By Tewroh-Wehtoe Sungbeh
Charles Walker Brumskine is a lawyer and a Liberian politician.
I don’t even know whether Mr. Brumskine wants to be known as a politician first, a lawyer second, or verse visa.
What I know is that he’s known as one of Liberia’s best legal minds.
On the political front, however, Mr. Brumskine hasn’t shown the brilliance that some saw in him as a lawyer, which propelled him from an asterisk to a household name and on to the national political scene as a one-time serious presidential candidate.
From one opportunistic political miscalculation to another; Mr. Brumskine seems to be ‘trying his luck’ in a desperate attempt to win the Liberian presidency, by any means necessary.
Mr. Brumskine tried his luck in government once in the 2000s as a reliable legislative floor leader to the disgraced Charles Taylor, during the heyday of Mr. Taylor’s tyrannical rule as a “Senator representing” Grand Bassa County.
The most unconscionable part of Mr. Brumskine’s politics during that painful period is his selfishness and the insensitivity he showed the Liberian people when he sacrificed his soul (if there is any left in him), and everything he stands for as the shining public face representing tyranny, corruption, greed, deaths and destruction.
Brumskine’s self-centered politics has once again shown its face in his latest move when he chose as his running mate Harrison S. Kanwea, Sr., amid the 2017 ruling by the Supreme Court of Liberia, which upheld Article 56 (a) of the Code of Conduct law signed by President Sirleaf in 2014 and passed by the national legislature.
According to article 56 (a) “all officials appointed by the President of the Republic of Liberia are not to engage in political activities, canvass or contest for elected offices, use Government facilities, equipment or resources in support of partisan or political activities or serve on a campaign team of any political party or the campaign of an independent candidate for two years.” Article 56 (a) of the same code also states: “Any other official appointed by the President who holds a tenured position and desires to contest for public elective office shall resign said post three (3) years prior to the date of such public elections.”
Harrison S. Kanwea, Sr., formerly of the ruling Unity Party, and now a convenient member of Charles Brumskine’s Liberty Party, resigned his post in the Sirleaf administration as Manager Director of the Forestry Development Authority as recent as March 12, 2017, to be the running mate of Charles Walker Brumskine.
So, the Code of Conduct law does not apply to vice presidential candidates?
Well, the so-called “Nimba County Factor” perhaps is the apparent reasons behind Charles Brumskine’s about-face – or his pivot from heading in the right direction of abiding by the law of the land; to pandering to Nimba County, in a dishonest attempt to win the Liberian presidency at any cost.
Is there a Nimba County factor?
Are the citizens of Nimba County like herds kind of easy to get, and easy to be driven to the polls to vote for a candidate – any candidate who does not share their values and their politics?
Are they capable of voting for the best candidate who shares their values, their dreams and their aspirations, and not because the person is a Nimba County citizen?
Are the people of Nimba County monolithic in their politics?
I don’t want to believe the latter.
That’s because the numbers from recent elections in which a native-Nimbanian was in a race against another native-Nimbanian is as revealing as the analysis that comes out of the mouths and pens of Liberian political observers.
Running as an Independent candidate for the senate in October 18, 2005 in a three-way race between Adolphus Dolo and Evans Vaye Koah, perennial candidate Prince Johnson received 33.8% of the votes, way below the 50 percent threshold to avoid a runoff.
Also during the November 8, 2005 (national) presidential runoff elections, and in a three-way race, Charles Brumskine and his running mate, Amelia Ward received 13.9% of the votes; not even 50%.
The numbers are even huge when non-Nimbanians are in the race against Prince Johnson in a national election.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf received 43.9% of the votes to Prince Johnson’s 11.6%, and Winston Tubman’s 11.6%, in the October 11, 2011 presidential elections.
All I am saying is Prince Johnson is not invincible in Nimba County. He surely can be defeated in Nimba County. Period!
The ticket of Charles Brumskine and Harrison Karnwea can also be defeated in Nimba County.
Both Charles Brumskine and Harrison Karnwea, Sr., can be defeated in Nimba County if the opposing side can take a winning bread and butter message to the people, can project strength and an inspiring message that resonates hope, unity and inclusion in an age of hunger, poverty and human suffering, in the era of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
Like in all of Liberia, the people of Nimba County are not to be taken for granted politically, and shouldn’t fall for anybody because the person is from their part of town.
The Liberian people cannot afford to vote for bad, corrupt, insensitive, uncaring and unaccountable candidates and leaders.
We have a bunch around already.