Who Is JFK?
Jonathan Fonati Koffa, born on September 18, 1963, is a son of the soil, a kru by tribe and hails from the Southeastern County of Grand Kru, formerly Sasstown Territory. He is a son of a former soldier. He represents the people of District two in Grand Kru County. He lives, speaks and works the tradition of his people.
He’s a tolerant politician without borders, he mends fences and cuts across the political spectrum of Liberia.
JFK as he is called by many is not just a politician, but a seasoned Jurist that practices law both nationally and internationally. His law practice prior to politics runs as far back as the late 90s.
Koffa is an academician as well, especially in his field of studies. This was justified when he dux the Supreme Court Bar exams with an outstanding grade point.
As part of his law practice, he established one of the leading law firms in Liberia, the International Law Group (ILG).
In 2016, he was appointed by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as Chief Prosecutor in the Sable Mining Deal involving some Senior Government officials.
The name J. Fonati Koffa is a family man as well, been married more than 20 years to beautiful Dama Yekeson Koffa, a union that is blessed with three children.
Koffa quest for leadership allows him to embrace a sense of humor for all that comes his way whether for or against.
He’s not a confrontationist, but a team player. He accepts critical thoughts from all spheres of life, whether constructive or destructive and appreciates the good ones for the betterment and growth of everyone.
Koffa is not just a lawyer by profession, but a humanitarian by birth. He’s one politician that loves his people, his workers are one of the best paid and more decent because he took upon himself to give them a better wage apart from what Government provides.
Record has shown that JFK Chief of Office staff is one of the well paid at the Legislature.
He does this because he wants to bring dignity to his workers. Due to these gestures, Hon. Koffa is a recipient of three distinguished awards for immensely contributing to humanity.
In 2023, he was bestowed the Grand Order of African Redemption by President George M. Weah for his enormous contributions to nation building and statecraft. He also received the Golden Image outstanding award for National Empowerment.
The Speaker of the 55th National Legislature also won the African Leadership Magazine Award as Lawmaker of the year.
Koffa, as a respecter for women’s right was lauded for his immense role played to ensuring the drafting and passing into law of the Gender-Responsive bills, to include the Domestic Violence Bill and the Female Genital Mutilation Bill.
What Does Koffa Bring to the Position of Speaker (Character Wise)
Essentially, there is nothing astonishing about what we do but to hire and elect the most skillful and knowledgeable personalities who will do the job; we evaluate their abilities and monitor what they do. We pay the closet attention to what he or she does while in leadership.
In achieving this goal, it requires permanent supervision of that person to ensure that he/she reaches the epic center of honesty to lead an institution that is being perceived to be the greatest problem to Liberia’s progress.
But this can only materialize when the right person is elected to navigate the ship of affairs.
That’s why Representatives of the 55th Legislature saw it expedient to elect. J. Fonati Koffa. Koffa as a person has demonstrated leadership wherever he works by settling issues that might flicker, especially during crisis time.
That’s why Theodore Roosevelt, former United States President, reminded us that the best policymaker is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants to be done.
Leroy Eimes, an expert in Leadership, also tells us that a leader is someone who sees more than other see; that sees farther than others see, and who sees before others see.
With this perspective, Koffa has all the attributes of a good leader and has stood the test of time to undertake whatever task or responsibility given him to accomplish as Speaker of the House of Representatives.
One thing the elected lawmakers can do now is to captivate the dreams and inspiration of this humble servant to ensure the House of Representatives meets its needed potential.
Hon. Jonathan Fonati Koffa is an intelligent, far sighted and inspiring leader, who has taken the risk with an enormous task to get the House of Representative from where it is to where it hasn’t been.
Hon. Koffa tells us that in difficult periods where there is no leadership, society stands still; Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better and he sees himself as the lone voice in the wilderness to salvage the House of Representatives that needs a new sense of direction.
Upon his ascendency in the Legislature in 2017 and being a selfless leader who understands the needs of his colleagues, Koffa didn’t become an armed chair lawmaker but a responsive representative building friendship and connections for the future which is today.
Speaker Koffa is a self-effacing king of his people of Grand Kru and an energetic and passionate son of Liberia, whose vision for the House of Representatives is to see a transformed Legislature competing with other parliaments in the subregions and beyond.
Koffa has always developed love for his colleagues, especially respecting and showing compassion to their needs.
To demonstrate this love and passion for the job he has acquired, the humanitarian by birth has made tremendous progress at all levels of life, both nationally and internationally.
His love for humanity led him to establish one of the most active scholarships in his county and Liberia where he has been able to provide leadership and training for young people aspiring for the future.
It is because of the likes of Hon. Koffa today some young people of Liberia have a voice and he must be commended.
It is from this perspective that this Statesman has occupied the Speaker post in the House of Representatives. Hon. Koffa is a political activist, a technocrat and an advocate who respects humanity. He brings with him a humble spirit to the task he anticipates to undertake.
He has a spirit that entails personality with ambition, qualities with generosity and participation with thoughtfulness. The newly elected-Speaker is a well-determined and energetic individual, yet pleasantly calm.
He encourages fighting for what his colleagues desire and believe, and doing it through God because nothing great comes easy and with God everything is possible.
This experience and astute stateman is motivated to serve wherever he finds himself with an outstanding record of progress.
With his definitive goal of becoming Speaker, his passion for accomplishment, has embraced a fervent interest in administering the affairs of the House of Representatives for the next six years.
Koffa, the New Nehemiah on Capitol Hill
This article praises the idea of a self-believing individual whose desire is to transform a broken legislature that needs the Nehemiah Principle to succeed.
The book of Nehemiah tells the story of the restoration of the city of Jerusalem. When examining the book of Nehemiah as a single unit of progress, one will notice that it is a book that focuses on leadership.
It tells us about the rebuilding of the walls of Judah. In addition to utilizing this great biblical philosophy on leadership, this great lawyer has dedicated his time and energy to this worthy cost and has realized that it is his term to have the walls of the House of Representatives rebuilt.
In the midst of political talks from members of the opposing side that he has done nothing to be elected as Speaker, the quiet stateman remains resolute in his drive to meet the needs of members of the House of Representatives, and with this, he means business.
The primary motivation of Koffa’s leadership is to remain focused on repairing and rebuilding the walls of the legislature, image building wise. With his farsighted vision, this task will surely be accomplished.
As part of his quiet diplomacy, the GrandKru County Lawmaker, has used such a skill to hold dialogue discussions among members of the 55th Legislature to ensure this quest for leadership is achieved.
Hon. Koffa is not the talking type but uses his ‘behind the scene’ approach to settle crisis and it’s one of such skills used by him to cool down the tension in the House of Representative between Hon. Kolubah and Speaker Chambers.
That is why we are profiling an individual who is people-centered, people driven, and all in all a man with immense passion to transform the Legislature for the greater good of all. JFK has the capacity to organize, coordinate, cooperate, engage and participate in whatever he decides to undertake, or administer.
The principle of Nehemiah when it comes to leadership gives him a Legislature in dire need of change.
The idea of rebuilding the Legislature is a solution to a problem that members of that body have faced for a long period of time. As a result of that, he shed a vision that with the support of his colleagues the House of Representatives will move to a higher height.
He encourages you to join his team to rebuild the House of Representatives as a solution to ensuring progress. The concept of this problem must serve as a driving force for total participation.
The walls of the House of Representatives need to be rebuilt so that development and progress can take its place, and to have this accomplished, Hon. Koffa has the needed ingredients and charisma to take the Legislature to another level of excellence. Congratulations and we look forward to seeing a new Legislature under JFK.
Koffa’s Transformational Plans for the New Legislature
Through out his campaign, the Grand Kru Representative has been towering the need for a complete overhaul of the House of Representatives and to have this done, he ran his campaign on the below listed agenda
Improved Record System- Up to date, the House of Representatives doesn’t have a fitting record system when it comes to data collection on voting and this is a major plan on the agenda of Speaker Koffa as Speaker of the House of Representatives.
He will introduce a fair system showcasing how our lawmakers voted on issues of critical national concerns. He will also disseminate or distribute the agenda to all lawmakers prior to the holding of session.
Establishing a functional Legislative Website- also, on the agenda of Hon. Koffa is the establishment of a functional website where basic information about the House of Representative will be processed for public consumption.
Under a Koffa Speakership, he intends to make sure that major decisions taken by the House of Representatives are reflected on the website.
Staff Welfare & Benefits: Koffa is one lawmaker that has never look down on his staff, he provides them the needed support and respect and makes them feel a part of him. This, he intends, to translate to the general staff of the House of Representatives.
From time in memory, staffers of the Legislature have over the time complained about the lack of support especially from their lawmakers, but this time around, Hon. Koffa intends to transition from such old path.
Empowerment of Committees- the committees in the legislature is the backbone when it comes to the working of the Legislature. Koffa intends to empower the various committees to ensure that their oversights on Government functionaries are effective and efficient.
Under his speakership, Koffa intends to give all the committees the leverage to operate independently through the needed support from the leadership of the House of Representatives.
In doing so, Koffa intends to appoint qualify individuals to Committees in relations to their academic standing and knowledge.
He avails that three critical committees will be highly identified to ensure effectiveness in its oversight. The Leadership, Budget, Ways, Means and Finance Committee and the Committee on Public Accounts & Expenditure.
Legislative Audit- From time in memory, the Legislature has not been audited since the post war era ranging as far back to 2005. Under a Koffa’s leadership, he intends to ensure that the House of Representatives is audited.
According to him, as the peoples’ representatives they are to first set the record to ensuring probity in public places and as such, the audit of the House of Representatives will be a paramount concern under his watch.
Representatives of the 55th National Legislature, especially Members of the House of Representatives, this is a glaring opportunity that you elected someone who knows your plights, knows your concerns, knows your wish and someone that is very much accessible whenever you need him.
Jonathan Fonati Koffa brings a wealth of experience to the job and with his election as speaker the House of Representatives will become a semblance of dignity and respect. Congratulations JFK, your colleagues look up to you to kick the ball rolling.
About the Author:
Derrick Ernest Clarke is a professional Liberian Journalist with 20 years’ experience in the field of journalism and political studies. He has worked both in the electronic and print media. He holds a Bachelor of Art Degree in Mass Communications from the University of Liberia, and a Master in International Relations from the University of Liberia along with several other certificates in various journalism disciplines. He has served as a lecturer at several Journalism Institutes in Liberia. Among other experiences shaping the field of journalism through education, Mr. Clarke has written a number of articles ranging from politics, economics and the society.