By Alva M. Wolokolie
The Institute for Research and Democratic Development (IREDD) which named some lawmakers at the peak of being “Bobo” Lawmakers” has intentionally left out several lawmakers in its performance assessment report. “Bobo” in the Liberian setting means deaf and dumb.
The report covers the second session of the National Legislature beginning from January 15-April 26, 2013 which lasted for 38 days.
According to the report, the constitutional requirements of the Senate Pro- Tempore, Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives make them inherently incomparable to others and prevent them from participating in plenary debates and fulfilling other duties that other lawmakers normally routinely fulfill.
Besides those three eminent persons, IREDD graded some lawmakers with high and low ranks ranging from “A-F” for participating regularly in session debate and for those who have nothing to contribute but sit quietly to watch their colleagues speak.
The report which was released last month covered participation in plenary debate, lawmaking, attendance, representation, distant, excused, bill passed, bill introduced, transparency of votes in plenary, petitions, oversight among others.
Senator Isaac Nyenebo of NDPL, Grand Gedeh County got the highest participation in the Senate because he spoke 45 times. Similary, Rep. Eugene Fallah Kparkar of Liberty Party (LP), Lofa County got the highest in participation in the House of Representatives; he spoke 78 times.
Others who got high participation marks include; Mabutu V. Nyanpan, Joseph Nagbe, John A. Ballout, Alphonso G. Gaye, Sumo G. Kupee, Armah Z. Jallah among others. In the House, Thomas P. Fallah, Francis Paye, Gabriel Nyenka, Byron Brown, Bhofal Chambers, Prince Moye, Richard M. Tingbeh, Larry Younquoi among others got high marks in participation from the Lower House.
Conversely, the report said graded zero is to the following lawmakers, Mambu M. Sonii of Cape Mt. County, Corpu Barclay, Bong County, Alfred G. Karwood, Gbarpolu, Malai G. Gbogar, Gbarpolu, Aaron Vincent, Cape Mt. County, Mary M. Karwor, Grand Bassa, Charles K. Bardi, RiverGee, Alfred Juweh, Rivercess and Gertude Lamin of Gbarpolu County.
Some the lawmakers were given “F” for low participation and for only speaking two (2) times during this second session while others got low marks too for speaking 3,4,5 and 8 times respectively.
Few of the lawmakers like Edwin Melvin Snowe of Montserrado County; Bill Twehway of Montserrado; Munah Pelham Youngblood of Montserrado; Richmond Anderson, James Baniey of Maryland; George Mulbah of Bong County, Edward Kaffie of Bong County, Stephen Kaffie of Margibi County; Samuel Konger of Nimba County; Acarious Gray, of Montserrado, Adolph Lawrence of Montserrado and others were completely left out in the report.
IREDD Acting Program Officer, Paul Hinneh at the press conference last month could not give substantial reasons why the institute decided to drop the names of those lawmakers. They were neither placed in any category nor were they mentioned in the report.
But when the INQUIRER decided to question Mr. Hinneh at the conference hall at a local hotel, he convincingly told our reporter that those lawmakers’ names that were left out will be captured in the final report card that is expected to be distributed to media houses.
Some political commentators who read through the report described IREDD report as being partial and that it does not represent a true picture of the institution that is preaching transparency.
Up to press time, officials of IREDD have not distributed the report cards they promised our reporter that would reflect the names of those lawmakers left out. Since the report was released, there have been more questions than answers of those lawmakers’ names that were favored by IREDD.