UP Partisans Divided, Aggrieved Members Call for Board Meeting over June 7 Protest

R. Matenokay Tingban

Monrovia – Worlea Saywah Dunah, R. Matenokay Tingban, and Elijah F. Seah have all disagreed with recent decision taken by the Chairman of the Unity Party (UP) and some senior partisans to join other opposition political parties to endorse the June 7 planned protest.

Report by Henry Karmo, [email protected]

In a statement signed by the men and issued over the weekend, the three men, who considered themselves “Founding Executives of the UP,” said they are taken aback by the actions of UP Chairman Wilmot Paye by using his office to commit the party to work along with a group seeking to express its grievances on some national issues.

“We, as Founding Executives of the Unity Party, participants to the formation in Ganta City, Nimba County on May 10, 2010 of this party, are taken aback by the actions of Chairman Wilmot Paye in using his office to commit our party to work under a group that is seeking to express their grievances on some national issues.  

“What is of concern is whether this pronouncement to commit the party to the protest called by “Council of Patriots” was approved by our Standard Bearer, Vice Standard Bearer, the UP Legislative Caucus and the total membership of the National Executive Committee of the Unity Party or done in consultation with key stakeholders of the party?”  

They further acknowledged in their statement that recently President George Weah hosted on separate occasions UP current standard bearer Joseph N. Boakai and Standard Bearer Emeritus, former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, at the Executive Mansion on May 1, 2019 and May 3, 2019 respectively. According to them, this action by President Weah to invite former leaders reflects his desire for continuous dialogue with the Unity Party.

“It is our assumption that critical issues confronting the nation were traversed in exchange of views at that high level, a commendable healthy pattern for our country,” they said.  

The three men have called on Ambassador Boakai to call for a board leadership and stakeholders meeting of the party and such meeting must include all “Founding Executives,” the Unity Party Legislative Caucus, former legislators including former Senate Pro-Tempore Cletus Wortorson, former national executives, and the current National Executive Committee Members to deliberate on this matter and other recent political developments that are impacting the party.

Among the issues they want discuss at this meeting they are calling for, is Chairman Paye’s announcement at a press conference at the offices of the ANC Party Headquarters on Wednesday, May 8, 2019, that the Unity Party has joined an alliance led by “the Council of Patriots” to stage a protest rally in Monrovia on June 7, 2019.

They also want the meeting to have on its agenda, summary dismissal via indefinite suspension without investigation of the party’s entire senate delegation, including their “Founding Chairman,” Senator Varney Sherman, by a decision of the National Executive Committee. 

They also want to know how the party commenced the process of participating in a coalition without “broad consultations amongst founding executives, auxiliaries, membership etc.”

“Finally, partisan standard bearer Boakai, partisan Deputy Speaker Prince K. Moye, Representative Mariamu Fofana, Chairperson of the Unity Party Legislative Caucus and all members of the Legislative Delegation, we again remind you that our nation is at a critical juncture and leadership is an imperative. Further, the Unity Party that consolidated the peace and laid the foundation for Liberia’s democratic growth must lead from the front ensuring that the ultimate national interest supersedes all else. 

“The eyes of the world are on the Unity Party and rightly so, because we provided the midwifery for the entrenchment of Liberia’s nascent democracy and we therefore owe its survivor the greatest duty of care.”