SANIQUELLIE, Nimba – Nimba County fifth district’s representative, Samuel Kogar has alarmed threats posed to his life, by the county’s senior senator, Prince Johnson.
Kogar was elected to the post in 2011 on Johnson’s former party, the National Union for Democratic Progress. He was re-elected on October 10 on the ticket of the People’s Unification Party, after falling out of favor with his former political leader.
He won 30.1 percent of the votes, over Railey Myers, the candidate from Johnson’s new party, the Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction, who acquired 19.8 percent and placed second.
Kogar told Radio Kergheamahn in Ganta that a little after midnight on Friday, a group of unknown armed men visited his residence, located far on the outskirts of Buutuo. They escaped when he attempted to sound an alarm, he said.
Kogar said his suspicion over Johnson follows several threats and attempts to his life by the senator after both fell out of favor with one another and became political rivals.
He alleged that the threats to his life have even increased since he won his re-election bid over the MDR candidate.
According to Kogar, Johnson had recently paid a visit to the district telling citizens that if they elected him, the senator would abandon visiting them, and development there would also be hindered.
He said the senator, on his campaign trail with George Weah, publicly told citizens of the district that the district’s election would be re-run, or a by-election would be conducted. This statement, Kogar explained, was a threat to his life.
“Senator Johnson on numerous occasions has attempted, even in Monrovia, on my life at my residence, threatening that he will make sure to bring me down,” he alleged.
Kogar also disclosed on that he is filing a formal complaint against Johnson to the Senate, the U.S. Embassy, the United Nations, and national security agencies.
He accused Johnson of also conspiring with members of his team to produce evidence against the official election results, to orchestrate complaints necessary for a re-run of the polls.
MDR’S national secretary-general, Wilfred Bangura, has termed the allegations as baseless, saying that his political leader would never plot against the life of Kogar or anyone.
“Senator Johnson is not a man capable of doing anything that is asymmetrical or that undermines the rule of law. He will never send assassins to assassinate anybody at any time,” he said.
According to him, the senator is a man of peace whose leadership must inspire future leaders, and cannot be somebody who will pursue the lives of his citizens.
“That allegation is a complete falsehood. It has no iota of truth in it,” Bangura emphasized.
He encouraged Kogar to file his complaint with the relevant security institutions if he has proof. He said Kogar’s use of the radio stations to voice his concerns instead of going through the right channels of filing complaints under the law is aimed at gaining political currency out of something that does not exist.
He called on the representative to conduct himself in a more responsible manner and refrain from “designing and concocting” baseless allegations that cannot be proven. He said Kogar’s claims are intended to malign the reputation of the senator and misinform Nimbaians.
He condemned the allegations, noting that Nimbaians know better, and will see the claims as another form of the usual conspiracy theory or propaganda of the current electoral climate, especially following Johnson’s pledged support to the Coalition for Democratic Change in the pending runoff election.
Bangura confirmed the MDR’s position that the election in Nimba’s fifth district was marked by fraud, and he said the party had filed a complaint to the National Elections Commission.
He said the party has presented all evidence in support of its claims, and NEC is expected to conduct a hearing in Sanniquellie.
Bangura also confirmed a claim by Kogar that the Nimba senator had reported a staffer of Kogar to the National Security Agency for investigation on economic crimes. Bangura said Kogar’s staff member is committing an economic crime against the state by claiming salaries as a staff of the Ministry of Commerce, while at the same time being paid by the legislature. It was not clear who the staff in question was.
Featured photo by Ken Harper