Liberia: Chatters of Betrayal in NPP Ranks as Key Ally to VP Howard-Taylor Joins CDC

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During her confirmation hearing as superintendent of Bong County, Madam Esther Walker paid tribute to Howard-Taylor, describing her as a “mother and big sister” and promised to “never forget what she has done in my life”.

Gbarnga  – A close ally of Liberia’s Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor Thursday, July 9, 2020 resigned from the former ruling National Patriotic Party, and subsequently joined President George Weah’s Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), one of three political parties making up the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC).

Esther Walker, who served as Vice Chairman for Gender Affairs of the party, said she resigned for “personal reasons”. 

Howard-Taylor and Walker have had a strong bond as “friends” and “sisters” as far back as 27 years ago. As former first lady to former president Charles Taylor, Howard-Taylor influenced the appointment of Walker as city mayor of Gbarnga. Also, during Howard-Taylor first nine year stint as senator of Bong, Walker became a “personal cook” to Howard-Taylor before rising as head of the Village Saving Loan, a loan scheme initiated by Howard-Taylor to assist less privileged women in Bong County. 

During her confirmation hearing as superintendent of Bong County, Walker paid tribute to Howard-Taylor, describing her as a “mother and big sister” and promised to “never forget what she has done in my life”.

But on Friday, Walker revealed she has served the vice president and it was now time to break the relationship. 

“Bong County is a place where I see betrayal the order of the day. For me, I see no difference because the coalition is a makeup of the three constituent political parties and the madam is the vice president. Leaving a Methodist Church and joining a Lutheran Church, they are the main land churches.”

Selena Polson-Mappy, Former Bong County superintendent

To many, Walker’s resignation doesn’t come as a complete surprise. Her relationship with the vice president has been declining for quite some time now amid rumors of a frosty relationship between President Weah and his vice president.

Reactions to Walker breaking ranks with VP Taylor

Former Bong County superintendent Selena Polson-Mappy said in a Facebook comment: “Bong County is a place where I see betrayal the order of the day. For me, I see no difference because the coalition is a makeup of the three constituent political parties and the madam is the vice president. Leaving a Methodist Church and joining a Lutheran Church, they are the main land churches.”

Moses Wamah Bedell told FrontPage Africa:  “Superintendent Walker is a traitor and a character who is after what she can afford today. To break a 27-year-old relationship with someone who has been there for you throughout your life only because you want to please the president is a classic example of an ingrate.”

Miatta Togba, also shared her view on Walker’s defection to the CDC to FrontPage Africa: “Just to secure your job you have now betrayed your friend. This decisions will haunt Superintendent Walker.”

Jerry Peabody, a resident of Gbarnga and a partisan of the NPP, told FrontPage Africa:  “This manifests that the president wants to disintegrate the NPP and the support base of the vice president. But it won’t work. Jewel has proven to be the face of Bong County politics and there is no way the president can take that from her by coercing Esther Walker to resign from the party.” 

Howard-Taylor welcomes Walker resignation

On Friday, July 10, 20202, Howard-Taylor graciously accepted the resignation Walker, superintendent of Bong County and former Vice Chair for Gender Affairs of NPP. 

In her explanation to the Media Thursday, July 9,2020, Walker intimated that her interest no longer aligns with the NPP but was quick to mention that she remains a Member of the Coalition for Democratic Change.  She asserted that her decision is not based on personal issues with the Vice President as the relationship remains cordial.  

Madam Walker announced in the same medium to join the Congress for Democratic Change which is one of the constituent parties of the Coalition. 

The Vice President, has however, recognized Walker’s service to the NPP and expressed no reservations of her decision to leave the Party.  

The NPP as a former ruling Party and one of the most grassroots political parties in Liberia has always survived for decades amidst the exodus of different partisans. 

Howard-Taylor was emphatic that the NPP remains a formidable force in the body politics of the country with the emergence of firebrand young people to keep the Party’s vision alive. 

Madam Vice President also congratulated the newly elected leadership of the NPP Bong Chapter and challenged them to work tirelessly across the nooks and cranny of Bong in order to keep the Party relevant.

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