Gbarnga — The announcement Saturday by Bong County Senator Dr. Henrique Tokpa that he would be seeking re-election for a second term in 2023 has evoked mixed reactions from different segments of the county.
Tokpa, who only returned to the county last week, four months after a medical trip in the United States of America, said: “Our work is enough to deter any opposition.”
Nathaniel Mulbah, a youth advocate in Bong County, said that Bongese (residents of Bong) should reject the second term bid of Senator Tokpa, claiming he has failed to bring back the dividends of democracy since he was elected in 2018.
Mulbah said though Tokpa has the constitutional right to seek re-election, it would be foolhardy to experience nine years of leadership of Senator Tokpa. His words: “He has a constitutional right to seek re-election, but Bongese also have the constitutional right to reject him.
“It is left for Bongese to decide if they want nine years of this lack of development, failed representation at the Liberian Senate, and his inability to reconcile the county as he promised during his campaign. If Bongese say they want a senator that hasn’t done much for six years, it is left for them. But I am sure residents of the county would not be crazy to retain Tokpa for nine years.”
But there are others who think that Dr. Tokpa, who was elected in 2018, has done so well during his six years at the Liberian Senate. Hawa Momo, a supporter of Dr. Tokpa, said. “He needs time to complete all of the campaign promises he made in 2018.”
Derrick Peabody, a resident of Fuamah District, believes that there is no one competent in the race than Tokpa and as such he should be re-elected.
There have been rumors that the former Cuttington University president was considering relinquishing his ambition to make way for his brother-in-law and former Bong County superintendent Ranney Jackson, who announced his intention to contest for the Senate in 2023.
Responding to those allegations, Dr. Tokpa said: “I just don’t know where those rumors are coming from. How can I leave my job for my brother-in-law?”
Tokpa’s declaration to contest, according to political pundits, would make it impossible for Senator Prince Moye to openly endorse a candidate in 2023 amid rumors that he had agreed to support Jackson.
Moye and Tokpa have created a strong bond dating as far back as their days at Cuttington University when Tokpa appointed Moye as the university’s cafeteria manager before going on to become procurement director.
Moye and Tokpa have also supported each other’s political ambitions. In 2011, Tokpa was instrumental in helping Moye become representative of Jorquelleh District Two. Tokpa was accused of using the university’s funds to support Moye’s ambition, though he refuted the allegations.
In 2018, Moye rewarded Tokpa, playing an integral role in helping him become senator. When asked on State radio about whether he would support Tokpa in 2023, Moye wasn’t definitive. “I have always supported Dr. Henrique Tokpa in the past, but this time around we will meet to discuss about the future.”
Whether Moye supports Tokpa or not in 2023, it remains inevitable that he won’t be re-elected, according to opinion poll conducted by several community radio stations in the county.