Rufus Neufville Withdraws from Council of Patriots, Forms Independent Council of Patriots
MONROVIA – Just days after the Economic Freedom Fighter announced it is leaving the Council of Patriots (CoP), another key member, Rufus Neufville has left and formed the Independent Council of Patriots (ICoP).
According to Ambassador Neuvfille, he left CoP because the group has deviated from its original purpose and now has become a political group controlled by individuals.
“Our original plan and dream was to mobilize the ordinary people into a movement that will remind the government of her socio economic and political responsibilities. And in a democratic and constitutional way compel the government to comply with providing basic services to our people,” he said.
“Regrettably the Council of Patriots has deviated on its original plan and modus operandi. We founded the COP with the hope that it will remain a civil society movement with no political influence. The organization has been reduced to an extension of the Urey farm where major decision concerning the Council of Patriots are being made by Benoni Urey and people attached to him. We no longer meet to make major decisions.”
He claimed that he left CoP with huge membership to form the Independent Council of Patriots (ICop) which comprises of ordinary people that represent the ‘voice of the voiceless.’
He also revealed that his decision to leave CoP is based on CoP’s refusal to present the petition to the government on the day of the protest.
Said Amb. Neufville: “There were lots of blunders during the June 7 protest. We refused to present the petition to representatives of government but we presented it to Benoni Urey at his ALP [All Liberian Party] office. We had a petition for the government and the people of Liberia but they refused to present it. There are certain unusual control by strange elements.”
He also frowned on the decision to accept current government officials including sitting lawmakers as key decisions makers of CoP.
According to him, CoP was organized as a social group to hold government including the Legislative, Executive and Judicial branches accountable to its citizens.
And as such, admitting senior government officials into key positions at CoP was a misstep as it compromised the advocacy movement.
Meanwhile, Neufville’s decision to dissociate from CoP came just days after the Economic Freedom Fighter (EFF) announced its withdrawal from the group that has been credited for peacefully organizing what is arguably Liberia’s largest post war anti-government protest on June 7, 2019.
The EFFL in a press statement read by its National Secretary-General, Ernest K. Moibah, cited several reasons that led to their breakaway with COP.
The group named COP’s leadership failure to appropriately exonerate itself from allegations of financial malpractices, disrespect and wanton disregard for the people’s popular will, self-glorification and popularity seeking, failure of the current COP’s leadership to step down and COP leadership’s betrayal of Representative Yekeh Kolubah.
However, a COP official, Mo Ali, termed EFFL’s allegations as a thrash; adding “COP is too busy to respond to such nonsense.”
Earlier, Senator Oscar Cooper of Margibi County, who served as an advisor of COP withdrew his membership from the group.