Gbarnga, Bong County – A fierce struggle for the control of a political group, Movement to Support Boakai (NAMBO) Bong County chapter, is creating a deep division in the group.
Report by Selma Lomax, [email protected]
The group, which is fronting for the election of Vice President Joseph Boakai as Liberia’s next president in 2017, faces possible implosion, a FrontPageAfrica investigation has established.
The group is currently beset by fresh internal wrangling that is tearing it apart. FrontPage Africa’s investigation reveals that personal ambitions of the group’s leading figures, group rivalries, corruption and indiscipline are turning it into an ungovernable behemoth in the county.
The group’s National Executive Committee members are being flouted at will and organising plans to fill its Acting Chairman’s post in the county is becoming a herculean task, sources say. These two cases were visible on Tuesday, July 19, 2016.
A letter written July 15, 2016 by the Executive Committee of the group under the signatures of Robert Kpadeh, Secretary of NAMBO and Nyan Mantein, Chairman of NAMBO, with immediate effect relieved the entire membership in the county due to their “consistent disrespectful conduct to ranking members of the national leadership”.
The letter in part states: “Having served as acting leadership for close to one year, Mr. Stephen Kennedy and other officials of the Movement in Bong County have proven unworthy of the post and have performed poorly.”
The release also noted that that the National leadership has observed that Kennedy and his officials are politically immature and can’t be trusted to lead the county ahead of the 2017 general and presidential election.
The national leadership said it is in the process of naming an interim team that will lead the change until an appropriate leadership is derived.
The local NAMBO chapter said it will resist attempts by the national office to relieve them from their respective positions. Steve Kennedy, head of NAMBO Bong County chapter, said they have over the months struggled to bring the group to prominence in the county and it would be disheartening to part with the organization.
Kennedy described the decision by Kpadeh and Mantein as a witch hunt and yet another clever attempt to ruin the support the group continues to enjoy in the county.
FrontPageAfrica has also gathered that officials of the local chapter are planning to loot the office of NAMBO ahead of the National Executive Committees’ decision to replace them.
Sulunteh’s financial aid to NAMBO sparks outrage?
FrontPage Africa has gathered that the conflict between the Bong chapter and the Executive Committee of NAMBO stemmed from a financial donation given the local chapter by Liberia’s Ambassador to the U.S., Jeremiah Sulunteh.
Sulunteh, in April, gave US 2,000 to the local chapter for rental fee for the period of one month, an amount the local chapter reportedly used to settled remittances owed by the party.
The amount, FrontPage Africa gathered, angered the Executive Committee of NAMBO, who reportedly wanted the Bong Chapter to turn the money over before onward delivery to the Bong office.
Bong County Inspector calls for calm
Bong County Inspector William Kollie who spoke to FrontPage Africa Tuesday condemned the action of the Executive Committee of the organization.
William Kollie, who is a ranking member of an auxiliary of another political movement dubbed as Wing of Boakai, told a local radio station in Gbarnga via mobile phone Tuesday that the collective goal of all members of the Boakai Movement is to ensure the election of VP Boakai as Liberia’s next president in 2017.
He noted that to realize such dream, members of the movement must work together irrespective of challenges.
Mr. Kollie said if the leadership of the Movement to support Boakai in Bong County felt offended, a roundtable dialogue was important rather than relieving them of their positions through a letter that contains what he calls “harsh words” like “politically immature.”
Confusion visible in UP Bong Chapter, too
The growing confusion in NAMBO is also visible in the reconciliation agenda of the ruling Unity Party Bong County chapter. The local chairman of the party Robert Womba launched the reconciliation program to bring back influential party members in the county who were frustrated.
Since then, key party officials in the county continue to defect to opposition parties in the county.