Liberia: PLP Rejects Donated Rice, Cash From President Weah’s Office
MONROVIA – The People’s Liberation Party (PLP) has officially rejected and returned the amount of L$100,000 and 50 bags of rice donated by President George Manneh Weah to the Coalition of Political Parties Women in Liberia (COPPWIL) for onward distribution to various political parties in the country for unspecified reasons.
PLP was certificated as a full-fledged political party in Liberia by the National Elections Commission (NEC) in December 2020. Its Political Leader is Dr. Daniel E. Cassell, who is the Chief Executive Officer/President of the Dr. Cassell’s Foundation and the Kwenyan Security Firm.
Several hundred bags of rice and an unspecified amount of Liberian dollars were made available by President Weah, through his Chief of Protocol Madam Finda Bundoo for onward presentation to COPPWIL for distribution to the 28 registered political parties in Liberia.
The gesture from the President comes ahead of Liberia’s 174th Independence Day Celebration.
But less than a day after the rice and money were presented to the PLP, the party took the decision to return the items donated.
Speaking to reporters shortly after the decision was reached at the party’s headquarters in Monrovia on Thursday, July 22, 2021, the Chairman of PLP, Wilmot Paye disclosed that the action taken by the party is in no way intended to raise “unnecessary outcries” in the country.
“This party was founded on the foundation that the needs of Liberians are paramount. As a party whose existence can be attributed to the need to respond to the growing calls of Liberians for a leadership that is sensitive, responsive and seeks at all times and under all circumstances to prioritize the needs of Liberians-this party has been identifying in various ways with our people through Dr. Cassell’s foundation and the activities of our Vision Bearer and Political Leader Dr. Daniel E. Cassell”.
He noted that the party will continue to demonstrate that it was founded to primarily prioritize the wellbeing of the less fortunate, disenfranchised, and underprivileged, among others.
He added that receiving gifts from the government for unspecified reasons runs contrary to PLP’s philosophy and mission.
Mr. Paye emphasized that though the PLP appreciates the gesture from the office of the President, through the Coalition of Political Parties Women, PLP believes that there are more underprivileged and less fortunate Liberians out there that are in dying need of such a gesture as compare to political parties in Liberia.
“Yesterday the party through its women leadership a token of 50 bags of rice along with 100,000LD which we were told was channeled to the party through an organization the COPPWIL. As a party, we appreciate it because the tradition has always been that in time like this as we celebrate the historic independence of our country, there’s always the need for leaders of the country to reach out. And this party has been doing that and we continue to do that”.
“There are other Liberians in the public and private sectors and even philanthropists from all walks of lives who are in their own weak ways identifying with the needy people and we appreciate that”.
He noted that the PLP encourages all Liberians to be humanitarian to help others who are in need.
“The party in its wisdom has decided in good fate and with all sincerity to redirect the 50 bags of rice plus the L$100,000 to communities in Liberia that are more vulnerable”
Mr. Paye named the Group of 77, which is being solely sponsored by the government, through the office of the Vice President, the National Commission on Disabilities, and orphanages across the country as places that pay host to less fortunate and vulnerable Liberian citizens who need donations at this time more than political parties in Liberia.
He maintained that it will be more prudent and expedient enough for the items donated to be redirected to these institutions because the PLP has already intensified its efforts and outreach in identifying and making donations to the needy in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic and economic constraints confronting the vast majority of citizens in the nation.
“We want to let the public know that this should be rechanneled so that our people who are in need in the different communities at different levels struggling can benefit from it. Though 50 bags of rice may look heavy, it may not necessarily be something that the party needs at this time”.
Mr. Paye, however, pointed out that the decision taken by the PLP to return the rice and cash donated has nothing to do with the show of arrogance or disrespect to anyone or office, noting that, “ we are a party founded to rebrand our politics and modernize and bring some maturity to the national discourse”.
He noted that the 174th Independence Day celebration of Liberia will be meaningless if the dignity of citizens, especially less fortunate and under-privileged Liberians cannot be uplifted at this time.
At the same time, drama erupted at the premises of COPPWIL when the Women’s Assembly of the PLP, headed by its acting chairperson, Christina Christopher led an array of members to return the rice and cash to the leadership of the Coalition.
Though leaders of the Coalition previously agreed for the rice and cash to be returned in a peaceful manner, the agreement was later breached following the non-compliance posture of the group’s Secretary-General Daintowon Pay-bayee.
After receiving a telephone call from the Chief of Protocol of President Weah, Madam Paybayee demanded that the PLP entourage stop hauling the rice into the compound of the COPPWIL, on grounds that the presentation of the rice and cash return will be done at the entrance of the premises.
Her unilateral decision taken was done after more than 25 bags of rice have already been delivered in the compound of the Coalition.
She threatened to damage the phone of FrontPage Africa Reporter who was on the scene when he (Reporter) attempted taking photographs of the rice and the incident.
Madam Pay-bayee was aseen in an aggressive and arrogant mood requesting security guards assigned at COPPWIL to throw FPA Reporter out of the premises. She also arrogantly asked Madam Christopher and her entourage out of the compound in a harsh tone if the party is unwilling to go by the mandate of the Coalition to return the rice and money.
But her mandate was later ignored following the intervention of other executives of the Coalition.
She later mandated an unidentified lady, who refused to call her name, to take delivery of the 50bags of rice and cash before the premises of the Coalition.
The situation subsided following the intervention of other women, who were in support of the decision taken by the PLP to return the rice and cash for onward presentation to the less fortunate and unprivileged citizens.