Brumskine Activates Grand Bassa: Unleashes Gbehzohn Pride
After days of anticipation, residents across Grand Bassa woke up on Saturday, September 23, 2017 to music, dance and the realization that Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine, an esteemed son of Grand Bassa, was finally consolidating broad-based county support from his kinsmen for Liberty Party, Liberia’s leading political party. As the sun rose and cascaded its radiance on the flat coastline and narrow coastal plains of Bassa, thousands of supporters began trekking from different parts of the county toward the rally’s ground zero, a stage adorned in green and readied like a bride for her husband. High above the maze of people was a drone, capturing the tributaries of people pouring in and converging like tidal creeks emptying their contents into a river. This was Gbehzohn pride at its best.
Gbehzohn, the traditional reference to Grand Bassa, holds a deep meaning among the people of Grand Bassa County. It represents unity and a sense of purpose. With less than three weeks until the pivotal October 10 elections, it seems Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine, Standard Bearer of Liberty Party, has activated Gbehzohn in his kinsmen. The sizable crowd at the rally indicates the hard working lawyer, untainted by corruption, has touched the hearts of his people. Winning a large percentage of the 145,000 registered voters in his home county is essential to Cllr. Brumskine’s quest for the presidency. And from the chants along the way as the Liberty Party Standard Bearer made his way through the maze of people, it seems Liberty Party has little to worry about in Bassa. In typical Liberian pidgin English, some sang “Your leave us oh, da the papay we want”, others chanted “no cheating, first round victory.”
Riding atop a white sport utility vehicle with Mrs. Estelle Brumskine, his wife of 43 years, and waving a white handkerchief, Cllr. Brumskine basked in the aura of goodwill from thousands and thousands of his supporters, grateful that he was riding a popular wave of support across the country. The day before the Bassa rally, he was in Ganta, with Vice Standard Bearer Harrison Karnwea, receiving the support of thousands from vote-rich Nimba. And in Montserrado, two weeks earlier, he and Hon. Karnwea shocked the country by amassing approximately 200,000 supporters in the streets of Monrovia. The combined numbers from rallies held by Congress for Democratic Change, Unity Party and All Liberian Party did not reach 110,000 supporters. Experts say the recent turnout of Liberty Party supporters in three of the six major counties is cause for pause for other political parties. “Although it is a tall order, if they can translate the crowd from these rallies into votes, it is even possible Liberty Party could win in the first round” one political analyst who requested anonymity said during the rally.
And while these elections are far from over, it is becoming clear that Charles Walker Brumskine and his Liberty Party, at a minimum, will be one of two contenders in the second round. And such an overwhelming support from his home county could be the impetus he and Liberty Party need to make history in Liberia.