Liberian Female Journalist To Launch Book

A Liberian female and award winning journalist, Mae Azango, is expected to launch a book on November 26, 2017.

Mae made the disclosure Tuesday, explaining that the book, titled: “Voice of the Trumpetess,” tells the stories of her childhood, adolescent, youth and adult lives. “The book unveils my struggle with physical abuse, battle with psychological effects, story on my failed marriage, childbirth and many complicated stories of my life that many are going through today,” she said..

Mae noted that the book is focusing on how she started her life as a refugee in Ivory Coast when Liberia was experiencing civil crisis, how she was beaten everyday without any justice, how she was treated in the own home under the leadership of an elected president, her school days and how she made her way into journalism.

The Liberian female journalist said she had not anticipated being a journalist, but dreamed of becoming a hotel manager.  “The University of Liberia’s entrance and placement exams were already over the year I returned to Liberia. So I decided to kill time at the LBS [Liberia Broadcasting System] Journalism School so that I would not be carried way by the environment,” Mae maintained.

According to her, upon understanding the profession and how it allows one to expose ills in society, she created passion for the profession, thus paving the way for her to express the condition of the people in bringing transformation to their cases. “Knowing that pen was mightier than the sword and it helps shrift the destiny of the country, I started to love journalism and this is where it has brought me,” she said.

She continued: “When I found out that using my pen to address issues that were solving problems in my society, I said wow, instead of me stressing vain debating in the streets and at intellectual forums, I can just pen them on the paper, by going into the slumps communities and places where the marginalized groups are found and telling their stories for redress.

The Liberian journalist also indicated that her new book is not only going to explain her stories but also help transform the lives of young people that will read her stories. She said it will also help inspire and motivate lots of young people by boosting their spirit for life and take away barriers in achieving their dreams.

Mae emphasized that her book is going to impact the life of the younger generation in journalism, including girls who do not want to go to school anymore because of some situation or circumstances. She noted that it will serve as motivation to these women and their lives and that she might serve as a role model to young once who find themselves at the bottom line of poverty ladder and have given up hope in life, “If they read my book, they will say ‘if Mae Azango can rise up what is about me’ and my book will serve as motivator to them because what I went through is what young girls are still going through, they have no one to talk to them, but the way I handle mine, they can learn from my experiences.”

Meanwhile, Mae has urged young people, especially girls in the journalism profession to create name for themselves and a reputation to protect. She said being a journalist makes one a public eye and whatever he or she does should merit his or her way and be themselves, indicating, “Once you are a journalist, you are a public eye and you need to be careful with your body and whom you have a relationship with because you have a profession and a name to uphold.”

Mae is a Liberian and an international award-winning journalist whose pen-pushing has trumpeted the voices of the abuse and has forced the hand of the government out of inaction and continues to speak out for justice for the marginalized groups.

A Liberian female and award winning journalist, Mae Azango, is expected to launch a book on November 26, 2017.

Mae made the disclosure Tuesday, explaining that the book, titled: “Voice of the Trumpetess,” tells the stories of her childhood, adolescent, youth and adult lives. “The book unveils my struggle with physical abuse, battle with psychological effects, story on my failed marriage, childbirth and many complicated stories of my life that many are going through today,” she said..

Mae noted that the book is focusing on how she started her life as a refugee in Ivory Coast when Liberia was experiencing civil crisis, how she was beaten everyday without any justice, how she was treated in the own home under the leadership of an elected president, her school days and how she made her way into journalism.

The Liberian female journalist said she had not anticipated being a journalist, but dreamed of becoming a hotel manager.  “The University of Liberia’s entrance and placement exams were already over the year I returned to Liberia. So I decided to kill time at the LBS [Liberia Broadcasting System] Journalism School so that I would not be carried way by the environment,” Mae maintained.

According to her, upon understanding the profession and how it allows one to expose ills in society, she created passion for the profession, thus paving the way for her to express the condition of the people in bringing transformation to their cases. “Knowing that pen was mightier than the sword and it helps shrift the destiny of the country, I started to love journalism and this is where it has brought me,” she said.

She continued: “When I found out that using my pen to address issues that were solving problems in my society, I said wow, instead of me stressing vain debating in the streets and at intellectual forums, I can just pen them on the paper, by going into the slumps communities and places where the marginalized groups are found and telling their stories for redress.

The Liberian journalist also indicated that her new book is not only going to explain her stories but also help transform the lives of young people that will read her stories. She said it will also help inspire and motivate lots of young people by boosting their spirit for life and take away barriers in achieving their dreams.

Mae emphasized that her book is going to impact the life of the younger generation in journalism, including girls who do not want to go to school anymore because of some situation or circumstances. She noted that it will serve as motivation to these women and their lives and that she might serve as a role model to young once who find themselves at the bottom line of poverty ladder and have given up hope in life, “If they read my book, they will say ‘if Mae Azango can rise up what is about me’ and my book will serve as motivator to them because what I went through is what young girls are still going through, they have no one to talk to them, but the way I handle mine, they can learn from my experiences.”

Meanwhile, Mae has urged young people, especially girls in the journalism profession to create name for themselves and a reputation to protect. She said being a journalist makes one a public eye and whatever he or she does should merit his or her way and be themselves, indicating, “Once you are a journalist, you are a public eye and you need to be careful with your body and whom you have a relationship with because you have a profession and a name to uphold.”

Mae is a Liberian and an international award-winning journalist whose pen-pushing has trumpeted the voices of the abuse and has forced the hand of the government out of inaction and continues to speak out for justice for the marginalized groups.

 

 

Today Marks UN’s 72nd Anniversary

Today Marks UN’s 72nd Anniversary Read more

American Islamic Cleric Converts 22 Persons

By Mafanta Kromah

A visiting American Islamic Scholar, Sheikh Khalid Yasin, has converted 22 persons to Islam. The 12 males and 10 females willingly accepted the Islamic faith Sunday, October 22, 2017, after hear powerful messages from Yasin at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS) in Monrovia.

In his message, Yasin exhorted both Muslims and Christians to stand together to protect their families, communities and their society Liberia and to let go vices and differences, stressing that Liberia is greater than vices and differences.

The American Islamic Cleric spoke of the importance for Muslims not to, in any way, forget the teaching of the Messengers: Prophet Mohammed, Jesus and all other prophets (Peace and blessing of Allah be upon them) that came on mission for God. Yasin was quick to remind that they all spoke about scriptures and Liberia needs to live by the scriptures.

“Islam is a religion of peace but the media opportunists have used their airwaves to misinterpret the religion,” the Islamic Cleric claimed. “This has led to the misconception of many about the religion, Islam.”

The born Christian turned Muslim Scholar encouraged Muslims and Christians to join together in heart, minds and hands to protect Liberia and should not allow the lower elements to destroy the prosperity of Liberia, “We ask the Almighty God to bless your land and its leaders and all other citizens to greatness.”

He noted that Muslims and Christians need to compete in behavior, in the investment of resources and compete with their faith to make Liberia one of the best and most beautiful and prosperous countries in Africa.

“It is not my job to defend Islam from those uneducated ones that are carrying misinterpretation about the religion, because a clean water in a clean glass does not need to be defended because the water can defend itself,” he noted.

He continued,”If you take a clouded, colorful and mixture of water in a glass near a clean and pure water of glass, the pure water of glass does not need to defend itself at all.” He said that is to say the Quran is clean and Islam is pure so it does not need to be defended by anyone, noting that Muslims and those that accept Islam also need to be pure.

Yasin emphasized that the “law enforcers cannot expect to be respected if they themselves are acting like the criminals, your government that are leading this country cannot expect to be respected if they are destroying the resources of your country and Muslims should not expect themselves to be respected if they themselves are misrepresenting the Quran and the teaching of the Prophet Mohammed (Pbbuh).

He said Muslims are not example of Islam but are humans, noting that true Muslims and Christians need not to defend Mohammed and Jesus (Pbbuh). “You all need to be grateful and respect the constitution of your country, if you want your country to be dignify, you need to lead your country with an example,” he narrated.

At the same time, Yasin maintained that the youth should go to school and get education. He encouraged the youth to get a life plan or someone else may plan for them.

He said Africans live in Africa but the key is in another people hands, indicating that if Africans want God to help, they need to change their minds and behavior so that Allah will help them ‘get the key of Africa back’.

“With education and dignity, we can get the Africa we all want. Thirty percent of the natural resources in the world is from Africa but the people of Africa are not concentrating or committed to handling the key of Africa,”

He cautioned Muslims to extend their hands to the Christians because they both deal with scriptures and Liberia and its people need to lead by the scriptures.

Sheikh Khalid Yasin, also known Abu Mohammed, is a born Christian converted to Islam. He has converted many to the Islamic religion and has traveled to many countries including Liberia to spread the faith.

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‘Remain Calm’!-Women Situation Room Cautions Political Parties & Supporters

By Abraham Morris-231886294820- abrahammorrisabrahammorris@gmail.com

The Women Situation Room (WSR) of the Angie Brooks International Center (ABIC) through its Establishment Coordinator, Cllr. Yvette Chesson Wureh, has cautioned standard bearers of political parties and supporters to remain calm and patiently await the collation, tallying and final results by the National Elections Commission (NEC).

Addressing a news conference Monday, at the offices of the Women Situation Room (WSR), in Monrovia, the ABIC Establishment Coordinator said the WSR continues to monitor the counting, tallying and pronouncement of preliminary results.

Therefore, Cllr. Wureh reiterated that the phase of electoral process is as important as the registration, campaign and voting process, which has the propensity to derail the process and cause conflict.

The WSR appreciated the resilience and vigilance of the general public who called to report threats and incidence of violence which Eminent Women of the physical Situation Rooms in Monrovia and Suacoco were able to intervene in a timely manner in collaboration with NEC and the Liberia National Police (LNP).

She pointed out that the WSR is a women’s peace-building mechanism for the mitigation of conflict before, during and after elections in African countries.

According to her, the WSR mobilizes women in collaboration with youth to lobby and advocate stakeholders to support the call for peaceful elections.

She said the WSR is a non-partisan and neutral process that was initiated by the women in Liberia in 2011 with technical support from ABIC for Women’s Empowerment, Leadership, Development, International Peace and Security.

Cllr. Wureh said the WSR rollout a series of activities leading to the setting up of two physical situation rooms.

She said these included the setting up of a mini call center during voter registration; the talking bus which captured issues from communities in hotspots counties, the Youth Peace Torch, the  15,000 Women Peace March for peaceful elections, training for the Yanna Boys followed by the ECOWAS Youth Peace Summit.

As a result of its demonstrated effectiveness in preventing and mitigating election-related violence in several countries in Africa, the WSR was endorsed as best practice by the 2012 AU’s Gender is My Agenda campaign. The UN has also recognised the WSR as best practice in conflict and violence prevention.

The WSR is an initiative that mobilises, harnesses and taps into the expertise and experiences of women to act and mitigate potential conflict, leading to violence that could emerge before, during and after elections.

It empowers women and youth to play an active and direct role in peace and security efforts, and to engage in peace processes and conflict prevention mechanisms in accordance with UNSC resolutions 1325 and 1820.

The initiative was first used during the 2011 elections in Liberia, and has since been successfully replicated in Kenya (2013), Senegal (2012), Sierra Leone (2012), Nigeria (2014) and Uganda (2016), among other countries.

There were also plans to use it in Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and Togo. The operational approach of the WSR is expected to differ in individual countries, allowing for flexibility to adapt to local conditions and dynamics.

Cllr. Wureh said owing to the several challenges confronted by NEC during these elections, the WSR recommended that provision be made for lighting in the polling places to ensure increase visibility.

She also recommended that a change in the dates of elections should be considered so that elections are held in the dry season thus eliminating the problems during elections in the rainy season, which adversely affect the ability of NEC to distribute ballots materials and staff.

Should there be a run-off declared, the WSR through its Establishment Coordinator recommended that NEC conduct as immediate training of polling staff due to the high percentage of invalid votes (7.2%), which as their observer reported, were due largely to polling staff inking fingers before ballots were deposited as well as inefficiencies.

 

 

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Bahá’ís To Climax Founder’s Anniversary

The National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Liberia is expected to climax the observance of the 200th bicentennial celebration of the birth of its founder, Bahá’u’lláh at the Boulevard Palace Hotel in Monrovia.

The Bahá’i Faith is the world’s fastest growing religion established in every country and territory across the globe with closed to 7 million believers. It is an independent world religion that teaches the oneness of God, the oneness of religion and the oneness of mankind.

Its founder, Bahá’u’lláh (The Glory of God), was born in Persia; modern day Iran in 1817 and declared Himself to the world in 1863 as the promised Manifestation for all religions and peoples of the earth. Here in Liberia, the Bahá’i National Spiritual Assembly was established since 1975.

The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’is of Liberia in a press release issued in Monrovia recently, encouraged friends and everyone to investigate the healing message of Bahá’u’lláh for all mankind.

“Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Bahá’i Faith has brought teachings to unify the whole world; teachings that address the current situation of the world’s countless challenging problems,” said the release.

“Bahá’is are using the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh to offer service in communities they reside in through moral and spiritual educational programs for children, spiritual empowerment of adolescence girls and boys through mentorship and collective community worship for youth and adults,” the release furthered.

The Bahá’is Faith came to Liberia in the early 1950s and has taking root in all fifteen counties before the civil war through its popular radio programs (Radio Bahá’i) and community engagements.

Today, Bahá’is in most of these counties are very active, spreading the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh through religious and social activities and are all planning to host guests as they celebrate the 200th birth anniversary of Bahá’u’lláh, founder of The Bahá’i Faith in accordance with guidance from the Universal House of Justice (The Bahá’i World Center) on Mount Carmel, in Haifa, Israel.

 

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Carter Center Forms Part Of Liberia’s History Making

Carter Center International Election Observation Mission Co-leaders to Liberia for the October 10, 2017 presidential and representative elections have expressed its excitement of being a part of the history making process which is expected to take place in the country.

It can be recalled that Liberians from all walks of life turned out in their numbers on October 10 to vote in an election that has been described as the first democratic transition to be held in Liberia after 73 years, thus handing power from one democratic elected president to another.

Speaking to reporters at one of the voting centers in Sinkor Tuesday, a member of Carter Center International Observation Mission, former president of the Central African Republic (CAR), H. E. Catherine Samba-Panza asserted that she was very happy to be part of Carter Center team to support the democratic process in Liberia.

“I am honored to join Jason Carter and Jordan Ryan in leading the Carter Center observation mission in Liberia. It is a very important mission for Liberia and Africa at large,” she said.

The Carter Center official further added that they had meetings with all of the political parties as well as civil society organizations, expressing hope that the process would be peaceful.

“Our hope is that Liberians come out to participate in the voting process so they can sustain the peace in Liberia,” she noted.

Also speaking, Carter Center Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Jason Carter said his institution deployed its team members across Liberia including both local and international observers.

“We are excited about the day and we are in the process of bringing and collecting information, but it is very early in the day so we will not be able to make any statement about the process until few days after the election,” he asserted.

For his part, Jordan Ryan, Carter Center Vice President of Carter Center Peace Programs, said Carter Center is currently using electronic mechanics to collect information from various polling centers across the country, noting that they we will be getting real time report that will help them analyze the electoral process.

He asserted that Carter Center currently has 50 international observers along with the locals that are assigned all over the country to monitor, gather and give comprehensive information to the institution.

“As you know international observers are here not to say this and that, but more to talk about the process and that is what we are looking at very carefully,” he concluded.

Meanwhile, Carter Center has disclosed that it will hold a press conference to release its preliminary statement and findings on Thursday, October 12, 2017 in Monrovia to give more details on the electoral process.

 

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Impressive! -As Democracy Gains Strength

Election periods often have the potential to create tension and threaten social cohesion. Rising tensions can sometimes spill over into outbreaks of violence. Factors leading to violence include a lack of understanding of and confidence in the electoral process and rules and regulations governing the elections, in addition to manipulation of individuals or marginalized groups, particularly urban youths, by unscrupulous politicians.

Until Tuesday, this had been the worry of many Liberians and partners, having observed the reported tearing down of campaign posters and fliers. The situation prompted some concerned people calling for the postponement of the elections. Campaigns for non-violent elections intensified across Liberia because, in the minds of campaigners, tensions were at hand.

Long time politician, Mr. Togba Na-Tipoteh, who withdrew from contesting the presidency, is one of those who called for the postponement of the process, citing irregularities.

But the anxiety was very high on October 10 when Liberians turned out in their numbers to vote in the most-touted and historic elections. Generally, the momentum was impressive, setting the pace for Liberia’s peaceful transition in many decades.

Polls were closed at 6pm on Tuesday, in accordance with NEC schedule and ballot counting began. However, many Liberians remained resilient in queues Tuesday night to vote.

In comparing this to previous postwar elections: in 2005 and 2011, the overall atmosphere of Tuesday’s elections indicated that Liberia is making headway.

Observations by In Profile Daily and reports from polling centers across Liberia indicated that Liberians were in high excitement but peaceful mood to vote.

Diana Johnson, 34, in an excited mood after voting early Tuesday on Somalia Drive, said this: “I have exercised my right. I have voted for my children’s future. I am calling on all Liberians to go to vote because the process is good.”

According to Diana, she joined the queue as early as 4am on Tuesday, adding, “I did not sleep because I knew the queue was going to be very long. This is how I was able to vote soon.”

The queues were long and the voters impatient at some polling centers due to the snail’s pace in the process. Also, there were reports of misunderstandings in some places. However, the reports, according to National Elections Commission (NEC) workers and observers, were not harmful to the entire process.

Be as it may, democracy is gaining strength and Liberians were able to express their constitutional right. Furthermore, mature politics is taking roots in Liberia based on the manner and form Liberians conducted themselves.

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NEC Blamed! -LNP Unprepared  

 

By Abraham Morris-231886294820- abrahammorrisabrahammorris@gmail.com

 

Several persons humiliated by serious traffic congestion along the Tubman Boulevard and other existing routes in Monrovia and its suburbs, have blamed the National Elections Commission (NEC), for causing the traffic congestion by allowing the governing Unity Party and opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC) to close their rallies on October 7, 2017.

 

Many commuters, pedestrians and vehicles were on Saturday, October 7, 2017, seen stranded in bottleneck traffic for almost 12 to 15 hours from late Saturday afternoon to the early hours of yesterday due to the closure of official campaign activities of the UP and the ANC.

 

The situation caused several users of various routes in Monrovia to abandon their vehicles thus leading to criminals bursting into their cars and making away with several parts and other valuables.

 

It was also observed that partisans of UP and the ANC were seen raining invectives and other anti-party slogans at each other’s when ANC supporters made their ways home using the Congo Town, Tubman Boulevard route that hosts the headquarters of the Unity Party.

 

The unfortunate situation occurred as a result of an NEC ruling instructing the Unity Party to launch at her headquarters in Congo Town while giving the go-ahead to the ANC to use the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS) in central Monrovia.

 

Few days back, the UP and the ANC had announced the official closure of their campaign rallies on the 7th of October, requesting the usage of the ATS in central Monrovia.

 

The situation caused serious uproar and war of words between the two political parties thus leading the ANC to file a formal complaint to the NEC; after which NEC ruled that both parties have their events but the ANC using the ATS while instructing Unity Party to use her headquarters; a situation that led to serious traffic congestion causing serious embarrassment for ordinary pedestrians, and other private vehicles and individuals plying that route.

 

It can be recalled that pandemonium broke out around 4 p.m. recently in Sanniquellie, Nimba County, when partisans of the Coalition of Democratic Change (CDC) and the Liberty Party (LP) reportedly clashed, while the two sides were simultaneously conducting their respective political rallies.

 

The situation, according to eyewitnesses, became so tense that partisans from the opposing sides resulted to stone throwing; thereby wounding several people. Police officers later arrested a number of the protestors, while the wounded were taken to the G. W. Harley Hospital on the outskirts of Sanniquellie for treatment.

 

Eyewitness told the journalists on the scene that the CDC while en-route to the Yekepa, north of Sanniquellie, supporters of the Liberty Party reportedly blocked the main entrance around the vicinity of the Circuit Court, demanding that the CDC uses a detour, because authorities of the National Elections Commission (NEC) disallows two parties campaigning in a given locality at the same time.

 

But the CDCians, who were travelling with their Standard Bearer, Senator George Weah, did not waste any time, but allegedly forced their way through the Liberty Party line, thereby intensifying the clash.

 

ANC accused UP of exerting undue influence on the electoral process to deny other parties the right to freely associate and to get their message out.

 

The ANC also accused the UP of using incumbency power to subdue the opposition adding that the party and its Standard Bearer, Alexander Cummings are in accordance with NEC’s regulations.

 

Motorists from the Paynesville area were piled up from the Congo Town belt near the residence of former President Charles Taylor while those coming from downtown Monrovia were trapped on the other side of town.

 

According to several pedestrians, supporters of the ruling party parked cars on the main streets, causing traffic delays.

 

Several persons blamed the situation on NEC for not announcing the dates for each party’s rally. UP, along with Liberty Party and the Coalition for Democratic Change had previously launched their campaigns in Montserrado County.

 

One motorist told Front Page Africa she was stucked in the traffic for nearly nine hours. “They actually blocked the road. Can you believe this? I got home 12:45 am. I got stucked at the Nigerian Embassy at 4:pm. How can leaders be so insensitive?”

 

Meanwhile, pedestrians and commuters are also blaming the Liberia National Police for not being adequately prepared to deal with the situation.

 

 

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Tomorrow Is D-Day -Behold Your Presidential Candidates

With the counting of hours and minutes to Liberia’s historic polls tomorrow, it is believed that, by 11:59PM on October 8, 2017, the 20 presidential and 986 legislative candidates had satisfactorily carried out campaign activities across the country; as declared by the National Elections Commission (NEC).  Campaign lasted from July 31 to 11:59PM on October 8, 2017.

Liberian voters, on the other hand, had heard, critiqued and subsequently decided candidates of their choices, either by desire or inducements of some kind.

The stage is set and election materials, according to NEC, are available at polling places across the country.

In this direction and as Liberians soberly reflect today, following the hectic campaign period as well as contemplating on whom to elect tomorrow, the In Profile Daily brings a food-for-thought on this day with briefs about the presidential candidates. They are listed here in the same order as published by the National Elections Commission:

BOAKAI, Joseph Nyuma, Unity Party (UP): Joseph Nyuma Boakai, Sr. is a public-spirited patriot and dedicated public servant who has served his country and people diligently. His service to the nation, which spanned more than 35 years, included various positions in government, private sector, agro-related, church and civil society.

In all of those responsibilities, Vice President Boakai exhibited exemplary qualities, which is reminiscent of his humble beginnings. Born in the remote village of Worsonga in Foya District, Lofa County, on November 30, 1944, Vice President Boakai has withstood the test of time and epitomized the Liberian adage which states: “It does not matter where you are coming from, but where you are headed.” He is a radiant of hope for his home town and a model citizen.

AGAINST: When it comes to Boakai, voters are generally withdrawn from supporting him because of the party to which he belongs.  The usual take on the streets is that the UNITY PARTY has been in power for too long without much to show for that period. The president’s lack of backing for Boakai is also a factor that is usually mentioned when he’s spoken of.

WHAT WILL IT BE: Incumbency is a two-edge-sword for Boakai, he is hampered both by the negatives and positives of the ruling Unity Party. He also enjoys international connectivity built over the years as Vice President.  His Lofa County root is a plus, as the tide seems to be drawn to electing someone from one of the four big counties; Lofa, Nimba, Bong and Grand Gedeh.

It is also a known public secret that many top government officials have thrown their weights covertly or overtly behind him as insurance to maintain their jobs or get something relative in a Boakai administration should he be elected.

GOING SECOND ROUND?: Unless another party pulls a Tsumani, Boakai is sure to go second round.

BRUMSKINE, Charles Walker, Liberty Party (LP): Charles Walker Brumskine (born 27 April 1951) is a Liberian politician and attorney. He is the Political Leader of the Liberty Party and came third in the 2005 presidential election. He is considered the most popular opposition politician in Liberia, and he challenged Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf for the Presidency in 2011. He is also the senior partner of Brumskine & Associates, a leading Liberian law firm. He was educated at the University of Liberia where he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1973. Brumskine then attended the school’s Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law where he was awarded a Bachelor of Laws degree in 1981 and passed the Liberian bar. He earned a Master of Laws degree from the Dedman School of Law at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas the following year.

AGAINST: Brumskine’s detractors say he is plagued by statements made over the years, some see him as aloof and uppity. The senior politician once told Liberians that he was resigning from politics, only to reappear on the political scene as a presidential candidate in this year’s race; ‘beating dumboy in the Executive Mansion is also attributed to him. Worst of all, a statement on Islam/Moslem for which President Taylor had to apologize on his behalf has resurfaced in local media of late, thus giving his campaign a publicity headache.

Additionally, people in the streets have said over and over that they see no difference between him and Ellen and that his ascendency would be no different from the current administration.   

WHAT WILL IT BE: This campaign has been one of the best for Brumskine, compare to the last two 2005 and 2011. He has more resources that have enabled him to campaign widely across the country.  He has a solid campaign team that seems to be very well coordinated and financed. Bassa is his strongest-hold, but his campaign launch in Monrovia surprised many of his detractors, the number was super impressive and if crowd numbers was the thing, then he’s got the thing.

GOING SECOND ROUND?:  Possibly, but would depend on getting out the votes not only in Montserrado and Bassa Counties but across the nation with the hope that he could out strategize his opponents. Shy of this, he may fall shorter than his expectations.

COOPER, Macdella B., Liberia Restoration Party (LRP): MacDella Cooper (born March 13, 1977) is a philanthropist and founder of the MacDella Cooper Foundation, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and women in Liberia. In October 2016, Cooper announced her intention to run for the Presidency of Liberia in the 2017 Liberian National Elections. Cooper was born in Monrovia and lived in Liberia at the outbreak of the First Liberian Civil War. The war forced Cooper into exile in neighboring Côte d’Ivoire where she spent her early teenage years as a refugee before migrating to the United States in 1993. She attended and graduated from Barringer High School in Newark, New Jersey, where she was one of the top-ranked students in her class, and subsequently earned a full scholarship to The College of New Jersey. Cooper earned a degree in Communications.

AGAINST: People in the streets speak highly of Cooper but point to some of her statements as an act of immaturity in politics.  Her challenges in solidifying her party to her cause are also a sore-thumb for her. To many men spoken to, Cooper bears Ellen’s dead weight only because she is a woman; ‘another woman?’ is usually the snarly question in response.

WHAT WILL IT BE:  Without the kinds of resources like other political parties, Cooper has stood her grounds and continues to do very well, holding her weight in debates and other forums.  Whether she gets to the Mansion this time or not, Cooper is permanently a Liberian political force to reckon with, she’s sharp, eloquent and can challenge anyone to the game at any time and with the right resources, watch out, Liberia.

GOING SECOND ROUND?:  No, not in this election, maybe 7th or 8th.

COOPER, Oscar, Independent Candidate:  Senator of Margibi County in his bid to see Liberia making the difference among the comity of nations is enhancing Liberians to take control of their economy; meaning Liberians first, to develop the private sector in order to create jobs and decent living wages, a program that believes in building the capacity of the youth with technical skills training and job creation. He is one of Liberia’s respected and fearless Senators who have over the years advocated for the rights of all Liberians, a step admired by Liberians for being steadfast in performing his legislative duties. Some Liberians from all over gathered on the grounds of Kakata, the administrative seat of Margibi County to petition him to contest for the nation’s high seat, the presidency as an independent candidate.

AGAINST:  Good guy, good intentions, good programs for the nation but lacks the finance to push his agenda and support a national campaign.  People on the streets also point to his link with Taylor but are quick to note that he has redeemed himself by the kind of work he has been doing in the Senate.

WHAT WILL IT BE:  Should election go to second round, Senator Cooper could be a great addition to map out a forward looking plan for the nation; his legislative skills are impeccable and he understands the plight of the every-day-Liberian.  He understands the need for a robust Liberianization policy that will enable Liberians take control of their economy.  This election is a great stage for him to showcase what he has to offer but victory is far from him.

GOING SECOND ROUND?: No, maybe 10th or 12th  

 

CUMMINGS, Alexander B., AlternativeNational Congress (ANC): Alexander B. Cummings Jr. (born 7 December 1956) is a Liberian politician, businessman and philanthropist. Born in Monrovia Liberia, Cummings studied at Cuttington University College in Liberia before leaving for the United States to further his studies at the Northern Illinois University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and Economics. He earned an MBA in Finance from Atlanta University.

Cummings worked for over 40 years in international business. He retired as Chief Administrator from Coca-Cola in 2016, after a twenty years long career with the organization. Cummings has a long history of philanthropy and supporting his home county, Liberia, globally; supporting funding for water projects and providing students scholarships in Liberia, and donating to various causes including the African Methodist Episcopal University’s Innovation Center named in his honor. He currently serves as Chairman of the Cummings Africa Foundation

AGAINST:  People in the streets point to Cummings recent entry into the Liberian political scene and his lack of connectivity to local politics. For lack of “education” or for political points, he is also haunted by a corporate decision made by Coca Cola on the issue of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people in the work force at Coca Cola as it relates to employment.  For this, detractors have come to interpret it differently.

Cummings is also questioned for not doing enough with his connection to a fortune 500 company to help Liberians.

WHAT WILL IT BE: To his credit, Cummings philanthropic work has made a difference in the lives of several Liberians; he is supposedly one of the richest persons running in this year’s presidential race and has withstood the test of time throughout the campaign to pull numbers from other formidable parties.

Cummings supporters, detractors and people in the streets believe that he brings a newness to the Executive Mansion should he win.  However, his lack of local and international political experience is a drawback for some, fearing that Liberian politicians could devour him with local political gimmicks that may drive the nation to another valley of corruption for six to twelve years.

One thing that echoes across is that he may build a robust business environment that could eventually catapult Liberia into an enviable business destination in the region.

GOING SECOND ROUND?: Possibly, Cummings is considered the Dark Horse in this race, he has been pulling silent crowds around the country, especially in the interior.  If those numbers and the one this past weekend in Monrovia are true to him, he could possibly outshine UP, CDC or LP.

DWEH Sr., George Sluweh , Redemption Democratic Congress (RDC): George Dweh is a Liberian politician, who formerly operated in the LURD and the MODEL faction groups. He is also a cousin of former president Samuel K. Doe, a Krahn who seized power in a 1980 coup. Dweh served as Speaker of the National Transitional Legislative Assembly of Liberia (NTLA) from October 2003 to 14 March 2005, when he was suspended from the body after being accused of financial mismanagement and corruption.

AGAINST: Dweh’s past is against him, especially his track record as Speaker of the NTLA and what some of his colleagues still refer to as ‘unprofessional conduct of office’.  Additionally, Dweh does not hold the support of many of his kinsmen, although not a requirement.

WHAT WILL IT BE:  As a former Speaker, Dweh could serve as a policy wonk in any government that could use his expertise; and in this election; however he may not be in the top ten to impress his supporters and others.

GOING SECOND ROUND?: No, maybe 13th or 14th place.

FAHNBULLEH Jr,. Henry Boima,            Liberian People’s Party (LPP): Henry Boimah Fahnbulleh (born 1949) is a Liberian politician and diplomat. He is the Liberian Government’s current National Security Advisor in the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf administration. Previous to his appointment as National Security Advisor, he served as Advisor on International Affairs in the same government. He served as Foreign Minister from 1981 to 1983 under President Samuel Doe.

Fahnbulleh’s father, H. Boima Fahnbulleh, Sr. was also prominent in Liberian society; in Fahnbulleh Jr’s words, Fahnbulleh Sr. was “killed while striving for socio-economic justice”. In 1968, Fahnbulleh Sr. was convicted of treason based on his alleged writing of letters to other countries’ ambassadors asking for help in a conspiracy to overthrow the existing Liberian government. According to the prosecution, he had been plotting since 1956; a major portion of the prosecution’s case consisted of allegations that Fahnbulleh had criticized the Liberian government in front of other countries’ ambassadors while he was serving as the Liberian ambassador to Kenya.  Fahnbulleh Sr. adamantly denied the charges, stating that he deserved a new trial because the prosecution’s arguments were based on events that never happened. The prosecution replied that his arguments were “unmeritorious” because the events did not need to have happened in order for him to be guilty, and his request for a new trial was denied. Very soon after taking office in 1971, President William R. Tolbert, Jr. recognized that Fahnbulleh had been the victim of trumped-up charges and pardoned him.

AGAINST:  Fahnbulleh is tagged to the Progressives – Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Amos Sawyer, Commany Wesseh, Marcus Dahn and others included, who rightly agitated for change but misuse the opportunity when it came, only because they could not agree on how to move the nation forward, thus ill advising late President Samuel K. Doe and plunging the nation into mayhem.

He is also blamed for sitting quietly when the nation needed him the most to speak out on pertinent national issues under President Sirleaf, only because he enjoyed the luxury of his office as Security Advisor to her.

Fair or not, Progressives are all brushed with the same brushstroke by people spoken to in the streets, ‘the failed the people’.

WHAT WILL IT BE:  In terms of oration, eloquence, experience and statesman like behavior, Fahnbulleh outshines almost all in the race and may actually bring patriotism to the Executive Mansion.  But as a progressive and his association with the likes of those mentioned above, one of which is his running mate, Fahnbulleh’s chances are slim.

GOING SECOND ROUND?: No, but could be a great advisor on Education, National Security and Foreign Affairs in any government.

 

FREEMAN, Simeon C.M., Movement For Progressive Change (MPC):  Businessman and Standard Bearer for the Movement for Progressive Change (MPC). He is part owner of the Consolidated Group a Liberian communications technology firm that provides DSTV Cable TV service in Liberia.

Simeon donates generously to charity, including the indigent and others in need.

AGAINST:  People on the streets say Freeman is more controversial than building coalition to move this nation forward.  Trying another go at the Presidency, Freeman needs to settle down and work on building larger Multi-national Corporation that will be beneficial to the development of this nation.

Freeman’s skirmish with the police of recent that sent him into self imposed exile leaves a blemish on his political skin and is frown upon as someone who is about publicity stunt and not a serious political actor.

WHAT WILL IT BE: Freeman did not seem to have been financially equipped to have mounted the kind of campaign needed to win this election; as such, he is limited to a few noticeable billboards that are of interest to read.  As a relatively young man, Freeman has the fortune of time to one day launch a formidable campaign for the Executive Mansion.

GOING SECOND ROUND?: No, not any better than his last showing in the 2011 election.

 

JOHNSON, Prince Y.,          Movement For Democracy And Reconstruction (MDR): Prince Yormie Johnson (born 6 July 1952) is a Liberian politician and the current Senior Senator from Nimba County. A former rebel leader, Johnson played a prominent role in the First Liberian Civil War, in particular capturing, torturing, mutilating and executing President Samuel Doe, who overthrown and murdered the previous president William R. Tolbert Jr. Johnson ran in Liberia’s 2011 presidential election as the candidate of the newly formed National Union for Democratic Progress party. He placed third, with 11.6% of the vote; the election was won by the incumbent, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

AGAINST:  People on the streets point to many things against the Senator, he tortured and killed the late President Samuel K. Doe, a beloved son of Grand Gedeh County and buried him in an unmarked or mass grave. Senator Johnson’s inconsistencies in his spoken words and deeds.  His rough edged interactions with his kinsmen and other national players.  The senators inclusion on war crimes list and possible trial by a war crimes court.

These and many others are points raised by people spoken to about Senator Johnson and his possible ascendency to the highest office.

WHAT WILL IT BE:  Of all the candidates running, according to political watchers out there, Senator Johnson could be the one to provide Liberia the most security in his administration and may actually improve the level of patriotism amongst Liberians.

As a trained military personnel and politician, the Senator has the potential and understands Liberian Palava and may be very well equipped to bring people together if he chooses to.  However, his years of service in the Liberian Senate have been acrimonious, according to senate insiders and his rapport with his fellow lawmakers from Nimba have not been up to par.

Building and maintaining a political organization has been a problem for him, as seen in his separation from his former party to the current; he is said to want to be the head and tail, the only voice and decision maker, thus limiting the growth of the organization.

GOING SECOND ROUND?: No, the magic of 2011 is gone, Nimba is not in his corner as it was before, his several attempts at building coalitions failed and his ‘I am–I am–Out’ political gamesmanship in this political cycle did not help him.

 

JONES, Joseph Mills,           Movement For Economic Empowerment (MOVEE): Dr. Joseph Mills Jones was born in Sinoe County, to the union of Mr. Joseph Humphrey Jones and Mrs. Catherine Cooper Jones. His father was a small businessman and his mother a school teacher.      Joseph Mills Jones earned a bachelor degree in economics from Cuttington College, now Cuttington University (Magna Cum Laude), completing his studies in less than the prescribed four years. He also holds master and doctorate degrees in economics from the American University, Washington, D.C. He is married to Esther Buxton Jones. Dr. Jones has served in senior positions in both the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. His last position in Washington D.C. with the Bretton Woods Institutions was Alternate Executive Director of the World Bank for Africa Group I, comprising 22 countries. He was appointed Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia in 2006, and subsequently reappointed in 2011 to a second five year term. As CBL Governor, Dr. Jones plays a key role in managing the Liberian economy, and was an important member of the team that managed the debt relief process for heavily indebted poor countries with the IMF. The CBL under Dr. Jones’ leadership had been particularly keen to promote Liberian entrepreneurship, through several programs directed at increasing access to finance for Liberian businesses, including the Liberian Marketing Association, Petty Traders, Farmers and women in the villages in all 15 counties of Liberia through Village Savings and Loan Associations.

AGAINST:  People in the streets point to his pre-mature campaign activities under the guise of build economic empowerment schemes to benefit the people and his fight with Lawmakers.  He is also blamed for poor economic policy in the use of dual currencies.

The former governor is also questioned about extravagance at the CBL during his reign.

WHAT WILL IT BE:  Great financial mind, but Dr. Jones was not fair to the Liberian people about his intentions and his choice of players on his team exposed him to the sad state of his campaign he runs today; the rift that split he and his Special Assistant apart and brought in other players that did not share his initial vision was the blow that has come to hurt his chances at climbing the ladder to the presidency.

GOING SECOND ROUND?: No, not enough fire power to propel him.  Maybe 9th or 10th place.

 

KPADEH, Aloysius William,           IndependentCandidate:  Aloysius William Kpadeh is one who wants to bring his spiritual substance and credibility into the political limelight

AGAINST:  Running on religious platform or attention is not enough to take Kpadeh to the top, his message has to be holistically balanced and intended for greater national good.

WHAT WILL IT BE:  As a religious tolerant society, Liberia needs the likes of Kpadeh to keep us together in a bond that will not break, continuously finding reasons why coexisting would be more beneficial than not.

GOING SECOND ROUND?:  No

 

MATOR, Yarkpajuwur N., Independent Candidate: Born: September 5, 1957, Lofa County, Liberia, Yarkpajuwur N. Mator is a Scientist, Humanitarian, and also a politician who hopes to bring transformation to his home land by introducing scientific revolution to Liberia. He believes this will also help Liberia to move into the era of modern technology.

AGAINST:  Coming from Lofa with Boakai, people on the streets say he should have yielded to him like Garfuan did and that he needed to take his ideas of science and technology into the classroom for the betterment of our students.

WHAT WILL IT BE: Mator is an educator and could serve the next government in many areas, especially with the need for technological development at stake.

GOING SECOND ROUND?:  No

 

MCINTOSH, Wendell J.E., Change Democratic Actions (CDA): Wendell Mcintosh is the founder of the The African Development Aid (ADA) Commercial. He has a Masters in Public Administration. ADA was established in 1990. The company undertakes commercial agribusiness and related activities to increase food security in Liberia and the West African sub-region. With the vision of becoming a global and preferred agribusiness leader in West Africa, ADA COMMERCIAL’s mission is to organise, produce, and market rice and other agricultural commodities to the consumers. Through a concession agreement with the Government of Liberia, ADA COMMERCIAL has gained access to 60,000 hectares which is an area large enough to saturate the demand of Liberia and consequently to start exporting significant volumes of rice to the international market. NERICA rice is the rice of choice for commercial production. Production takes place in both upland and lowland (swamp) ecologies and is fully mechanized. Three (3) production cycles is envisaged for each production year. In October 2012 ADA Commercial Inc signed an MOU with ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) to produce staples and build Food Bank for the Region and replicate the same project within the Member States.

Ambassador Wendell is a renowned speaker on issues relating to Agriculture and Food Security. He has previously been invited by UNESCO to the high panel scientist conference in Triest Italy to make a presentation on renewable energy and its benefits for Africa especially in Agriculture.

AGAINST:  The failure of ADA and who is responsible is a factor to many in the streets, according to them, the answers given thus far are not enough to give them confidence to vote for Mr. McIntosh as president where he will be entrusted with even more.

WHAT WILL IT BE:  Many suggested that he goes back and fix the problems at ADA so as to restore confidence in him and the project.

GOING SECOND ROUND?:  No

 

SANDY, Kennedy Gbleyah,            Liberia Transformation Party (LTP): Rev. Sandy, 47, hails from Keta, Grand Cape Mount County

AGAINST:  After a respectable showing in 2011, Sandy’s performance this time is lackluster to the extent that he asked the NEC to step aside.  People on the street applaud him for the guts to want to step aside.  However, he is criticized for losing sight of the large disciples he had in the large election and not building a true organization that would have at least kept them put.

WHAT WILL IT BE:  Sandy is a pragmatist and one who recognizes his own shortcoming when he sees one.

GOING SECOND ROUND?:  No

 

TUIDER, William Wiah, New Liberia Party (NLP): William Tuider grew up in Monboe Town, Liberia and came from very humble beginnings. He was born to Reverend John Tanyen Tuider, a conservative Methodist Preacher and Mrs. Lucy Buteh Tuider, a market woman in the city of Yekepa, Nimba County, Republic of Liberia on January 18, 1966. Mr. Tuider is a member of the Kru ethnic group located in South-Eastern region of Liberia, Grand Kru County.

He is an avid family man, and has been married to his beautiful wife Jeanette Renee Washington-Tuider, for 25 years. He is the father of six beautiful children: Denise, Joy, Cora, Isata, William Jr., and Jeremy Tuider. His daughter Joy Tuider 24 years old, graduated last May from the University of Missouri with a Master Degree in Public Policy Administration. William Jr. is a senior at the United States Naval Academy where he is studying Naval Intelligence and a former outside linebacker on the Navy Football team. William Jr. is also a Company Commander at the United States Naval Academy. Denise is now pursuing a Nursing Degree at the University of North Georgia. And both Cora and Isata are still in College, while his youngest son, Jeremy is still at home and is a ninth-grader gifted-honored student at Mountain View High School in Lawrenceville, Georgia. Mr. Tuider exudes a strong value of discipline and possesses the characteristics to lead. He believes in the free enterprise system, but supports corporate social responsibility. His education and experience has positioned him to lead Liberia by using his talents in leadership. He is a graduate of St. John’s University in Queens, New York, where he extensively studied and performed excellently in acquiring a Bachelor of Science Degree in Administrative Studies in 1994. He is also regarded by many, as a gentle giant, and known for his dignity and decorum.

AGAINST:  Tuider is yet to build himself in the Liberian political sphere and as such, he lacks recognition.  According to people spoken to in the streets, Tuider came too late in the process and may have to wait to try again.

WHAT WILL IT BE:  Tuider speaks like a patriot and has many masterful plans for the nation but his timing is an impediment to himself.

GOING SECOND ROUND?:  No

 

UREY Benoni Wilfred         All Liberian Party (ALP); Urey currently owns a 20 percent minority stake in Lonestar Communication Corporation, one of Liberia’s largest mobile phone service provider, owner of Wulki Farms an agricultural farm and resort in Careysburg City, and owner of the third largest rubber plantation, Wulki Farms II, located in Konola, Margibi County. He is also the owner of Love Media Incorporated and U-Housing, a real estate development company.

AGAINST:  People in the streets heavily linked Urey to Taylor negatively and question the source of his wealth.  Urey’s role in the Taylor administration as Taylor’s point man in procuring weapons is something that angers many Liberians.

His campaign statement about the Masonic Craft has not gone down well with a great segment of the society who sees the ‘Societies’ as anti development agents.

WHAT WILL IT BE:  Urey has done his best in providing jobs to many Liberians via the establishment of Lonestar Cell at the time when Liberia was disconnected to the comity of nations.  He has several other people in his employ at various companies he owns around the country.  Regardless of his role in the Taylor administration, Urey has been a patriot and a true son of the soil, investing significantly into the country.  However, his quest is hindered by many circumstances including the configuration of his party structure and campaign team.

GOING SECOND ROUND?:  No

 

WEAH, George Manneh,     Coalition For Democratic Change (CDC): A current Senator of Montserrado County, was Born 1 October 1966. He is a politician, and retired footballer who played as a striker. Regarded as one of the greatest African players of all time, and as one of the best forwards of his generation, in 1995 he was named FIFA World Player of the Year and won the Ballon d’Or, becoming the first African player to win these awards. In 1989, 1994 and 1995 he was named the African Footballer of the Year, and in 1996, he was named African Player of the Century. In 2004, he was named by Pelé in the FIFA 100 list of the world’s greatest living players.

AGAINST:  According to people in the streets, Weah is feeding off his football legacy and no more.  It is said that he has not done enough to help the very young people who run after his conveys around town.  Weah is accused of failing to build viable football academy that could groom young people in preparation for exposure to the world beyond.

Weah’s lack of ‘eloquence’ or ‘poor oration’ is cited as a reason for not giving him the high office.

WHAT WILL IT BE:  George Weah’s football exposure is a plus for him, it has given him the popularity that he enjoys today, something that others seek.  He might not have built an academy or other facilities, but he is dearly loved by his followers and that could actually work for him this time.

For the first time in the history of the CDC, they have a very enviable campaign engine that is capable of pulling it off if they keep charting the course.  Unlike 2005 and 2011, the 2017 CDC seems more matured and focus oriented.

GOING SECOND ROUND?: Yes, definitely

 

WENTO, Macdonald A., United People’s Party (UPP): Mac Wento was born December 13, 1967, at the Maternity Center in Monrovia. He is the second of 10 children. His father, Alexander G. Wento, Sr. – a founding member of the Progressive Alliance of Liberia (PAL), the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) and the United People’s Party (UPP). In the past 10 years, Mac has added 8 businesses to the Liberian economy with a potential to provide some 5,000 job opportunities. At present, he has more than 1,500 employees. Mac Wento has three concession agreements with the Liberian government, making him second to no other Liberian concessionaire in the country. Two of the concessions―International Consultant Capital and Geblo Lodging Inc. are for 25 years each. And Mac holds majority share in the New Millennium Oil & Gas Company, which has a 50-year concession life span. These concessions are offering Liberians income opportunities in Nimba, Sinoe, Rivercess, Grand Bassa, Grand Gedeh, and Montserrado counties.  Mac is a trained Investment Banker. In 1991, he successfully completed professional training in Currency Trading at International Consultant Capital in Madrid, Spain.

AGAINST:  People point to the UPP as a craft of failed progressives who pillaged this nation with misdirected policies.  And Mr. Wento’s UPP has not done much to differentiate that UPP and this one.

WHAT WILL IT BE:  Mr. Wento’s messages, no matter how great, will be lost in the minds of people who are dead set against UPP as a creation of Baccus Matthews and the progressives.  Maybe UPP needs to be rebranded and re-launch as a political institution.

GOING SECOND ROUND?:  No

 

WHAPOE, Jeremiah Z.,       Vision For Liberia Transformation (VOLT): Whapoe is from Nimba County and was born in Monrovia on June 28, 1968.  He graduated from the William V. S. Tubman High School in 1988 .

He obtained a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the College of Office Technology in Chicago. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, a Master of Social Work with emphasis in Community Health and Urban Development. While in the United States, Dr. Whapoe worked for both government and private institutions.

AGAINST:  Dr. Whapoe has a great message that could transcend some sectors in this country but people on the streets think he should take his message to building institutions or writing text books that will be helpful to Liberians in his field of specialty or expertise.

WHAT WILL IT BE:  Whapoe has a great possibility in any government, he has a lot to offer and maybe taking the advise of the people in the streets to write books could be a matter of significance to the nation.

GOING SECOND ROUND?:  No

 

WILES, Isaac Gbombadee, Democratic Justice Party (DJP): efforts proved fruitless to obtain information about Wiles

AGAINST: Little known to the general population

WHAT WILL IT BE: Keep working the political ropes to see how far he’ll go.

GOING SECOND ROUND?: NO

 

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Tony Elumelu Foundation To Host Largest Ever Gathering Of African Entrepreneurs

The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), Africa’s leading philanthropy dedicated to catalyzing entrepreneurship, on October4, 2017, announced that the 3rd annual TEF Entrepreneurship Forum – the most diverse annual gathering of African entrepreneurs and SMEs – will take place on October 13-14 in Lagos, Nigeria.

This is the first year that invitation to the Forum is extended beyond the 1,000 Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs from the 2017 cohort, to include selected SMEs, media, hubs, incubators, academia and investors from diverse nations across Africa; from Mauritius to Cape Verde to Kenya and more. Assembled SMEs will build networks, share knowledge, connect with investors and link with corporate supply chains.

“Since launching the TEF Entrepreneurship Program – and committing $100 million to empowering 10,000 African entrepreneurs in a decade – we have unleashed our continent’s most potent development force, its entrepreneurs,” said TEF Founder Tony O. Elumelu, CON. “In just 3 years, our first 3,000 entrepreneurs have created tens of thousands of jobs and generated considerable wealth.  On October 13 and 14, the global entrepreneurship community will gather in Lagos to build a New Africa, a thriving, self-reliant continent capable of replicating the results of our ground-breaking Program.”

The two-day Forum will feature plenary panels, masterclasses, sector specific networking opportunities and policy-led forums focused on enabling African business growth.

TEF Chief Executive Officer Parminder Vir OBE said: “This is the first year we have opened the Forum up to include the full pan-African entrepreneurship ecosystem. In doing so, we are enabling African SME communities to come together and expand the possibilities for intra-African partnerships. I am looking forward to welcoming our invited policy-makers and investors to join us at the Forum, as we empower the next generation of African business leaders.”

Speakers will include: Wale Ayeni, International Finance Corporation; Stephen Tio Kauma, Afrexim Bank; Andre Hue, African Development Bank; Stephen M. Haykin, USAID Nigeria; Heikke Reugger, European Investment Bank; Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, United Nations Development Programme.

The Foundation’s long-term investment in empowering African entrepreneurs is emblematic of Tony Elumelu’s philosophy of Africapitalism, which positions Africa’s private sector, and most importantly its entrepreneurs, as the catalysts for the social and economic development of the continent.