The Duncan-Jones Feud


By Atty Philip N. Wesseh (PNW)

Is The Duncan-Jones Scenario Something Strange About Sinoe Leaders?

For sometimes now, the airwaves have been fraught with reports and newspapers replete with stories about how Mr. Crayton Duncan, a confidant of the former Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), Dr. Mills Jones pledged support to the candidacy of Vice President Joseph Boakai in Sinoe recently. More noticeably, Mr. Duncan was said to have apologized to the people of Sinoe for bringing Dr. Jones to them.

Because of this, Mr. Duncan has been censured for what some individuals termed as the height of ingratitude on grounds that the former Governor contributed immensely to the success of Mr. Duncan, who is today known in the public because of his association with the office of the former Executive Governor, holding the positions of Special Assistant and Chief of Staff, two positions. Some hold the view that even if Mr. Duncan planned to pledge support to the Vice President, there was no need to mention the name of his former boss, projecting him in a negative way to his people in the county.

The action of taking issue with Mr. Duncan came when he openly disassociated himself from Dr. Jones at a political rally held for Vice President Joseph N. Boakai in Greenville, Sinoe County; the home of Governor Jones, who it is generally believed and that Duncan knows is eyeing the presidency of the country 2017. Mr. Duncan who was the Director of Publications; Special Assistant and Chief of Staff at the CBL during eight of the ten years Dr. Jones spent at the CBL, reportedly told a political gathering in Greenville, Sinoe County that he made a mistake to have brought Dr. Jones to them and associated with him as his candidate for the presidential race come 2017.

According to the report, Duncan then apologized to the people of the country for such action and told them that he had come to realized that the best choice for the Liberian Presidency was Vice President Joseph N. Boakai who is on a two-week tour of Southeastern Liberia.

The report further said that Mr. Duncan promised to officially organize a program where he will formally apologize to the people of the county for originally introducing Dr. Jones as the best choice for the Liberian Presidency. Accordingly, Mr. Duncan told Vice President Joseph N. Boakai and entourage that he, his wife and children will support the Presidential bid of the Vice President.

Frankly, I do not really understand why all of this noise about this situation, being fully aware of the political culture of the leaders of Sinoe County who are always in what former Interim President, Dr. Amos Sawyer, also a son of Sinoe referred to as “CRAB IN THE BUCKET” mentality. Sinoe County has come to be known as a place where some of its leaders engage in acts and tactics that continue to undermine development in that county.

As one of the original counties of this country, the county is still lagging behind because of division, petty bickering and mere showy. Many times, it is either superintendent or lawmakers at loggerheads. At one point, this conflict led the present Senator Milton Teahjay, who was then Superintendent to imprisonment for allegedly disrespecting Rep. Matthew Zarzar. Today, Senator Teahjay has been accused of being at the center of impeding the confirmation process of the newly nominated superintendent.

It is not a hyperbole or an over exaggeration that this county has produced some of the country’s highly educated people, but regrettably, some of those who have been either appointed or elected to steer the affairs of the county continue to engage in acts that are antithesis to moving the county from backwaters to prosperity.

Today, the county reminds one without a superintendent because some lawmakers want to perform the function of the Executive Branch of the government, especially the office of the President, with the constitutional power to   appoint some local officials, such as superintendent.

At present, because the newly nominated superintendent is yet to be confirmed, the county, the former superintendent Romeo Quiah, who resigned because of the divisive politics in the county, has been asked to hold on until the new superintendent is confirmed, something many feel, given the gravity of the conflict among some of the county leaders, is far from being achieved now. I have even gathered from the appearances of Senator Teahjay and acting Superintendent Quiah, on talk shows that they are not on good “speaking terms,” something that can be likened to cat-and-mouse relationship.

Once again, the reported act of Mr. Duncan should not be a surprise to many because this is endemic to some of those who people look to, to provide leadership for the county. The county would continue to experience what is commonly known as “dirty politics’ until some of those charged with the responsibility of running the affairs of the county, or those people seen as potential leaders like Dr. Jones and Duncan, can change this kind of attitude and behavior.

On Wednesday, Duncan said on the LBS’s Bumper Show hosted by Patrrick Honnah and Cyrus Badio that he went ‘gutter’ because he  felt betrayed, intimidated and ostracized when his former boss could no longer listen to him because Mr. D. Maxwell Kemayah stepped into the fray claiming too much power onto himself. Even with this, Mr. Duncan did not treat his former boss fairly by bringing him to disgrace and public disrepute.

As I conclude this piece, let me not be misconstrued as suggesting that Mr. Duncan does not have the right to decide his choice for the presidency of this country. But my concern in this public discourse is that this should not be seen as something outlandish to the Sinoe politics because some of the leaders of the county and potential ones always engage in similar acts of betrayal, disrespect, mere showy and sheer arrogance, which continue to retard progress in the county.

In all fairness, Sinoe County stands as one of those areas faced with what former Public Works Minister Kofi Woods called “LEADERSHIP DEFICIT,” because some of those charged with the responsibility of running the affairs of the county are selfish and egoistic, thus failing to live to expectations.

Until some of these leaders or potential leaders change from such acts, SINOE COUNTY would continue to retrogress. I Rest My Case.