Liberia: Liberty Party Executive Committee Members ‘Sold Their Integrity For Pickups’ – Resigned Official Aaron Kofa Chea

Aaron Kofa Chea and few of the pickups that were purchased by the Liberty Party few days after the election of Chairman Musa Hassan Bility as Chair

MONROVIA – The Coordinator for Youth and Students Affairs in the office of Montserrado County Senator, Abraham Darius Dillon, and an official of the opposition Liberty Party (LP), has tendered in his resignation, citing the alleged trading of the party for vehicles, as one of his key reasons to part company.

Aaron Kofa Chea tendered in his resignation on Tuesday, February 23, 2021.

He also resigned as Secretary General of the Collaborating Political Parties Solidarity Brigade (CPPSB), a group he founded along with few others.

The group is the largest auxiliary group within the CPP.

He was also the Co-Chairman and Member of the Media and Political Response Teams of the LP.

Speaking to Reporters in Congo Town, outside Monrovia shortly after his resignation, Chea pointed out that prior to the conduct of the just ended convention; he supported the ambitions of Lofa County Senator Steve Zargo and Kla Toomey for the Chairmanship and Secretary General positions respectively.

He noted that though his former immediate boss Martin Kollah, who is the Chief of Staff in the office of Senator Dillon was contesting the Secretary General position, he did not lend his support because, Toomey is a serious minded individual than Kollah.

He questioned the rationale behind the decision taken by Kollah to contest the SG post even though he was the organizing chair of the convention.

Chea claimed that following his decision taken, he was subjected to consistent bullying, intimidation and insults meted by his former boss and others.

“I am resigning from Senator Dillon’s office because the environment is not favorable. You can’t keep working somewhere where people will humiliate you and call you names because you do not support them”.

Speaking further, Chea added, that the entire process, which witnessed the withdrawal of Senator Steve Zargo for the chairmanship, was a calculated game allegedly orchestrated by Senators Nyonblee Karnga Lawrence and Abrhama Darius Dillon.

“When the Liberty Party went to a convention that seemed not to be democratic in Gbarnga, Bong County, we witnessed the emergence of Musa Bility as Chairman of the LP-a character that would have never come around the LP if Cllr. Brumskine was alive today. Bility is an international convict and he’s not a person to be chairman of Liberty Party”.

“Even if you are to give Cllr. Brumskine two hours to be alive today, a Musa Bility will not be anywhere around the Liberty Party Chairmanship. You cannot organize a convention and the head of the organizing committee is contesting. Bility set up a game that you have to go for a pickup (vehicle). Too many of Liberty Party Executive Committee members sold their integrity for pickups”.

He recalled the action taken against the former Liberty Party Chairman Israel Akinsanya by the party’s National Executive Committee during Cllr. Brumskine’s stewardship when a lawsuit was filed against him by Lone Star Cell.

Following the lawsuit, the NEC of the LP took a decision to call on Mr. Akinsanya to step aside.

The situation led to the ascendancy of Ben Sanvee as the new chair of the party.

Chea noted that though Bility’s case against the decision taken by Fifa to ban him from all football related activities remains in court, his ascendancy as the chairman of the LP cast a dark cloud over the integrity of the party.

He claimed that Bility was given the chance to serve the party at the level of the chairmanship because of the need for a better support for the party.

According to him, the convention was “undemocratic” to the extent that his former boss, Senator Dillon, who won as Vice Chair for Political Affairs unopposed, was again appointed as Vice Chair on Legislative Affairs by embattled Chairman, Musa Hassan Bility.

Chea claimed that LP loyalist Jacob Smith was allegedly deprived of the position because of the interest expressed by Senator Dillon.

No CPP for 2023

He, however, doubted the existence of the Collaborating Political Parties ahead of the 2023 general and presidential elections.

Chea, however, denied reports that his resignation was influenced by former SG Kla Toomey.

He promised to be a political government bone until he finds a new political home.

Bility, former President of the Liberia Football Association (LFA) was elected to steer the affairs of the opposition Liberty Party at its just ended controversial convention, held in Gbarnga, Bong County on January 23.

He and other executives of the party were elected unopposed.

Bility, who is the owner of Truth FM 96.1, Real TV and Srimex, replaces Lofa County Senator Steve Zargo who resigned from the LP barely few days to the conduct of the party’s convention.

The Liberty Party, which was once considered as a “party of integrity” in Liberia, received barrage of criticism and condemnations minutes after the election of Bility as the new Chair of the party.

Critics made specific reference to the ban placed on Bility at the time he served as executive committee member of the Confederation of African Football (Caf), and accusation linking him to the squandering of funds intended for the resettlement of scores of citizens in Nimba County following the conclusion of a land dispute in 2013, among others .

Bility was banned by football governing body Fifa for 10 years and fined him $500,000 for breaching its code of ethics.

He was found “guilty of having misappropriated Fifa funds, as well as having received benefits and found himself in situations of conflict of interest”. Fifa said it has been investigating the 52-year-old since May 2018 following a forensic audit of the LFA.

The misappropriation of Fifa funds at the time was in relation to those granted under the global body’s “11 against Ebola” campaign and as part of its Financial Assistance Programme. Liberia was one of three west African countries affected by an outbreak of Ebola between 2013 and 2016, when more than 10,000 people lost their lives.