President Weah’s Ex-Chief-of- Staff Nat McGill Caught on Tape Thanking ‘Trucked’ Voter Registrants
TODEE, Monterrdo County – Former Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Nathaniel McGill has been caught on tape expressing thanks and appreciation to voters in Todee District that he allegedly trucked to register in Margibi County.
Todee is located in Montserrado County Electoral District #1 and is represented by Rep. Lawrence Morris at the House, and Senators Darius Dillon and Saah Joseph at the Liberian Senate.
Minister McGill, once the closest aid and chief of staff of President George Weah, was sanctioned by the United States Government for his alleged involvement in public corruption in Liberia. Despite denying the allegations, McGill, along with two other officials slapped with similar sanctions, was forced to resign.
However, in his bid to make a dramatic comeback to public service, he soon launched his senatorial bid in Margibi County, vowing to contest one of the county’s senatorial seats that will be up for grabs in the pending October presidential and legislative elections.
Amid public outcry, McGill, who still enjoys the backing of President Weah and the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), has used his wealth and influence to establish himself as a formidable aspirant in the upcoming race.
He was accused by his opponents of trucking thousands of voters from Montserrado and elsewhere to register in Margibi County during the biometric voter registration (BVR) exercise.
Following the completion of the BVR exercise, McGill visited Todee District recently to thank all those who went to Margibi to register there in support of his senatorial bid and the re-election of Rep. Ellen Attoh Wreh of District #3, Margibi County.
McGill is heard telling the residents of Todee that their action to abandon their area of residence to go Margibi and register with the intention to vote for him and Rep. Attoh Wreh on election day shows that Liberians are beginning to make a sound judgment in electing the right people to serve them.
He assured the people of Todee District that if elected, he will restore their hope and provide basic social services such as the construction of roads, and hand pumps to get access to safe drinking water.
He said all these will be provided to them as their appreciation for supporting him and Rep. Attoh Wreh, adding that although Todee is not in Margibi, the residents’ decision to register with the intent to vote for them (McGill and Attoh-Wreh) automatically qualifies them to benefit from every social service they will have for Margbi if elected to the House of Representatives and the Liberian Senate respectively.
A thread of McGill’s interaction with Todee’s residents
McGill: “Firstly we are in Todee, correct?
McGill: Secondly, [the] majority of you left from Todee to go and register in Kakata, correct?
McGill: Let me see the hands of all those that went to Kakata to register.
Crowd: All hands raised up.
McGill: Let me thank you on behalf of Ellen Attoh because Ellen is not here. I want to thank you on behalf of Hon. Ellen Attoh who is not present. Because Ellen is a very good woman. We want to thank you for giving her your support and for giving me your support. Because you went to Margibi to register, it means that you are part of Margibi. And you deserve the development that will be going on in Margibi County, even though you are in Todee.
Splashing the cash
Still in Todee, McGill performed one of his trademark actions – he dished out US$1000 to the residents as part payment of the money he had promised them for the construction of a modern well in a community called World Bank #1 and promised to provide an additional US$1,500 for the completion of the project.
Meanwhile, during the appreciation rally in Todee, residents of 15 towns and villages in Montserrado including including Morris’ Farm, World Bank 1&2, Blood Path, Plumu Town, Francis Town and Back Camp reaffirmed their commitment to stick to an agreement with McGill and Rep. Attoh-Wreh to vote for them in the ensuing elections.
The residents said their decision stemmed from their trust and confidence they have placed in the two politicians, adding that although the pair are not residents of their district and county at large, they see no problem with travelling to Margibi County to vote for them.
One of the residents, a female, confessed to having 311 voter registration cards and had planned to cast them in favor of McGill.
She explained that she has gone to McGill’s residence to discuss this plan but has not been successful to meet him, and called on him to arrange a formal meeting to discuss the plan and introduce her people to him.
“Hon. McGill, I have been at your house. I spent the whole day there and did not see you. I have 311 voter ID cards. I did this because of you. You don’t know me but your brother and I had a child… That’s how I am using this means to get to you to vote for you. I want you to come and meet the people. I have 211 first time voters, and I want you to come see them. This is your winning number.”
‘Evidence of voter trucking’
The BVR exercise, the first to be introduced by the National Elections Commission was marred by several irregularities and complaints of violations of voter registration regulations which include voter trucking, and pre-campaign activities by political parties and those aspiring to contest in the October 10, 2023 elections. The exercise ended on May 11, 2023.
Session 11.1 of the New Elections Law states that Influencing or attempting to influence the result of any election to include trucking of voters, is a violation of the law.
Meanwhile, critics and observers say McGill’s visit to Todee and “reckless” statement on behalf of himself and Rep. Ellen Attoh Wreh are clear evidence that he breached the NEC regulations, and as such he should be investigated by the NEC and slapped with the necessary punishments.
During the BVR exercise, McGill was accused of trucking voters into Margbi to register, as well as bribing schools’ administrators into coercing, mainly first-time voters to register in Margibi.
The disgraced former Presidential Affairs Minister is noted for making reckless comments that come haunting him back.
Many have linked his latest action in Todee to his statement he made in August 2022 which immediately followed his sanctioning by the U.S. Treasury Department.
In August 8, 2022, McGill told a group of women in Gbarnga, Bong County that he saw nothing wrong with government’s officials stealing public money as long as they are giving some back to citizens to improve their livelihoods or investing the money and acquiring personal properties in Liberia, and not taking it abroad as it was done in the past government.
He suffered backlashes and soon he was sanctioned, then suspended by President Weah and did not return until he involuntarily resigned his post.
By Daniel Theo Cole