about three years to decide who their next presidential should be, but the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghitap Inc., Rev. Dr. Telford Emmanuel Kpaflo Ammons, is taking no chance as he sets his sight on the nation's highest office.
Though many think his timing might be too early before the next polls, Dr. Ammons has thought to register his intention for the Liberian presidency--a move he believes will afford him time to acquaint himself with the electorates.
The US-based Liberian tax accountant on Monday, September 21, 2020, officially announced his 2023 presidential election bid in Liberia with the singular message of attracting investors to the country to help boost the economy as well as provide employment opportunities.
"If elected President in 2023, I will endeavor to bring potential investors back to do business and create more jobs that will put money in the pockets of the ordinary Liberians," Dr. Ammons said.
In his own humbled way, the businessman turned politician also said that he wants to take up the mantle to restore Liberia's pride that many great men and women fought to bequeath unto the current generation.
"I am aspiring for the Liberian presidency in 2023 and I hope and pray that if I win, I will encourage all of the different political parties to work with me to move our country forward," he said.
He also promised to work with anyone that would emerge as winner in 2023. "If I'm not successful, I will work with the winner to make this nation a better place to live. Secondly, what I would do is to bring in investors into this country... I will be able to do that," he said.
Dr. Ammons recently officially the opposition MOVEE -- a political party headed by Liberia's Foreign Minister-designate, Dee Maxwell Kemayah.
"I have mustered the political courage to join the pending 2023 race in an attempt to help put Liberia back on par with other countries around the world," Dr. Ammons said at a press conference recently.
"In my heart, I feel that we need to have someone who has the heart, the mind, and the determination to put this country back on the map where it belongs," Dr. Ammons told reporters at his temporary office on 14th Street, Sinkor.
According to him, Liberia, whose flag is similar to that of the United States, has just one lonely star that benefits many. The flag of Liberia flies on many "Registered" vessels around the world and stands tall among independent nations."
It is from this backdrop that Dr. Ammons said he wants to usher Liberia back into the fold to shine its light and hold high its flag.
In addition, Dr. Ammons said he is planning on taking up negotiations to initiate the first Summer Olympics in West Africa after infrastructures are built.
"I want to give back to the homeland and become the first Exchange Student to come back to help this nation, the Republic of Liberia and its people," he added.
He said if elected in 2023, "I promised to revisit some of the programs initiated by Presidents William R. Tolbert and Samuel K. Doe to bring them to light to benefit the Liberian people," he said, adding: "Now is the time for a new clarion call and a new beginning."
The 2023 presidential hopeful, however, expressed confidence that the future holds much better things under what he considers "a Dr. Telford Ammons leadership".
At the same time, Dr. Ammons called on Liberians to do away with ethnicity and work together for the collective good of the society.
About Dr. Ammons
He is first of six (6) siblings born in Liberia to Eleatha Wilson and Igal Ammons Sr., a farmer, and businessman. He is the great-grandson of Gabriel Ammons, an Africa returnee to Liberia after slavery who became a Colonel in the Liberian Army, a farmer, and a prosperous landowner.
Dr. Ammons is also a grandson of a herbalist and Fish Town head Doctor from Maryland County, Liberia, honored by President William V.S. Tubman for his contribution to society.
He is an adopted grandson of the first Liberian florist, decorator, and businesswoman, Martha Prout Dennis, affectionally known as "Mother Dear." She gave him his seed money to become an exchange student candidate, with "Youth for Understanding" in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Back at Niles high school, Telford said, "In all my life, I never saw people as 'Black or White' but as collaborators working together; regardless of complexion, composition or complexity."
The idea of bringing together people was a big picture nurtured by his exchanged parents, Helen Gay and John L. Jones Sr. He continues to keep in touch with the Jones even till today.
After graduating from high school, Telford dreamed of bringing together African Americans, Africans living in the diaspora, and those back in the homeland in collaboration to work and build together. This sentiment had long been his dream, and even before Barack Obama became President of the United States, he said, both of them were friends in the early days in Chicago Southside.
His pursuit of an Associate Degree from Southwestern College in Dowagiac Michigan culminated in a Bachelor of Business and Accounting degree at Strayer University in Texas. Dr. Ammons is currently serving as Strayer University's "Ambassador," to influence others to excellence. Later on, he became motivated to get his Masters and to encourage his children in seeking higher education.
He received his Masters of Business Administration degree from the University of Texas in Arlington and was, thereafter, conferred with a Doctor of Foreign Business & Missions degree from Abundant Faith Christian University in Mississippi.
Among his many accomplishments, he is proud to name the University of Laverne in California where he studied Ecumenical Christian Doctrine headed by Dr. Foster Cragget. But the one that makes him proud is that he served as Pastor of Fountain of Grace Church in Arlington for seven years.
He has been a member of First United Methodist and St. Peters Lutheran churches growing up in Liberia.
Recently he took a sabbatical from AME Zion Fort Worth, Texas as an Associate Pastor.
For more than thirty (30) years, Dr. Ammons has been married to Edita Evangelista Ammons, also a holder of Masters of Business Management. Together they have two grown sons, three daughters, and five grandchildren.
His oldest son is a businessman and Doctor of Divinity, oldest daughter and second son work within two different school districts. Another daughter is a banker and the youngest daughter studying to become a doctor of medicine.
Telford saw raising his children as his most significant priority and accomplishment. He said he is greatly proud of them all. His major business accomplishment has been collaborating with former Mayor of Arlington, Elsie Odom, to showcase the city's attraction for businesses, like the Olympics and the Cowboys' football stadium to Arlington.
Dr. Ammons has received accommodations from the City of Arlington, Texas, with an appointment to the Board of Parks and Recreations and from Arlington Police Department.