Liberia: PLP Embattled Chairman Says Political Leader’s “Mind Has Been Poisoned”; Remains Defiant on His Expulsion
MONROVIA – The newly established and certificated People’s Liberation Party (PLP), through its General Policy Commission (GPC), has with immediate effect removed Mr. Wilmot Paye as acting Chairman and few others from various leadership positions within the party for multiple reasons ranging from the alleged fraud, acts of undermining and poor performances.
The GPC is the highest decision-making body of the People’s Liberation Party. It comprises of Executive Members including the Party Leader, Chairman, all Vice-Chairpersons, Secretary, Women and Youth Chairpersons, Treasurer, among others.
Dr. Daniel E. Cassell is the Vision Bearer and Political Leader of the PLP.
In a statement issued under the signature of the party’s acting Assistant Secretary-General for Press and Publicity Stephen Vorkpor on Tuesday, August 17, the party disclosed that Mr. Paye was removed following thorough investigations into a countless number of complaints brought against him by some members of the GPC and other local county officials of the party, and for grossly violating the constitutional rights of several members serving in leadership positions across several counties.
The statement maintained that findings of the GPC’s investigation launched into those complaints filed against Mr. Paye unearthed that “poor handling of a previous conflict between the Acting Montserrado County Youth Assembly Chairman-Trokon George and the Montserrado County Chairman-Rueben Washington, without proper investigation and recommendation to the GPC for action”.
It added that Mr. Paye singlehandedly proceeded and discriminatorily recalled the inducted Acting Montserrado County Youth Assembly Chairman Mr. George and replaced him with a member outside of the Montserrado County Youth Assembly leadership structure who is a District Coordinator that holds a key position in the current government.
According to the party, it was also established and confirmed that Mr. Paye directly instructed and authorized the Acting Montserrado County Chairman Washington to replace the entire leadership structure of the Montserrado County Youth Assembly with unknown members who have not been vetted and approved by the GPC.
“As a result of Mr. Paye’s mishandling of the above-mentioned situations, a Wing of the Montserrado County Youth Assembly staged a protest and presented a formal complaint against Mr. Paye. The protest which was carried out at the party’s headquarters in Congo Town, outside Monrovia recently brought the party to public disrepute”.
The statement pointed out that the protesters presented several counts, calling for the resignation of Mr. Paye ranging from administrative ineptitude, lack of integrity, unilaterally rendering decisions, among others.
It stated that the Party Leader, Dr. Daniel E. Cassell, had to intervene at the time, adding that, “the Political Leader met with the entire leadership of the Montserrado County Youth Assembly and protesters to calm down the situation and return the party to normalcy”.
The statement emphasized that similarly, concerns were reported and confirmed that Mr. Paye also unilaterally removed and replaced the acting Nimba County Chairman, Titus Sonyah and other counties chairs from their positions as well as their entire leaderships and replaced them with other members of the party without prior knowledge, vetting, and approval by the GPC.
According to the party, “Mr. Paye has made multiple undermining and derogatory statements about the Party Leader, including boastfully and disrespectfully requesting Dr. Cassell to ‘turn over the party to him to run and control its finances’, adding that, “the GPC sees this act as a total and clear act of greed, betrayal of trust and confidence reposed in him to serve as Chairman of the PLP”.
“The GPC of the People’s Liberation Party finds these multiple defaming, undermining and derogatory comments made against the Political Leader of the party as not only divisive, undermining and condescending, but also grossly disrespectful and contrary to the core values of the People’s Liberation Party (PLP)”.
“GPC also notes that though Mr. Paye was rescued from a failed political career within the body politics in Liberia followed by the climax of his rejection from the Unity Party (UP) for similar behavior, he continues to clearly demonstrate the behavior and spirit of undermining and ingratitude to a person who has truly spoon-fed and cared about you”.
The statement recalled that on August 10, 2021, “Mr. Paye instructed the National Youth Assembly Chairman, Mr. Carlos Edison Tingban, to form a specialized military brigade auxiliary group comprising of over 200 individuals with notorious backgrounds for the sole purpose of carrying out his personal agenda and creating similar and more severe insurrection and instability within the PLP from this point leading up to the convention, and without the consent of the Acting National Vice Chairman for Auxiliary-Cherno Jalloh and the GPC”.
“Mr. Paye’s dealings and actions of consistently violating the constitutional rights of leading members of the PLP could have spill over to other counties and significant future insurrections and instabilities could have sparked up within our party and therefore, the GPC deems it expedient and necessary at this time to relieve him off his post as acting Chairman of the PLP.
“Considering the severity of the above-mentioned behaviors which are in direct violation of the People’s Liberation Party (PLP) Bylaws and Constitutions, including Section 5.2, the consequential protest and instability caused within our party, and the possibility of future insurrections, protests, and instability that could prevent our party’s chance of ascending to state power, the PLP can no longer trust and hold confidence in Mr. Paye to hold such a position”.
As for Mr. Henry Sackie former Acting Vice Chairman for Political Affairs of the People’s Liberation Party (PLP), the statement disclosed that the GPC of the PLP observed “non-compliance and lukewarm posture and attitude” by him towards the implementation of his Term of Reference (TOR).
The statement intoned that Mr. Sackie has dismally performed in using his office to politically move the party forward in keeping with the PLP’s By-laws and Constitutions.
The PLP statement furthered that having reviewed his TOR work performance, the GPC with immediate effect relieved Mr. Kansuah from his post for allegedly “engaging, recruiting and placing members of our party in leadership positions across several counties including Bong, Montserrado, among others without complying with the guidelines of the GPC in vetting and approving those candidates”.
Additionally, the statement alleged that Mr. Kansuah continuously violated this component of the constitution despite a “Cease and Desist” warning, subsequently resulting in conflicts and instabilities regarding structuring the leadership across those counties in accordance with the PLP’s By-laws and Constitutions.
“In keeping with his TOR, Mr. Kansuah has grossly deviated and poorly performed during the period under review as far as the GPC is concerned”.
Carlos Edison Tingban
At the same time, the PLP has suspended its acting Chairman of the National Youth Assembly Mr. Carlos Edison Tingban for his alleged involvement in fraud, abuse, and irresponsibility.
“Mr. Edison recruited over 200 individuals with notorious backgrounds for the sole purpose of carrying out his personal agenda and creating similar and more severe insurrection and instability within our party from this point leading up to the convention, and without the consent of the Acting National Vice Chairman for Auxiliary-Cherno Jalloh and the GPC”.
According to the party, the suspended acting Youth Chairman has allegedly been in the constant habit of misusing the party’s vehicle which was assigned to him for the use of the National Youth Assembly by converting it to his personal use.
“Furthermore, funds given to Mr. Edison in connection with the invoice submitted for the purchase of materials for the Liberation Brigade were used to purchase a lower-priced and poor quality of materials then that which was presented on the invoice and the difference in price was pocketed by him and later used to celebrate his girlfriend’s birthday”.
The statement noted that though Mr.Wilmot Paye, Mr. Henry Sackie, Mr. Kansualism Kansuah and Mr. Carlos Edison are removed and suspended respectively from their various positions for their alleged involvement in acts that contravene the norms, by-laws and constitution of the PLP, they remain members of the PLP.
The party, however, encouraged the removed and suspended former acting executives to turn over all properties of the party that they may still have in their possession.
The removed and suspended partisans were inducted into the acting leader of the party in February 2021.
Plead for calm
Meanwhile, the GPC of the PLP has disclosed that despite the situation, the party remains focused, committed and steadfast to promote transparency, accountability and uphold its integrity as a political institution in Liberia.
“We urge our partisans and supporters to remain calm and supportive of our decision as we strive to liberate our country and its people, particularly the less fortunate, marginalized, distressed, vulnerable Liberian citizens among others as we weed out those serving as oppressors towards the attainment of this goal”.
When contacted via telephone, the removed Chairman of the PLP Mr. Wilmot Paye disclosed that he remains the official Spokesperson and Chairman of the PLP as per the party’s constitution.
He noted that the decision taken by the Party Leader, Dr. Cassell to remove him from the position is based on mere gossips and fallacies.
According to him, some elements within the PLP have allegedly “poisoned the mind” of Dr. Cassell on grounds that he and the others removed and suspended from their various positions are staging a revolution to take over the PLP.
“The way the party is structured-you have the General Congress (GC) which is equivalent to what people call a convention. This is where party officials can be elected. Below you have the administrative leadership congress and the person who presides over the GC is the Chairman of the party and the person who presides over the GPC which is below the GC is the Party Leader. There is no such thing as Political Leader in the constitution. We just been giving him (Dr. Daniel Cassell) that honor because we felt that we all can work together and we were there genuinely to support him”.
“Unfortunately, few people have poisoned his mind to say that ‘my man these people want to take the party from you.”
Mr. Paye blamed the entire situation on the “lack of self-confidence” on the part of the PLP leader.
He emphasized that the GPC has not met since Dr. Cassell returned from the United States several days ago, and as such, the decision taken to remove him from his post contravenes the party’s by-laws and constitutions, especially Section 5.1 downward.
“We meet at GPC members regularly; the Party Leader came last week Wednesday and when he came, he was up and down. The Secretary-General is the one who issues circulars around for us to attend meetings. Since he returned, it was only yesterday (Monday) he came to the office and it was yesterday that we should have met in a GPC session. But that meeting was not held and we have not held a meeting yet”.
Mr. Paye admitted that the constitution of the party does not clearly state the total number of executives or partisans that should attend a GPC meeting, but those removed and suspended from the positions are seen as being “deceitful” to the political leader of the PLP because of their independent stance on issues within the party.
This brings to two the number of times Mr. Paye has been removed as Chairman of a political party in Liberia.
It can be recalled that Mr. Paye was removed as Chairman of the former governing Unity Party, for engaging into acts that contravene and brought the UP reputation to public disrepute at the time.
“The removal of Mr. Wilmot Paye as National Chairman came as a result of recommendations made by the Special Investigative Committee established by the NEC to investigate actions and decisions taken by Mr. Paye that contravened the party’s constitution and brought to question the reputation of the party both locally and internationally,” the party stated in a press release issued.
He was accused of sowing a seed of discord and division within the party, an attitude that prompted bad blood between from Liberian President and standard-bearer of the UP, Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and her then-Vice President Joseph Nyemah Boakai.
Though Madam Sirleaf wanted Mr. Paye out of the UP as one of her requests to give support to the candidacy of Mr. Boakai during the 2017 general and presidential elections, Mr. Boakia stood his ground and Mr. Paye and several others remained in the party and launched multiple attacks on the character of Madam Sirleaf.
They further went as far as launching a revolution to expel Madam Sirleaf from the party for not being supportive of the presidential ambition of her long-standing friend-ex-VP Boakai.
For their part, the removed Vice Chairman for Political Affairs and Secretary-General Henry Sackie and Kansualism Kansuah stated that they remain in their respective positions because; the decision to remove them was unilaterally taken by the party’s political leader.
They threatened to file a lawsuit against the decision when they appeared and phoned on a local radio talk show in Monrovia shortly after they were removed.