Liberia: 'If There Was a Good Woman in the Race, We Would Give Way'

-- Says Rep. Jeremiah Kpan Koung

Representative Jeremiah K. Koung of Nimba, who is also a major candidate in the pending special senatorial election for Nimba County in early December this year, recently admitted that "there are good, good and productive women from Nimba County" and, if any of them was in the race, he would yield to them.

Rep. Koung, who did not call any names, told the crowd at his endorsement ceremony organized by the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) Nimba Chapter that, if they could bring any good woman in the race now, he will leave the race, but with issued a caveat that it should not be "a woman with a tainted record."

On Tuesday, October 27, 2020 the Coalition of Democratic Change, comprising all the parties of the ruling Coalition, including the National Patriotic Party (NPP) Liberia People Democratic Party (LPDP) and the Congress for Democratic Change, endorsed Rep. Jeremiah Koung's senatorial bid at a small program, which appeared to be held in a hurry.

In his response, Koung continued his attack on his contenders, especially a female, despite him calling names.

Giving an example, he said in a home, most of the stealing can be blamed on the boy children, but when the girl children are linked to stealing, then it becomes dangerous to the home and the society at large.

There are seven senatorial candidates in Nimba and the only female candidate among them is Mrs. Edith Gongloe Weh, a former Superintendent of Nimba from 2009 to 2011.

According to a General Auditing Commission (GAC) report cited at the recent five-day retreat organized by the Public Accounts Committee Secretariat in Ganta, several former local officials of Nimba County, Including Edith Gongloe Weh were named for alleged embezzlement of the Nimba Development money.

Mrs. Gongloe Weh, as Superintendent of Nimba County, hosted the 2010 National Independence Day (July 26) celebration in Sanniquellie, where about US$800,000 was spent from Nimba County Account to prepare for the program that year.

Some of the money went to the construction of five units of public toilets in at the cost of US$14,000, both Sanniquellie and Ganta, respectively.

Prior to her dismissal as superintendent in 2011, Mrs. Gongloe Weh had come under much criticism from the public about the use of the county money, with many of her critics suggesting that some of her projects, especially the toilet facilities, were overpriced.

The GAC began an audit into the matter, and the citizens have been waiting for the publication of the audit report. However, Mrs. Gongloe Weh recently displayed on her Facebook page some banking receipts which, she said, were transactions made during the course of her leadership as superintendent, telling her supporters that she was cleared by the GAC, but the photos of the receipts appear to have been removed.

The recent audit report from the GAC has ignited debate among supporters of the rival candidates on the local radio stations across the county.

Rep. Koung told his supporters not to listen to any politics about this being the "women's chance". He said there had there been other good women in the race, such as Margaret Korkpor, he would have backed off, because she is highly respected and she is someone with good character.

He explained that the reason he contested against Madam Korkpor in the 2017 election was that he was the incumbent and it was his chance but, had it been in the upcoming election, he would have backed off and let Mrs. Korkpor have the opportunity.

"I will not back off to someone, who took over US$1 million from our county account and also built a one-room toilet with US$14,000," Rep. Koung said.

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