Liberia: Economic Freedom Fighters Dissociates with CoP over Alleged Financial Improprieties & Refusal to Present Petition
Paynesville – The Economic Freedom Fighters of Liberia (EFFL) has announced it is parting ways with the Council of Patriots (COP) over the alleged involvement of COP’s leadership in financial malpractices and the leadership’s refusal to deliver the June 7 petition to the government and the international community.
But a COP official, Mo Ali, has termed the allegations as a thrash; adding “COP is too busy to respond to such nonsense.”
COP was the organizer of the June 7 protest, which is arguably Liberia’s largest post-war anti-government demonstration.
The EFFL in a press statement read by its National Secretary-General, Ernest K. Moibah, cited several reasons that led to their breakaway with COP; some of which include COP’s failure to appropriately exonerate the group from allegations of financial malpractices, disrespect and wanton disregard for the people’s popular will, self-glorification and popularity seeking, failure of the current COP’s leadership to step down and COP leadership’s betrayal of Representative Yekeh Kolubah.
According to the group, since COP’s leadership released its ‘questionable’ financial report after the June 7 protest, it has failed to clear itself from ‘tons’ of allegations of corruption brought against it by multiple accusers from several quarters of the society.
On the count of refusing to submit the petition, EFFL Stated: “COP ‘utterly’ disrespected the mass of the Liberian people, who turned out on protest day and the thousand others who supported the protest but could not attend, and for disregarding the energy of our people, as demonstrated by the COP leadership when it unjustifiably refused to have presented our petition statement to the Government of Liberia’s representatives present at the protest site that day or to the ECOWAS Ambassador and his team that turned out to monitor the protest.
“We see this act on the part of the leadership of COP as being disrespectful and anti-peace; undemocratic tendencies that the EFFL will not embrace, because what such tendencies do is to only send forth a message of undermining our country hard-earned peace that we continue to enjoy in this democratic space in spite of the current dingy and stuffy economic dilemma the country is engulfed in.”
According to the group, on June 9, 2019 a meeting was held at the Headquarters of the All Liberian Party in Sinkor where a unanimous decision calling for the COP’s leadership to step down and make way for a new team of leaders was taken.
EFFL: “… to our utmost dismay and complete disappointment, to date, the COP leadership remains adamant to calls for it to step aside, and moreover, the leadership has uncooperatively reneged on decisions reached at the Old Road meeting, to among others, make officially a comprehensive financial report of funds collected and expended for the June 7 protest to the body, with June 16, 2019 being the deadline for such report.”
The group added that although the primary objective of the protest was somewhat achieved, the cardinal objective of requesting a comprehensive financial report was and is still in the spirit of accountability and transparency as “those who come with equity, must definitely come with clean hands.”
It said, “We cannot be holding government’s feet to the fire to be accountable, while on our part, shady financial transactions are detected. No way, this is totally unacceptable under the doctrine and philosophy of the uncompromising EFFL.”
The group further alleged that COP’s leadership omitted from the petition, ‘issues concerning the matter of life and death of one of its founding members, in person of Representative Yekeh Kolubah, of Montserrado Co. District #10 lawmaker.’
According to the group, Rep. Yekeh continues to advocate for social justice, and has stood up to the Weah-led government in its wicked desire to entrench bad governance, to the point where he is a classic victim of witch-hunt by the very government he is a part of, but yet the government is standing up against him.”
The group stated that it finds it appalling that “COP leadership, in their quest for naked popularity, would harbor the belief that flagging Representative Kolubah’s issues of dictator George Weah’s politically motivated court case, following series of state-sponsored attacks, including police harassment and illegal search and barricade of Honorable Kolubah’s residence, would put him above them, and would therefore diminish the popularity that they are desperately seeking, as leverage to nurture their selfish political ambition. What sheer selfishness and very evil machination and ungrateful backstabbing of a selfless man genuinely standing up for the good of the Liberian people.”
EFFL’s decision comes barely a week after Senator Oscar Cooper of Margibi County, who served as an advisor of COP withdrew his support from the group.