Liberia: Imminent Split Within CDC, As More Stalwarts Join Race to Unseat Dillon

Mr. Ishmael Sheriff, one of the founding members of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), is the newest to declare his intention to contest the senatorial election in Montserrado County

Monrovia – Division is said to be creeping within the governing Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) following the declarations of intent by some stalwarts and executives to contest the ensuing Senatorial election on the party’s ticket and as independent candidates respectively.

Report by Obediah Johnson, [email protected]

It can be recalled that a stalwart of the CDC, Sheikh Al Moustapha Kouyateh, in March of this year, declared his intention to contest the senatorial election.

In December 2014, Mr. Kouyateh was defeated in the Montserrado County Senatorial by-election by Senator George Manneh Weah who is now President of Liberia.

He contested on the ticket of the Liberia Transformation Party (LTP) and obtained 2,348 which is equivalent to 1.8% of the total number of valid votes cast, while Mr. Weah accumulated 99,226     or 78% of votes cast.

Mr. Kouyateh, who heavily supported the CDC during the 2017 elections, bragged that his “negotiation skill, international connection and capacity building” would lure him a job at the Senate come December 2020.

On Sunday, June 21, Deputy Commerce Minister for Small Business Administration, Jamima Wolokollie also declared her intention to contest for the Senatorial seat in the ensuing Montserrado County primary of the Congress for Democratic Change CDC).

Minister Wolokollie told reporters that the decision was reached after series of consultations with family members, friends and some officials of the mighty Coalition for Democratic Change.

She sees herself as a trusted, hardworking and experienced woman who is available to contests on the ticket of the CDC.

“I submit my fellow compatriots, that at this time, and in this place, I am that singular woman suitably positioned, adequately prepared, willingly able and ready to represent the people of Montserrado County.”

The newest

The latest to declare his intention to contest the senatorial election in Montserrado County is Ishmael Sheriff alias “Tamba the Mayonnaise,” one of the founding members of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC).

Mr. Sheriff previously served the CDC in numerous capacities ranging from Youth Chairman (Montserrado County), National Chairman for Operations, National Chairman for Administration, and National Chairman for Ways, Means and Finance.

He is presently the Board Chairman for the Association of Communities Leadership in Liberia.

Mr. Sheriff contested the general and presidential elections in 2017 for the representative seat in district # 8, Montserrado County as an independent candidate.

He obtained 2,665 or 9.8% of valid votes cast, but lost to the Vice Chairman for Political Affairs of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), Acarous Moses Gray who got 5,474 or 20.1%.

Speaking when he appeared as guest on the OK Morning Rush Show on OK FM99.5 on Monday, Mr. Sheriff declared himself as a member of all “dissatisfied groupings” of the ruling party.

“I am a member of the Green Revolution, I am a member of the Disenchanted Bloc and every disenchanted CDC groupings in Monrovia. They invite me to their meetings; they see me as their hope-and when I am in their meetings I sometimes give them hope and courage”.

“We are trying as much as we can to remain resolute. I came today to let the Liberian people know that we are ready and we are going to the race. I will be contesting as a senatorial candidate for Montserrado County”.

Mr. Sheriff noted that though he does not know which ticket to contest on presently, he remains unwavering in his quest to contest the December 2020 senatorial election.

He vowed to be a candidate on the “Liberian people’s ticket” to serve at the level of the National Legislature.

Scamming in politics

Mr. Sheriff further disclosed that despite his ambition to be the next Senator of Montserrado County, he remains a member of the ruling CDC.

He added that the country’s political arena is full of too many “scammers” who have no real interest in rebuilding the country.

“I am a member of the CDC. There is one thing we have to fight against in Liberian politics. We need to fight against scamming and high-level deceit that are being ushered into our country’s politics. This is giving our country hard time”.

He maintained that if Liberia is to move forward in terms of growth and development, politicians must desist from “scamming” mentality and speak, discuss and find solutions to issues based upon realities.

“From 2005 to now, I don’t believe in scamming. I tell you exactly what I will do and how I am going to do it. The CDC is not a religious institution, but a political institution. So, the fight is on. I am working closely with disenchanted CDCians to ensure that we get to where we want to get”.

History of conflict

Speaking further, Mr. Sheriff described the CDC as a political institution that has a history of conflict.

He noted that executives and partisans of the party in some instances can bounce back stronger, following the resolution of conflicts in the party.

Mr. Sheriff made specific reference to the selection of former Montserrado County Senator Geraldine Doe-Sheriff over Lenn Eugene Nagbe during a senatorial by-election in the county.

He recalled that the situation prompted a split within the CDC  at the time.

He. however, expressed the hope that the ruling party will learn from mistakes made in the past, by not putting individuals on the party’s tickets who partisans and supporters do not want in the upcoming senatorial elections.

Mr. Sheriff pointed out that CDC’s candidate Madam Paulita Wie was massively defeated by Senator Dillon because she was not best suited for the party’s strategy.

For sometimes now, the ruling party has been catching hell to hold a primary to select a candidate to face incumbent Senator Abraham Darius Dillon who has been dubbed “the Light” at the Capitol Building in Monrovia and across the country.

The party is reportedly weighing in on Commerce and Industry Minister Wilson Tarpeh and Montserrado Representative Thomas Fallah to contest the senatorial election in December 2020.