Liberia: Francis Nyumalin Is Divisive Figure the Right Fit for Internal Affairs?

Monrovia — Mr. Francis Nyumalin, one of the key actors partly blamed for election violence in Foya, Lofa County during the heat of the 2023 presidential and legislative elections was tipped last week as President Joseph Boakai’s pick for the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Nyumalin, a former Representative of District #1, Lofa County, was embroiled in pre-election violence in the county, resulting in death of at least two people. His rivalry with fellow Representative Thomas Fallah culminated in Fallah’s victory in the October 2023 elections.

During the lead-up to the 2023 elections, Nyumalin and the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change exchanged heated rhetoric and threats, including the deployment of party militants.

In May 2023, footage emerged showing individuals dressed in khaki by the then-ruling coalition for Democratic Change who claimed they were the party’s militants deployed to protect the parties in case of any eventuality. In response, Nyumalin announced the recruitment of 1000 youths, to counter any altercations from the Coalition for Democratic Change.

Critics argued that Nyumalin’s reckless rhetoric and mishandling of the violence contributed to loss of life among Liberians.

His nomination has garnered mixed reactions from the public with critics accusing him of being too divisive to head a major ministry that is tasked with internal security and governance.

“Mr. Francis Nyumalin’s nomination as Minister of Internal Affairs was not a good decision,” said Abraham Tarnue, responding to Nyumalin’s nomination on his Facebook page.

“He has been a divisive figure way before the elections. He has made so many enemies, especially in Lofa. He is not a reconciler.”

“We will be having an Internal Affairs Minister that openly declared and supported to be instigators of violence. His seed he planted in Lofa left our friends dead,” added Emmanuel Mulbah.

But Prince Payloe was full of praise: “I wish to congratulate you (Hon. Francis Nyumalin) on your appointment as the honorable minister of ministry of Internal affairs by the president. This has shown that the nation recognizes your experience, integrity and patriotism to discharge creditably the duty of a [an] honorable minister of the republic of Liberia. Again, congratulations.”

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