Monrovia – The much publicized meeting of a dozen opposition political parties in Ganta, Nimba County is seemingly as good as dead after political actors across the parties have been trading tirades and sharing the exchange of criticism just least than 48 hours after signing a communiqué to collaborate.
“We are just from Ganta and committed ourselves to the declaration – Less than 24hrs. Urey is breaching the spirit and intent, thereof.
I have posted in here several social media postings of folks from Urey’s camping clearly undermining the objective of these talks.
Again, this morning, Urey has his surrogate Costa attacking our Political Leader and our Party on his radio station Shaita FM 102.5.
I am not gonna say a word; I do not want to be the alibi people will use to blame us, but this cannot be allowed to continue” – Abraham Darius Dillon
The communiqué, among a bevy of other things, prohibits the relevant parties from criticizing each other in the open.
“Opposition political parties that are signatories to this declaration hereby make a seldom pledged not to castigate or denigrate each other in any manner and form.
In the event of disagreement among or between political parties the matter shall be referred to the joint technical committee for resolution,” the relevant portion of the document read.
Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), political leader George Weah making remarks at the consultative meeting said there should be harmony between opposition politicians when he said “When you my friend, I should eat in your living room and you should also eat in mine”.
However, Henry Costa, a popular radio talk show host and staunch supporter of Benoni Urey, took a jibe at Cllr. Charles Brumskine only to draw an angry reaction of the latter’s Liberty Party (LP).
“I regret to inform you all that the much talked-about meeting of opposition political parties in Ganta, Nimba County, was a failure,” Costa stated on his Facebook page Saturday.
Costa expressed that the meeting yielded no accomplishment.
“Nothing was accomplished. They met, lectured, ate and drank. No goals were set, and certainly no plans to advance the conversation for a possible coalition for 2017. It is a sad day for Liberia”, Costa wrote.
Mr. Costa was unapologetic while acknowledging receiving some angry response from his critics. “I don’t trust the Liberty Party which is a regime collaborator.
They must not be trusted. In 2005, Charles Brumskine betrayed the opposition by refusing to support CDC after he came third. Only God knows what his support would have meant for the opposition.
Brumskine is a self-serving, arrogant bigot. As for Benoni Urey, he gave hundreds of thousands of United States Dollars to the CDC for their campaign in 2011 as a member of the part – Something, which earned him the enmity of the regime.”
Urey breaching Spirit
Darius Dillon, an executive of the LP countered: “We are just from Ganta and committed ourselves to the Declaration. Less than 24hrs, Urey is breaching the spirit and intent thereof,” Dillon wrote on the social media.
“I have posted in here several social media postings of folks from Urey’s camping clearly undermining the objective of these talks. Again, this morning, Urey has his surrogate Costa attacking our Political Leader and our Party on his radio station Shaita FM 102.5.
I am not gonna say a word; I do not want to be the alibi people will use to blame us, but this cannot be allowed to continue”, Dillon expressed.
The unpleasant exchanges between a Urey supporter and an Executive of the Liberty Party could signal a worrying sign for the opposition collaboration as it is likely to draw the politicians themselves into the fray should the exchanges increase.
Such commotion has always been a factor in the formation of a merger between opposition political parties, and it surfaced even at the meeting of the parties in the northern Liberian county, brokered by Senator Prince Y. Johnson.
But Cllr. Brumskine himself sounded skeptical that parties were going to stick to the terms and conditions of the joint communiqué signed at the weekend. “In my political career I have had the benefit of experiencing a lot. I remember I was called unpatriotic,” Brumskine told the merger meeting.
“Today my party and I are referred to as ‘regime collaborators’ because we will not insult a lady who happens to be President of Liberia. By upbringing it’s different,” he added.
“I will not denigrate the office of the presidency to which I aspire. The Liberty Party and myself have criticized the policy of the Sirleaf-Boakai administration longer and more than another opposition political party.”
Urey on the other hand remained firm on this firebrand rhetoric of blast of criticism against President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the rest of her administration.
“It’s time to get serious, our people are dying, and they are hungry. This country is basically running itself and we are not afraid as we care about no favor. We will say what it is in black and white because we believe we owe it to the Liberian people”, he said.
The All Liberian Party political leader also said: “I believe you all have seen what I have seen—the increased death rate, the arrest of people, even journalists for something that happen [far] in another country.
The cracking down on press freedom, corruption, nepotism, favouritism these are the ills that continue to kill our people”.
Urey added: “We must speak against corruption; speak against the excessive use of force by this government. We must talk about the interference in one branch of the government by the other. We must talk about the plight of our people that is what true opposition is.”
Twelve opposition political parties are signatories to the communiqué, including Senator Prince Johnson of the Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MDR), Liberty Party’s Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine, Benoni Urey of the All Liberian Party (ALP) and Alexander Cummings of Alternative National Congress (ANC).
Other parties include the former ruling National Patriotic Parties (NPP), Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE), Movement for Progressive Change, All Liberia Coalition Party, Victory for Change Party, New Liberia Party, Vision for Liberia Transformation, Union of Liberian Democrats and Liberian Nation Union (LINU).
Although Costa and Dillon have been engaged in unpleasant exchanges including trading accusation over the last few weeks but the attack directed at Cllr. Brumskine by Costa looks to be affecting some provisions of the communiqué signed in Ganta at the weekend.
The terms of the communiqué have already been violated with Liberty Party supporters accusing Mr. Costa of using the radio medium provided by Urey, one of the signatories to the communiqué.
With parties agreeing to work together, appointing two representatives each to foster the merger, what appears to be growing feud between Brumskine and Urey smells danger for the opposition collaboration.