The members of the youth wing of the ruling Unity Party (UP) last week in their number gathered at the headquarters of the Party in Congo Town angrily protested opting for the immediate expulsion of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf from the Party.
At the same time, the UP youth wing said President Sirleaf is no longer committed to the cause(s) of the party and her actions and inactions are detrimental to the forward march of the institution, especially at such a crucial time when the party should be preparing for the most crucial aspect of the 2017 elections.
“We want for President Sirleaf to be expelled from our beloved party immediately. She is of no help to our cause as a party and as such we don’t need her. We shouldn’t sit and allow this woman to destroy our noble institution,” Emmanuel James, who said he is a member of the youth wing, told the Daily Observer.
He said the party’s leniency with the standard bearer emeritus provided her enough space to hurt the party, as it is being felt now. He indicated that if stringent measures had been taken against her, as suggested in the past by some top officials, the UP would not have found herself in such an embarrassing situation.
“We have been too lenient with this President and as a result this is what we got. I thought it would have been very prudent if we had started with her on a more radical note as others suggested,” James said.
UP vice standard bearer, J. Emmanuel Nuquay, immediately intervened in the situation and calmed the angry youth and promised that their demand will be looked into as there is no need to create a scene. He said UP is poised for a historic moment in the country and there is no need to create space for distraction.
“I have heard what you people have said and we want you people to be calm as we address some of these issues,” he said.
Immediately thereafter, UP Executive Committee members went in an emergency meeting to discuss several pertinent issues as they pertain to the party’s fate in the ongoing electoral process.
River Gee Senator Conmany Wesseh and his colleague from the Lower House, Nimba County District #7 Representative Worlea-Saywah Dunah, felt the wrath of the party’s youth wing as they were booed by the young people when they entered the grounds of the party’s headquarters. The two were termed as traitors by the youth for siding with President Sirleaf in the ongoing political struggle in the ruling party.
The youths’ action against the two Executive Committee members primarily stemmed from their objection to the legal path that is being taken by the party and other collaborating political institutions in addressing alleged gross irregularities and fraud that attended the October 10 presidential and representative elections.
The two men condemned the legal wrangling that the UP got itself tangled in, calling on the party to abandon its legal quest as its pursuit would lead the country in a constitutional crisis that would endanger President Sirleaf’s dream for a peaceful transfer of power in January.
Senator Wesseh, quoted by media reports, threatened that President Sirleaf will cling on to power, albeit illegally, until elections are held.
He said any delay in the ongoing investigations at the NEC which, if not resolved within thirty (30) days, could run the country into a democratic assault and lead to President Sirleaf holding on till elections are held.
Many have termed such remarks attributed to him as “outrageous and erroneous; not only grossly misleading but equally disingenuous because the Senator is aware that such is ultra vires or beyond the President’s powers.”
For Rep. Dunah, many felt he played the role of Brutus when he said the UP’s legal pursuit was unnecessary. He expressed his unhappiness with the political collaboration between the UP and the Liberty Party (LP), calling on UP to abandon the lawsuit.
The UP is serving as an intervening collaborator in the case between the Liberty Party and the NEC on alleged gross irregularities and fraud that the LP believes marred the October 10 presidential and representative elections. But according to the Nimba County lawmaker, UP’s decision to join the LP in the legal case did not meet the consensus of all members of the executive.
Dunah said he was forced to use the media to tell the UP to withdraw the case from the court on grounds that since the first round of the elections, UP executives have failed to meet and take a decision as a party, alleging that a few executive members are making decisions for the party.
There were placards calling for the expulsion of the two men from the party as they were no longer faithful to the institution but rather to an individual.
“These guys have made themselves puppets to President Sirleaf and they will continue to be because their livelihoods depend on her. What a shame for these to be called honorable men,” one of the young people said.
“We will continue to jeer you people as long as you continue to come here. You no longer belong here, you traitors,” another said.
Rep. Dunah, who looked very embarrassed, immediately left the party’s grounds before the commencement of the Executive Committee meeting.
When contacted for comments, UP campaign spokesman, Mo Ali, said it is the right of the young people to demand, through protest or any feasible means, anything that does not satisfy them. “They are partisans and they have the right to protest,” he said.=