By Timothy T. Seaklon
Veteran Liberian Politician, Mr. Oscar J. Quiah, has vowed to contest the pending mid-term Senatorial Elections for Sinoe County in October 2014.
Mr. Quiah, a former Minister of Internal Affairs following the 1980 Coup d’etat and a member of the defunct Council of State during the heat of the Liberian Civil War said he has always advocated for the rights of the people over the years and noted that he has decided this time to become the senator of Sinoe County from where he hails.
Mr. Quiah , 79, who is a member of the ‘progressives’ that launched a political struggle for the abolition of a one party state in the late 1970 when quizzed whether he has a strong political or constituency based expressed optimism that he will be elected to the post come 2014.
Speaking in an interview with the INQUIRER during the weekend at his Gardnersville residence, Mr. Quaih who was also sent to the infamous Ballah Yallah Prison in the 1980s by the late President Samuel Kanyon Doe for political differences, said he is confident of his election to the Sinoe County Senatorial post because people will think of him, will remember his days in the struggle, remember him and recall his advocacy over the years.
Mr. Quiah expressed joy that the Liberian people especially the young people are expressing themselves politically, saying, “When I listen to radio today, I hear the Liberian people expressing themselves politically. That is the essence of the struggle that we were involved with in the 1970s. People must talk out because that is the importance of democracy.”
Mr. Quiah who stayed three years, seven months in the thick forest of Sinoe County in a bid not to be caught and executed by the rebels of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) during the first quarter of the Liberian Civil War that was led by former Liberian President Charles Taylor, said, “I am extremely happy that the young people are now involved with speaking out against those vices that might tend to derail the democratic process. I am encouraging them to continue to do so because the struggle is now on the shoulders of the young people. I started the struggle in my 20s.”
Asked what he made of comments from other quarters that it is only experienced people or old politicians that should serve in the National Legislature, Mr. Quiah said, “yes, it requires experience and the old and the young must collaborate to make the legislature work properly. Look what is going on! I am not saying that things are worst but the young and the old must work together to make things work.”
On the current debate that Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, President of Liberia must resign her position because of her failure to fight corruption, Mr. Quiah said, “If reconciliation or fight against corruption is the problem and it’s not working, so the President must step down? That is not the correct thing to do.”
The veteran politician asked, “They want the President to resign? No, I say the President must not resign because she was elected by the majority of the people.”
Mr. Quiah further said, “The same people will have to go to the poll and elect someone come 2017 when her tenure shall have been over. Anything outside the ballot box is the creation of chaos, war and we must stay on course in this democratic dispensation.”