By Patrick Stephen Tokpah
Bong County Senator Dr. Henrique Flomo Tokpa has been under the limelight in 2021 over his failure to fulfill promises he made during the 2018 senatorial by-election.
Elected in 2018 to the Liberian Senate, Dr. Tokpa replaced Madam Jewel Howard Taylor following her election in 2017 as Vice President to President George Manneh Weah.
Having earlier lost a senatorial race in 2014 to Howard-Taylor, there were many people who believed that Tokpa’s election in 2018 was not just based on sympathy, but also due to some of the promises he made to the Bong County people.
Before his 2014 political ambition, Senator Tokpa was ran one of the consistent scholarship programs at Cuttington University, specifically for dux of various high schools in the county.
But the scholarship program came to a standstill barely a year after Vice President Howard – Taylor defeated him in 2014.
However, Dr. Tokpa was seen in every corner of the county in the 2018 senatorial by-election once again campaigning for the position.
At some political rallies, Dr. Tokpa promised that he would reintroduce the “High School Dux’ scholarship” program at the university, but our Bong County correspondent says it is exactly three years now with little or no hope for the reintroduction of the scholarship program.
Another campaign message that drew the attention of voters was his vow to reconcile the county.
During and after the 2017 elections, the Bong County Legislative Caucus was heavily divided, and its division mainly intensified after the elections when five new lawmakers were elected to include Representatives Moimah Briggs Mensah, Joseph Papa Kolleh, Albert Hails, Josiah Marvin Cole, and Robert Flomo Womba.
Representatives Edward Karfiah and Prince Kermue Moye, now Senator of the county, were the only two lawmakers who retained their posts after that election.
Rep. Josiah Marvin Cole, the only Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) lawmaker in the county had his bloc while Senator Prince Kermue Moye had his.
Prior to that, there were numerous misunderstandings within the caucus which Dr. Tokpa promised that he would settle when given the chance to serve the position. But the Senator is believed to have failed again in delivering on that promise.
Our Bong County correspondent adds that Dr. Tokpa did not explain in detail how he would reconcile the caucus and the county, but said that “When you elect me, I will use my idea as an old and experienced educator to settle the misunderstanding and reconcile your leaders.”
With little effort applied to ensure the fulfillment of the promise, Dr. Tokpa is again fixated on campaigning for another term.
In a program organized by his office during the year under review, the Bong County Senator was heard telling the gathering that “I am eating cold rice, you people need to give my own food instead of the cold rice.”
The Kpelle academician’s failure to fulfill his promises has raised public outcry with many calling on him to step aside during the 2023 elections.
“Dr. Tokpa has failed us the Bong County people. When we stood in the rain and sun to vote for him in 2018, we actually thought that he would have done better but as it stands, he has massively failed,” Joe Kerkulah, a Totota– based motorcyclist explained angrily.
“This is an old man that we expected better from, looking at his background, where he came from especially as an educator. Nobody thought that he would have failed like this,” Kerkulah added.
Annie Togbah from the Korkoyah road Community said she will campaign against Dr. Tokpa, adding that “he said he would provide us loan program for us the petit business people but up to now we have not heard from him”.
Senator Tokpa is on record for saying he doesn’t know Gbaota, a town just two miles away from his official residence in Gbarnga.
He denied the people of Gbaota from entering his entertainment center, saying he didn’t know where they came from.
Senator Tokpa is also on record for saying that he didn’t promise the people of Bong County development, but only promised to appreciate them, when elected.
The Kpelle dude is also on record of saying that he is completing the balance term turn or eating the balance cool-rice of Sen. Jewel Howard Taylor now Vice President in Liberia.