Claim: “The current opposition [members] are all former government officials,” said Jefferson Koijee, the Mayor of Monrovia and Secretary of Mr Weah’s Congress for Democratic Change.
Verdict: False. Checks by DUBAWA and interviews with some opposition members indicate that not all have been in government.
Monrovia’s Mayor Jefferson Koijee has told a gathering of intellectuals that the current opposition seeking to dethrone incumbent President Weah are all former government officials.
The Mayor’s statement comes in the wake of opposition slogans that Liberia needs to be “rescued” from the hands of Mr Weah.
But Mr Koijee questioned the authenticity of the different slogans claiming that the opposition members are former government officials who had the opportunity to serve but failed to deliver the country at the time of service.
“Look at the current opposition; they are all former government officials. When we were in opposition, we never had former government [officials in] opposition,” said the Mayor.
With five months to go for the October 10 Presidential and Legislative elections, the message for votes is taking diverse trends. The Mayor’s video has since attracted varied opinions.
Given his place as Mayor and his role in the country’s governance structure, his words and comments are important in the lead-up to the election. DUBAWA decided to investigate if all the opposition members were once government officials.
Mayor Koijee, the Secretary of the Congress for Democratic Change, a constituent party within the ruling Coalition, made the statement on Saturday, May 27, 2023, at an ‘Intellectual Center.’ He made the particular claim around the 28 mins of his assertion that spanned for 31:53sec.
Government officials are people elected or appointed to administer a government. Like the “Vocabulary Dictionary,” the Free Dictionary shares the same definition.
Why is the claim important to investigate?
To serve in government is to be allowed to improve the lives of citizens. If the claim by Mayor Koijee is true, then it means all the opposition members who now seek to govern once had the opportunity to improve the people’s lives but failed to do so.
So DUBAWA decided to investigate if the claim was true.
When contacted, some members of the opposition community in Liberia rejected the claim from the Mayor of Monrovia and the Secretary of the CDC.
Nelsco Wolo, National Vice Chairman for Mobilization and Recruitment of the Opposition Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MDR), is a party headed by Senator Jeremiah Koung, now a running mate to Amb. Joseph Boakai of the Unity Party clarified that he has not worked in government.
In a conversation with ‘DUBAWA’, he said: “I am not a former government official; for me, I haven’t been a government official. The Mayor should be able to define his motive behind the statement.”
The opposition Unity Party National Vice Chair for Inter-Party Relations and National Elections Commission Affairs, Cornelius Kruah-Togba, in a conversation with DUBAWA, also clarified that she was neither appointed nor elected by the President nor the electorate and can, therefore, not be said to have worked in government before.
Another opposition leader, Aloysius Toe, the Secretary General of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), said the claim that all opposition members are former government members is untrue.
“Alexander Cummings, the leader of the CPP, has not served as a government official. I am Aloysius Toe. I am the secretary of the CPP. I have not worked in government since my existence,” said Toe.
The Mayor, however, declined to substantiate his claim against the opposition members despite efforts by DUBAWA to get him to substantiate his claim.
The claim by the Mayor of Monrovia that all members of the opposition in Liberia are all former governments is false! Investigation proved that some opposition members are not former government officials.