Liberia: After Election, Taa Wongbe Eyes a United Nimba

Taa Wongbe, one of the seven candidates that contested in the senatorial election in Nimba County, has begun a new campaign -- one of a less political nature -- reuniting people of the county after bitter and grueling campaign, characterized by tribalism and discrimination.

"It was a hard fight, but one worth fighting, but no matter the outcome, Nimba must unite to move forward," he said.

Even though he is yet to publicly concede defeat as the tally of results still ongoing, Wongbe said, "We took a bold step few years ago to move Nimba forward and, while we weren't successful, we remain committed to sharing our vision and cause."

Before the conduct of the polls on December 8, campaign in Nimba County took trends of vices; some preaching tribal politics.

Since December 8, Nimbaians with interest in the two leading candidates, Gongloe-Weh and Koung, have taken to social media lambasting one another. One post on Facebook reads: "Other counties were divided because of political marginalization. PYJ moving Nimba in this direction. Enough is enough for his tribalism and glottonalism." On Representative Koung's page, he said: "We don't discriminate, (I repeat) we don't discriminate, Nimba Unity for Nimba Development." Still other posts have assertions such as "Gio people strong; Mano woman cannot win in Districts 4, 5, 6, and 7; We told you to create a county in Nimba and you never agreed with us."

These discriminatory and tribal statements have overwhelmed the political space in Nimba with a high certainty that whoever wins between the two leading candidates; Edith Gongloe-Weh and Representative Jeremiah Koung, will be left with bitternes and will undermine peaceful coexistence in Nimba.

With the prevailing situation, Taa Wongbe said: "For us, we are turning our focus to uniting the county and working tirelessly to move Nimba and Liberia forward and build our country for the next generation."

"To the young people of Nimba," he added, "Our heads are still up high and our promise remains to ensure we uplift the young people and thank you for fighting with me."

Taa Wongbe, who stands in the least category with Dorr Cooper in the tallying, was the youngest among the seven candidates in Nimba with a political slogan, "Moving Nimba Forward.

He ran as independent candidates after he lost the controversial CPP Primary in Sanniquellie on September 6, 2020 to Madam Edith Gongloe-Weh.

Latest results has it that Taa Wongbe has so far accumulated 5% of the votes counted so far in the county.

The senatorial election in Nimba is tough between Madame Gongloe-Weh and Representative Koung. Both are topping in various places. Koung in his electoral district 1 struggled with Madame Gonglow-Weh, and the female candidate made significant marks in districts 2, and 3. Also in districts 8 and 9, she topped with wide margins and she and her rival, Koung, share district 7. Koung moved ahead significantly in districts 4, 5, 6, but battled with former Representative Garretson Yealue who could not campaign anywhere but only in those districts.

Nimba people voted on what could be seen as three reasons; first, the unpopular status of the CDC-led government that also caused Montserrado County Senator Darius Dillon to gain high political fame, Nimba women want female representation in the Legislature and therefore they put their weight behind Madame Gongloe-Weh, and still others voted considered the influence of Senator Prince Johnson and the fact that Representative Koung has enough money and materials to distribute among voters.

Regardless of the tough race that giving ground to supporters of Koung to celebrate now, some supporters of Madam Edith Gongloe-Weh remain optimistic of victory.

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