Liberia: Costa, Yekeh Breakup Tearing up Opposition Collaborating Political Parties

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MONROVIA – The opposition Collaborating Political Party (CPP) is in danger of further fracturing, as war of words between Monsterrado County District 10 lawmaker Yekeh Kolubah of the Alternative National Congress (ANC) and talkshow host Henry Costa of the All Liberian Party (ALP) rumbles on.

On Friday,  Rep. Kolubah accused Costa of receiving money from the government of President George Weah through the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs Nathaniel McGill to destabilize the opposition alliance. 

“I have reliably gathered that Costa is being bankrolled by Minister McGill to divide leaders of the CPP that’s why he has directed his recent tantrum at the political leader of the ANC, Alexander Cummings,” Rep. Kolubah said though he declined to give proof of his claims.

“Costa was the main reason former Vice President Joseph Boakai lost the 2017 presidential elections because he branded him all sorts of names during the first round of the elections. We heard him calling the former vice president “a man walking dead due to his old age”, and described Boakai’s selection of Margibi County senator Emmanuel Nuquay as his running mate as a “wicked ticket”. This man is not credible because few months ago he was trumpeting the leader of the People Liberation Party Dr. Cassel and he made it clear that he was during business with the PLP.” 

“To see Costa being used by his political leader Benoni Urey should serve as a reminder to everyone who know his past.”

Costa in his response accused Rep. Kolubah, who during the Liberian Civil War was conscripted as child soldier and given weapons against his will, of suffering from trauma.

“It’s no secret that Rep. Kolubah killed thousands of people during the civil war in Liberia and I’m not surprised he made those all those allegations against me,” Costa told the VOA’s James Butty during an interview.

“Rep. Kolubah is angry with me because I have been exposing his political leader Alexander Cummings for altering the framework document leaders of CPP signed. And because of his action Mr. Cummings has repeatedly refused to bring the original framework documents.”

“I am not on a mission to disintegrate the opposition alliance as Rep. Kolubah claims. I’m pushing for the right thing to be done which Alexander Cummings doesn’t want to do.”

Concern amid bickering

The war of words between the two influential opposition figures is drawing a lot of concern from partisans of the four collaborating parties, with many calling on Costa and Rep. Kolubah to show maturity and political restraint.

Jerry Kamara of the former ruling Unity Party, a member party of the opposition alliance, posted on his Facebook page: “Why are our leaders fussing on social media when issues of such can be resolved amicably. This doesn’t show mean well for the entire opposition. The more we fight each it gives the government sufficient ground to double up.”

Cecelia Flomo, a member of Liberty Party, another constituent party of the opposition alliance, is appealing to leaders of the four party to intervene and resolve the differences between the two CPP members. “The four political leaders of the CPP shouldn’t sit idly and see Costa and Rep. Kolubah deface each other on the social media as it will have a negative effect on the CPP,” she said.

Jappah-Maxwell Hooks, who didn’t state his political party gave a word of caution to Costa in reaction to his post on Facebook: “Henry P. Costa , you are not doing this to Cummings, but the entire CPP that you are relegating in public. It shows how impulsive and emotional the government will be run, even if Boakai wins, with you controlling him. You will start the same noise tomorrow if things don’t go your way…a sad pattern indeed and and damage to your political career. 

You want to run for Senate in 2023 against Saah Joseph, see how those you are hurting will support you…a caveat!!”

In response to Costa accusation of Mr. Cummings altering the framework document, Robert Levee, who didn’t state his politial party, said: “I’m one of your followers but I have brain , I think for myself that’s why I’m going to school. How long will you and Benoni Urey continue with this allegation without showing hard evidence of the altered document or the provisions that was altered? You’re becoming fake  on this issue.”

However, Jenkins Peabody of the ANC believes it was always evident the power of egos would haunt the prospects of the CPP. The level of distrust between the leaders of the CPP had built up over the past months, he said.

“It would have been naïve for anyone to expect that the accumulated reservoir of distrust would be a success for the opposition collaboration,” he said.

Many members of the CPP believed that their common desire to see a united opposition would provide the bond that the alliance need. It worked well during the 2020 Senatorial elections when the CPP won majority of the seats across the country, when the hard decisions were made. 

According to members of the CPP if leaders confine their disagreements to closed-door meetings, and resolve their differences with a flexible approach, perhaps the opposition alliance  would be saved. The aggressive manner in which both Costa and Rep. Kolubah have tackled their  disputes in full glare in the media may leave any chances of a rapprochement, they said.

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