Op-ed: A Tribute to Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson T. Koijee—the Man in the Arena

Monrovia City Mayor, Jefferson Tamba Koijee cleaning the City of Monrovia

 By: Randolph J. M. Kemokai

In 2017, Liberia witnessed a peaceful transition of power in almost fifty years, the Unity Party regime turned power over to the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC). The transition had a dual character, as not only did an opposition candidate become President but also a young generation was given an opportunity to govern the country, marking a new era in our country.

The changeover was characterized by excitement. Many pundits and people familiar with current affairs in the country qualified it as a generational change and a new revolution of young people using their talents and skills to unleash needy developments to yield change in the war-ravaged country Liberia.

Before the inaugural celebration could wind down, President George M. Weah began the task of stamping his authority and sending the signal that young people will be at the center and thrust of his leadership. He wasted no time in naming them to prestigious positions in the state, breaking from past normal, and insisting that the decade-old problems facing the country can be appropriately tackled by tapping on the skills of its active section.

As a President who renewed the government commitment to the AU Agenda 2063, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS), and other international protocols, opted to introduce a new normal of youthful participation to spur transformation to the Liberian masses. In such direction, the Liberian leader didn’t only match words with deeds but also register through his action that there is a paradigm shift in governance in the homeland.

Equally, the Liberian leader, through such bold move, indicated to the Liberian people that the young people are the new drivers of social change and development in the country, giving them huge responsibilities and destroying the myth that government is the personal domain of the older generation, so the youth must accept the status of being future leaders even though the future is now.

This positive rupture has led to many young characters emerging on the stage of history in order to contribute their quotas to national leadership with the aim of improving the living standards and economic conditions of the people. Such break with the past has seen youth from marginalized tribes and not the elites of these tribes playing a crucial role in the government. Names like SekouKalasco Damaro, Mamensie Kabba, Morris Sanyon, Abubackar Bah, Mamena Carr, Wilfred Bangura, Randolph Doybagyou etc. and etc are exposed to public service to make a difference.

But there is one very distinguished character whose appointment has brought a sigh of relief to the young people. A man who has shown that he is a standard bearer for excellence among the young people of his country, using every position he has served in to make an impact the lives of his fellow young people, rolling transformation, and turning everything he touches into gold. This young man has beaten odds and broken barriers to ensure that the task he has been entrusted with is performed to the core: none other than the dynamic City Mayor of Monrovia, Jefferson T. Koijee.

This young man’s life looks like a movie. He never had the time to enjoy his youthfulness but threw himself in the struggle for social justice. At a young age, he found a path to impact his generation and lift his fellow young people up, searching for opportunities, and ensuring that his fellow youth benefit from the rich content of his leadership.

Moreover, a new campaign to give the city a facelift has been launched under his watch— styled “Weah for Clean City.” This initiative has generated cordial working relationship with community dwellers in the city and thus ensured grassroots mobilization for the exercise. More than ever before, the inhabitants of Monrovia have localized the efforts and have taken ownership of it. Such has limited the strain on the corporation and reduce the huge stockpile of garbage in the city.

Not only that, there has been full digitization of the financial system and other infrastructure at the MCC, there has been construction of public latrines in each community in the city, and ongoing beautification of the city of Monrovia is been embarked on with huge speed. These show the massive success and huge progress made under the workaholic Lord Mayor. They show that he is up to the task to leave a clean, green and better Monrovia than he inherited.

On his appointment as City Mayor of Monrovia, the gentleman opted to employ a lot of young people taking cue from President George M. Weah. As he knows the task given him is huge, he chose the bright and brightest young people to ensure that the Blue Revolution remains in motion and on course. This singular act by recruiting decent young people to serve in the city corporation has led to new dynamism, efficiency in output, making the city corporation to be one of the most efficient examples of progress in the CDC administration.

From the City Police, to the field workers, to the administrative workers, to rolling out short term hiring contracts for other vulnerable youth and Liberians who are on the margins of society, he has made considerable improvements in working conditions, racking up salary, providing decent wage, and transforming the workforce into a big family, where for the first time you can see employees smiling and expressing brotherly love.

Today, the once disrespected City police has been turned into something to behold. The city police which had no teeth to bite and lacking in their functions has been turned into a force for good, ensuring the city ordinances and other regulations of the municipal government is upheld by businesses and residents of the city.

Increment in salary and basic allowances have been made so as to meet the economic needs of the servicemen. For the first time, the city police which was a source of employment for Liberians who have lost hope of getting a decent job, has been turned into the first option for job for Liberians who are desirous of serving the country in the military or paramilitary institutions.

Notwithstanding all these, there has been a conscious effort on the part of certain media institutions to turn the Lord Mayor into a wicked and bad person. He has been slandered, lied on, and spoken terribly about not because he is a cruel person but because they have realized that at the heart of the generational revolution in the new administration is the name Jefferson T. Koijee. Such has pained them to the extent that to destroy the Blue Revolution is to get rid of Lord Mayor Jefferson T. Koijee from the government.

While they do so, the real Jefferson T. Koijee is revealed. The one who is committed to impacting this space which has led him to be given leadership in global bodies he represents the corporation. While they put crimes on him, decent organizations in Nigeria have seen and felt the impact of his work, they honor him. While a few people decide to make him look ugly, he is providing leadership beyond the borders of Liberia.

About the Author:

Kemokai is a student of the United Methodist University (UMU), a Liberian who has interesting things to say about the future of his country.  He can be reached via a.randolphkemokai@gmail.com or +231775677305/886197166.


Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article does not represent the view of M-News Africa but solely the writer’s.


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M-News Africa is an online magazine that reports trending issues, politics, tourism, investigative reporting, Environmental, Marine Ecosystem, Human Rights, Human Interest and other cross-cutting issues. Contact us: +231 775 552 553; editor@mnewsafrica.com; info@mnewsafrica.com; Carey and Center Streets Intersection, Monrovia