Controversy Looms in CDC Over Weah’s Choice For Representative Aspirants
Monrovia – FrontPageAfrica has learned from various impeccable sources that the political leader of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) George Manneh Weah is unilaterally deciding who contests district seats in the October elections even though primaries are yet to be held.
Report by Lennart Dodoo – [email protected]
George Weah’s move as FrontPageAfrica has been informed, is a ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul situation’, wherein he intends to payback individuals who supported his 2014 senatorial bid by prioritizing them over partisans wishing to contest in various districts.
One of such individuals that Weah feels indebted to is Representative Bill Theaway of the Unity Party who has maintained lukewarm relationship with the ruling party.
The non-partisan is believed to be Weah’s favorite for Montserrado County District #3 where the party’s head of press and publicity committee, Kanio Bai Gbala also wishes to contest.
Kanio reserved comments Wednesday when he was contacted by FrontPageAfrica, but said he would rather comment on it Thursday (today).
However, the National Youth Chairperson, Jefferson Koijee said while Weah will not interfere with the democratic process of the party’s primaries which is scheduled for May through June, he reserves the right express his interest in any particular aspirant.
“Amb. Weah reserves the right as an individual to express his interest but what Amb. Weah will not do, he’ll never interfere with the electoral and democratic processes that gear towards the primaries.
He’ll not do that, but as the political leader, he’s got the right to express his interest,” Koijee told FrontPageAfrica
Act of Reciprocity
Another staunch member of the CDC who preferred anonymity told this paper: “Weah has never requested Kanio to back off.
In 2014 Senatorial election, 14 Lawmakers in Montserrado County endorsed Weah and stood in the trenches and they requested continuous collaboration with the CDC.
“Bill like Nyekan, Konneh, Dakel Adolph did not hide their support for the CDC after 2014.”
“They all stood by the party and went to meeting and kept the collaboration up to date.
“Bill like Nyekan never went back to UP. They careless about UP and you know this well.”
“In fact, Bill was a member of the CDC in 2005.
“Don’t be surprised to see the act of political reciprocity towards the 14 lawmakers and not Bill alone.”
However, while Weah’s move is seen by some in the party as an act of reciprocity, some within the party who feel marginalized believe Weah is exerting imperial rule.
One of such partisans wrote in one of the party’s internal Facebook chat room dubbed ‘Senator George Weah for President 2017’: “Amb. Weah must stop exerting his influence on who to contest on the party’s ticket.
“That’s one reason why the party almost seem brain drained that even half-baked morons think they can gavel decisions in the party”.
In another internal chat room, ‘Weah 2017’, another partisan wrote: “Weah is only focusing on him and his interest. CDC is bigger than that.”
These chats were screen shot by some disenchanted members of the party and leaked to FrontPageAfrica.
Said action on the part of Weah has also led to the resignation of the party’s USA Secretary General, Laraamand S. Nyonton.
Nyonton who some members within the party see to being overly ambitious indicated in his resignation letter that he was leaving the party because “unjustifiable consensus on certain party’s legislative seats for all current CDC lawmakers and non-partisan lawmakers who supported Ambassador Weah’s 2014 senatorial bid.”
Nyonton’s Resignation Letter
Laraamand S. Nyonton
National Secretary General, CDC – USA
April 4, 2017
Arthur K. Zakama
National Chairman, CDC – USA
Dear Hon. Zakama,
Please accept, in a very humbling way, my resignation from the position of National Secretary General of CDC-USA.
By this communication and in fulfillment of Article 5, Section 47 of the CDC (Liberia) Constitution, which states: That membership in CDC shall cease by written or verbal communication, or constructive withdrawal, I am pleased to formally withdraw my membership from the Congress/Coalition for Democratic Change as I see my physical, political, and psychological pathways to growth within the “Movement” fettered by the following observations:
- Unjustifiable consensus on certain party’s legislative seats for all current CDC lawmakers and non-partisan lawmakers who supported Ambassador Weah’s 2014 senatorial bid.
- The “Movement” has sharply transformed into a new hub for generational biases and different forms of intra-party discrimination practiced at all levels of the party.
- Corruption and abuse of trusted office of by some members of the National Executive Committee (NEC).
- Promotion of the culture of “class-privilege” mainly practiced by the Political Leader, something that gives a sense of entitlement to his close friends, mutual female associates (mutual beneficiaries), and others who simply come to the CDC using illicit resources to penetrate the echelon of the party’s structure.
- A revealing sense of internal division and fights, supported by a disturbing norm of “race for allegiance” carried out by partisans who feel well connected and closely associated to the Political Leader.
- A realistic assessment of CDC today unequivocally reveals the party’s naked quest for state power without tangible plans and a winning strategy for October 2017.
Hon. Zakama, as a professional young man, I am not an apple polisher to the pertaining issues that confront the CDC, and I have had a constant record of standing tall for justice and equality in every form during my 12 years of service to this party.
As a grass-rooter, there is a vanished admiration for this party as compare to 2005 when this “Movement” earned its strive in the first post-conflict election after 14 years of civil war.
Put simply, the “Movement” has drastically transformed into a neo-anti-grassroots movement and a “Dollar Rally Club” where partisans are no longer honored and respected based on their loyalty and sacrifice to the party, but by the number of times one deepens into his pocket.
In view of the aforementioned, I am also pleased to provide some simple recommendations for CDC’s recovery from its current path of being a “stock market party”, to the path of rectitude; from a “one strategy resource mobilization party” to a “multi-prompt strategy party” on mobilizing resources for the October 2017 elections; and from the biases, internal division and fights, to a more peaceful and coordinated political institution that seek to benefit from a renewed image branding in the months ahead:
- The Political Leader must cease from being at the center of controversies regarding the party’s primaries. He must justly undo the so-called decision involving lawmakers who supported him in the 2014 mid-term elections as the first basis of ensuring free, fair and transparent primaries ahead of October 2017. The number of lawmakers who supported the Political Leader in 2014 is a fraction of the mass based citizens’ support won in the mid-term election. The people of Montserrado deserve a seat at the table, not failed and disingenuous lawmakers who want to shield their failures under the emblem of the CDC.
- Biases and discrimination at all levels of the party must be placed to an end. The Political Leader has a responsibility to encourage and ensure equal rights and privileges for all partisans at every level of the party.
- Party Leaders must cease from utilizing the party’s platform to their own benefit, but to the benefit of all. There are many cases of different forms of corrupt practices carried out daily by party leaders. To end this ugly pattern, the Political Leader must stand up and make a policy pronouncement clearly on the use of party’s position for private gain.
- The Political Leader must distance his circle of friends and mutual beneficiaries from the workings of the party. If for any reason, a member of his circle of friends and mutual beneficiaries are part, or desire to be active in the workings of the party, the PL should have no interference that gives them a certain “class privilege” against other partisans.
- There are two types of loyalty in CDC: Those that are loyal to the cause; and those that are only loyal to the Political Leader. Loyalty to the Political Leader and not the cause is creating this invisible race for allegiance, something that is breeding gossips, envies, different forms of division, etc. As one who bears the standard of the party, the Political Leader must take the first step in ensuring that partisans must first be loyal to the cause at all times and not merely an individual. The cause moves on; individuals come and go!
- CDC must NOW set a clear, workable, and realistic agenda as a winning strategy for 2017. This must be in concert with a much more broaden resource mobilization strategy that helps the party raise resources without over-burdening its membership base.
Hon. Zakama, through you, please convey my thanks and appreciation to the Political Leader, the National Executive Committee (NEC) in Liberia, and the officials and members of the party in the United States for the time afforded me to serve and participate in this movement.
Amb. Laraamand S. Nyonton, Former Secretary General/ CDC-USA
Linked To the ALP
Koijee in FrontPageAfrica interview said while the CDC encourages people to join the party, it also welcome their departure, but will not encourage people spreading falsehood while as they leave the party.
“What the CDC does not support is when people decide to leave and decide to market falsehood – something that does not represent what the CDC stands for, so the CDC has got serious issue with that. But that is not the first time.
The CDC has witnesses the departure of many of its partisans – from chairperson ranging down to ordinary partisans,” Koijee said.
He alleged that Nyonton is being contaminated by the external forces of the Congress for Democratic Change.
According to Koijee, Nyonton joined the CDC in 2013 in the USA, thinking that he could use the CDC as a platform to become a lawmaker.
“He found out that his way is not through. In fact he was recruited by a representative of Benoni Urey.”
Koijee believes Nyonton is currently being influenced by the Urey’s All Liberian Party which he said Nyonton wishes to join.
Koijee: “In 2017, those kinds of tactics, those kinds of shenanigans have no space in our body politics. The CDC will resist those kinds of tactics; those individuals will be exposed. Those people who are not prepared to go for primaries, they can leave.”
Senator Peter Coleman Withdraws From CDC
On Tuesday, Grand Kru County Senator Peter S. Coleman withdrew his membership from the CDC, citing litany of reasons.
Senator Coleman’s resignation letter, which FrontPageAfrica has obtained, stated that over the last three years, the CDC has gradually departed from its initial principles on which it was founded.
The Grand Kru lawmaker claimed that he finds it difficult to comprehend the decisions reached by the Executive Committee of the CDC and have found himself at loggerheads with the leadership.
“The most recent decision regarding the direction of the Party as it relates to the ensuing General and Presidential Elections has brought me at complete variance with the CDC,” he wrote.
“Mr. Chairman and members of the Executive Committee, it is in this light with profound regrets, I am officially resigning from the Congress for Democratic Change. I wish you, members of the Executive Committee and partisans of the CDC all the best in your future engagement.”
Senator Coleman joined the CDC in 2005. According to him, his membership was because he wholeheartedly embraced the principles, objectives, and goals of the Party.
The office of Senator George Weah (CDC-Montserrado County) last year communicated with the executive committee of the party to allow its grievance and ethics committee to seek clarification from the senator, who’s also a medical doctor (CDC-Grand Kru) about his alleged involvement in the JFK Hospital saga.
According to a press release then from the office of the Senator, the communication to the ethics committee was meant to probe the Senator, who is a member of the party’s legislative caucus, on his monthly receipt of professional service fees from the John F. Kennedy Medical Center.
Senator Peter Coleman (CDC-Grand Kru County) in response to the mandate from Weah office termed it as laughable. Coleman, in a release, questioned the existence of the Party Grievance and Ethics committee.
Sen. Coleman is believed to be among many other senators from the Southeast who have pledged support to the presidency of Vice President Joseph Boakai, standard bearer of the ruling Unity Party.