13 January 2014

Liberia: Our Hint to NPP Partisans


Monrovia — ONCE AGAIN FORMER ruling National Patriotic Party (NPP) is in the news and not for any pleasant reason. Temperatures are soaring amongst partisans, and some belligerent groups have begun retorting to physical violence and extra-constitutional pursuit in settling grievances. This is totally unbecoming of a former ruling political party that others look up to for responsible leadership.

IN OUR VIEW, the NPP has got much to do to disabuse minds of the population of Liberia from its past traces, specifically the suspecting segment, of the unsavory deeds of the party's reign associated with its legacy. In the nearly seven-year rule of the party, the citizens felt balkanized when human rights conditions were far from normal, and when Liberia was kept in isolation internationally. The peace process mainstreamed all parties, including the NPP, into the political mosaic, and since then some of those who had associated with the reign have demonstrated some aura of responsibility and leadership in the post-Charles Taylor period and not too many people have been counting the woes associated with the party anymore.

GIVEN THIS CONTENTIOUS history of the NPP, one would have hoped its partisans, particularly executive members, would behave properly—stay clean of arbitrary attitudes—so as to disarm critics and regain its public image that was brought into question for various reasons.

WE ABSOLUTELY SHARE the views of Senator Jewel Howard Taylor, Standard-bearer of the party, and other well-meaning partisans that grievances and disputes between and amongst partisans should be settled responsibly and maturely. So far as Liberia moves deep into democratic practices, there is bound to be misunderstanding and serious disagreements. Indeed, democracy is about competition and participation, both of which are therefore susceptible to uproars that must be resolved civilly without anyone resorting to physical attacks and irresponsibility. And it is unfortunate that the NPP, which many regard as the first or one of few rainbow parties—a party that was once a conglomerate of nearly every tribe and ethnic group of this country—is demonstrating repulsiveness to diversity, thus drifting into intolerance and arrogance.

AS A FORMER ruling party, which is an offshoot of a very critical former warring faction, the NPP has an important role to play in the emergent dispensation as it relates to democratic reconsolidation, national reconciliation, peace and justice. It would be unfortunate for the party to let itself rot, or get extinct, in petit squabbles and uncompromising zest for power and influence.

IF THE PARTY'S motto is indeed “Above All Else the People,” and slogan, “Liberia is a country of law; not of men”, it has got to come to terms with these appellations in character and in deeds. Partisans, particularly executive members, should eschew jungle justice, the uncompromising pursuit of personal aggrandizement and start to return to their own rules and regulations and the laws of Liberia.

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