13 June 2014

Liberia: CDC, Urey Rift Deepens

Photo: FrontPage Africa
Benoni Urey, a staunch ally of former president Charles Taylor, campaigns for the opposition Congress for Democratic Change (file photo).

The current rift between the main opposition Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) and presidential hopeful Benoni Urey is rapidly deepening with fresh reports from the CDC indicating that Urey is requesting that all contributions he made to the party be restituted.

Sources within the hierarchy of the Congress for Democratic Change have hinted The NewDawn that Urey is currently requesting about US$25,000 and vehicles donated to the party for operations during the 2011 elections.

Sources also lamented that the rift between the CDC and Urey came to light when the Liberian businessman demanded that he becomes the next standard bearer with Ambassador George Weah as his running mate for 2071, something executives of the party reportedly rejected.

Urey, former commissioner of Liberia's Maritime under the Taylor regime, has reportedly been a great financial help to the Congress for Democratic Change since he cross-carpeted from the ex-ruling National Patriotic Party of Mr. Taylor in 2011.

Emmanuel Lomax, Chairman of the "Friends of Urey" declared that the Congress for Democratic Change lacks integrity to make someone President of Liberia. Lomax described the CDC as not dependable, indicating that Liberians of all walks of life are supportive of Urey's presidency.

His comments were in response to reports gathered by this paper from individuals claiming to be members of the "Friends of Urey" recently that businessman Benoni Urey was contemplating abandoning his quest for the presidency in 2017 due to lack of support from the hierarchy of the CDC.

According to the reports, the decision may have arose out of a communication from the CDC a few months ago, warning the "Friends of Urey" against using the party to solicit nationwide support, spearheaded by Mr. Emmanuel Lomax. The reports also attributed Mr. Urey's purported decision to back-off from the presidential race to an alleged United States' travel sanctions on him.

The reports said, Urey, a former stalwart of Taylor's ex-ruling National Patriotic Party or NPP and current member of the CDC, has allegedly scaled down his nationwide activities and those of the "Friends of Urey" headed by Emmanuel Lomax.

But Lomax rubbishes these reports, describing it as nonsense that needs no credence. He told The NewDawn via mobile Wednesday, June 11, 2014 that it is not to his knowledge if Mr. Urey's name is on any US travel sanction list.

Mr. Benoni Urey was among a group of Taylor's confidants, whose names were removed from a UN travel ban some time ago. Lomax however disclosed that he and Mr. Urey are preparing for a visit to the US in September to hold talks with Urey's supporters in America on his desire to contest for the presidency of Liberia.

Lomax maintained Benoni Urey has gotten the blessing of the Liberian people, and as such,"No one is going to stand in Mr. Urey's way; we don't need the CDC as it is being reported that Urey want to back off because he does not have CDC support; it is a lie from hell; We don't need CDC to make Urey President for Liberia," he argued.

The CDC of Ambassador George Weah had earlier raised integrity issues here, against Mr. Urey, questioning his ties with ex-president Charles Taylor and his (Taylor's) disbanded NPFL rebels.

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