The Inquirer (Monrovia)

Liberia: NPP in Disarray

The leadership crisis in the former ruling National Patriotic Party (NPP) is far from being over as confusion again broke out at a planned convention hosted by expelled members of the party.Over the weekend, the 6th biannual convention of the NPP organized under the aegis of the George Mulbah faction of the NPP was disrupted allegedly by thugs working under the authority of the Chairman of the party, Theophilus C. Gould though Cllr. Gould has since denied the allegation.

Canopies erected by the Mulbah group of the NPP were brought down by a group of young men allegedly operating under Cllr. Gould and headed by Mr. Peter Andrew, General Secretary of the NPP. The confusion broke out when Rep. Mulbah, James Birney, Randall Cooper and other senior partisans of the NPP decided to conduct the 6th biannual convention of the party something which Chairman Gould strongly opposed.

Mr. John Yokie, an official of the NPP from the Mulbah camp who referred to themselves as the majority block was injured during the incident. The confusion is a result of who now controls the NPP after a deadline given by the National Elections Commission (NEC) for the holding of the party's biannual convention which many of the members of the NPP expelled recently by the Gould leadership said the Chairman has failed to do.

Rep. Mulbah and his colleagues have alleged that because of the failure of Chairman Gould to conduct the biannual convention, NEC has therefore disengaged with the NPP meaning that the party is non-existence. They said to save the party it was now necessary to go on with the convention to again gain recognition from NEC.

But when contacted, the embattled Chairman of the NPP, Cllr. T.C. Gould said as far as he is concerned there was no convention at the headquarters of the NPP. He said the confusion that erupted at the party's headquarters was as a result of a group of boys from the Red-light Market who were paid by Rep. Mulbah but his group refused to settle them.

Prior to the proposed convention, he said, Rep. Mulbah, Birney and Cooper paid some young men from Red-light to serve as delegates at their convention but could not pay them thus resulting into serious confusion. According to the embattled chairman, he managed to contact the police to put the situation under control.

Cllr. Gould maintained that the biannual convention of the NPP will be held on January 30, to February 2nd in Gbarnga, Bong County. He then called on partisans of the NPP to remain steadfast and calm as everything will be done to end the conflict within the NPP.

Recently, about 22 members and Executive Committee members of the NPP were expelled by the T.C. Gould leadership for what the chairman calls act incompatible with the part's by-laws and constitutions. However, the Chairman is said to be prepared to negotiate with the expelled members provided they acknowledge their wrong-doing.

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