Liberia: Ruling Party Set to Call Off Mobilization Retreat Amid Major Gasoline Shortage
Monrovia – The Chairman of the ruling coalition for Democratic Change is expected to hold a news conference this morning to announce a call-off of this weekend’s retreat which has been weeks in the making.
Over the past few the party reportedly printed thousands of T-Shirts and souvenirs in commemoration of what was dubbed: the 2020 National retreat Mobilization Outreach which was expected to be held at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium.
The CDC chair told FrontPageAfrica early this morning that the press conference will address the ongoing gasoline crisis for which the retreat is being called off.
“The CDC is due to have a press conference today at 10am to postpone the retreat to a later date in view of the fuel crisis; though Montserrado is heavily mobilized for the February 15 event yet, the plight of our people is of more significance than a political program, hence the postponement.”
“The CDC is due to have a press conference today at 10am to postpone the retreat to a later date in view of the fuel crisis; though montserrado is heavily mobilized for the February 15 event yet, the plight of our people is of more significance than a political program, hence the postponement.”Mr. Mulbah Morlu, Chairman, Ruling Coalition for Democratic Change
The call off comes amid long lines of vehicles piling up at filling stations across the country and a breakdown of the government’s information dissemination over what is actually causing the shortage.
On Monday, the government through the Ministry of Information, Culture Affairs and Tourism, urged Liberians to remain calm as the government explore ways of dealing with the crisis.
After months of denial, disjointed explanations and counter blame game over dredging, the government finally acknowledged what has been feared for weeks. “The Government of Liberia empathizes with the public for the difficulty they have had to go through over the last couple of weeks in obtaining petroleum products from stations across the country. Due to the shortage of gasoline, in many instances, people are made to stand in long queues for several hours before getting served,” the statement noted.
Although the administration says it has purchased emergency supplies which are due in the country within one week to alleviate the situation, many Liberians are unsure.
Critics have also taken the government to task over the lack of independence of the committee constituted to look into the gasoline shortage.
President Weah on Monday named a special taskforce, headed by Trokon Kpui, Minister of State Without Portfolio, to investigate and establish what caused an estimated 60 percent discrepancy between importers’ inventory reports of products at the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC) and actual stock of products at its petroleum storage facilities. The task force mandate will cover the period between January 2017 and January 2020.
The retreat as seen as a last-ditch effort by the party to regain control of its Montserrado County stronghold which has been slipping in recent months, following last year’s impressive victory by Abraham Darius Dillon for the coveted Senatorial seat once held by President Weah.
Making an appearance at the weekend, President Weah acknowledged that the party had lost ground in the county while urging partisans who he believed voted in anger of the dwindling conditions in the country, to help the party regain its footing.
The President, speaking during programs marking the party’s new office in Electoral District #6 cautioned partisans of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) to stop voting against the party and to vote their party in anger in future elections in order to fully take their ‘stronghold’ back.
The President criticised his partisans for voting in candidate Abraham Darius Dillon, who was carried by four opposition political parties, under the banner, Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), during the Montserrado County by-election in 2019. “I am not here to pick fuss. If you believe that you are not happy; to show your unhappiness is to give your votes to a non-partisan? Then it left with you. Because that person will not work in our interest, he will work in the interest of his people.”
The party is said to be gauging the field for a strong candidate to go up against Senator Dillon in the Senatorial Mid-Term elections slated for later this year.
The Coalition of Political Parties(CPP)-backed Dillon threw pointed jabs at President Weah’s rants at the weekend. “Mr. President, your failure to even acknowledge that CDCians that may have voted me as Senator were and are not “vexed”, as you claimed is part of your problem. You seem to be living in denial here! You need to appreciate that they are simply shocked and disappointed at your sheer failure to properly lead and deliver as you promised them. And until you realise this fact, you will continue to lose more of them and more “territories” along the way, including your seat as President.”
The CPP, which comprises of the four major opposition parties, includes Dillon’s own Liberty Party, Unity Party, All Liberian Party and Alternative National Congress.
But President Weah insists, his partisans simply need to return to the drawing board and have some patience. “CDCians every day you cry ‘kokoduoko, we are the masses, we can’t get tired.’ Why are you getting tire now in your first two years?” the President asked his partisans. “We went to an election and I heard everything. Even the leaders of the party blamed us for Monsterrado County election.”