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Liberia: CPP Must Heed Former VP Boakai’s Plead to Survive

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IT’S NO SECRET that the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), comprising four major opposition political parties, have had to endure some very shaky moments, recently. 

THOSE UNSTABLE moments even though have now quiet down a bit but they have in no way gone away. There are still simmering sparks here and there visible on social media. If these sparks are not totally quenched, they have the propensities to further derail the objectives and the spirit of the CPP, which includes the former ruling Unity Party (UP) of former Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai, Alternative National Congress (ANC) of Alexander Benedict Cummings, All Liberian Party (ALP) of Benoni Wilfred Urey, and Liberty Party (LP) of Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence.

EVEN THOUGH THE SPAT, which was started between the young supporters of two of the parties, later spilled over engulfing two of its leaders, who got at each other’s throats in the press. 

RUMORS, SPECULATIONS and some utterances of late suggested that there were some strains between Mr. Urey, who now chairs the CPP and Mr. Cummings, who is supposed to inherit the title from Urey.

MR. UREY, in a call in to the Ramah TV Facebook live, expressed his support for former Vice President Joseph Boakai as his choice for President in 2023 and insinuated that his ANC counterpart, Cummings was not ready for the highest job in the land because he had been away too long.

SAID THE ALP LEADER: “I want to go first to the former Vice President Joe Nyumah Boakai. Look, we must be respectful to our elders. I am a traditional man and we grew up with certain traditions. We always respect our elders; and where we are today, we need people with wisdom, knowledge and understanding of the social, cultural, and economic, the political conditions we find ourselves today. And it’s important that we elect a mature person to the presidency. You know people keep making reference to Joe Boakai for being Vice President for 12 years and doing nothing; that he was a part of a government and he accomplished nothing, and look, we all participated in government. People usually elect people who have worked in government. You don’t elect people who just come from a country and come to another country and want to be president. You elect people based on their experience and based on their reputation. And I think of the three candidates, Joe Boakai has the most experience; Joe Boakai has stood the test of time, and he’s a relatively decent person.”

MR. CUMMINGS was taken aback by the comments, which came from is colleague in the CPP. 

“I have remained consistently involved with the development and progress of my country and it is unfortunate that Benoni will attempt to mislead the people of Liberia for his own personal reasons. I have been focused on working in communities across Liberia and committing resources to those languishing at the bottom of the economic ladder. It is sad that Mr. Urey feels the way he feels but it will not deter me from my objectives and responsibilities as the political leader of the ANC.” 

AFTER THEIR exchanges in the press, both men, however, found time to meet at an undisclosed location for a tete-a-tete to reportedly squash their differences and review the framework of the CPP arrangement.

WHILE ALL OF THIS was going on, former Vice President Boakai was in the United States attending his political party’s diaspora convention. It is likely that he was kept abreast with all the happenings between his two junior brothers but co-equals in the CPP. 

UNTIL ON MONDAY, October 28, the former number two to former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf hadn’t publically said anything about the tit-for-tat between Mssrs Urey and Cummings on one hand and the various attacks among members especially of ANC, UP and ALP, on another. 

BUT ON THAT MONDAY, VP Boakai, who is the oldest among the four leaders and probably the “wisest” by virtue of his age, experience and very long service to country, pleaded with the other leaders in the CPP to forgo and let “bygones be bygones,” so that the CPP can survive.

MR. BOAKAI was right when he told them that the CPP would not attain its mission in the wake of disunity among its leaders and officials.

HE MAINTAINED that the CPP must remain a formidable and responsible opposition or risk suffering from the “people’s collective punishment” now or in the future.

BOAKAI: “By pledging to work together, we have given hope to our people and have reassured Liberia’s international partners that we are prepared to place Liberia above all else. We have promised that our mission is to rescue and preserve the Republic.

“WE MUST THEREFORE continue to demonstrate that there is strength in unity. The CPP must remain a formidable force and a responsible and loyal opposition. We must remain committed to our objectives, lest we suffer the people’s collective punishment. We must not let our people down.”

THE FORMER Vice President further urged members of the Collaborating Political Parties to desist from acts and utterances inimical to the survival and credibility of the CPP, including unwarranted attacks on leaders of the CPP, wild and unsubstantiated allegations, and dangerous speculations. 

“WHILE IN EVERY human undertaking there are bound to be bottlenecks and hic-ups along the way, as a responsible opposition we have the capacity and mechanism to resolve our differences whenever and wherever they show up. We urge our supporters, sympathizers, and well-wishers to be calmed as we work to resolve any differences, real or perceived,” he advised.

THIS IS FROM a wise man, who means business for success and really wants the CPP to survive. 

TO OTHER HIGH members of CPP, you need to listen, take heed and do what Joe Boakai has said so that your togetherness can remain solid. Remember hundreds of thousands of Liberians have their faiths in your leaderships. Stop the bickering, backbiting and slandering of each other in the name of politics. You must hold together and heed the former VP’s warning if the CPP must survive to take state power through the democratic means. 

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