Some fifteen influential supporters of major opposition parties, including Liberty Party (LP) and All Liberian Party (ALP) of businessman, Benoni W. Urey, and Charles Brumskine have pledged their support to the presidential bid of Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai. The new Unity Party recruits, many of whom were ranking members of their old parties, have pledged to do all within their power to ensure that VP Boakai, whom they described as the light of the country, is elected at the polls in October.
Fifteen ex-members (11 from ALP and 4 from LP) made their commitments to the UP at separate ceremonies yesterday. "We, formerly of the ALP, have come to pledge our support to the presidential bid of the best candidate for this race, VP Boakai," Mr. Dickson N. Tamba, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues said at a press conference. Tamba is ALP's former National Assistant Secretary General for Press and Information.
"These elections are defining moments for our country because we have not had such a democratic transition in years, and as such the VP is the most qualified to lead this process," he said.
"Today is a historic day for Liberia. Historic because, conscious and patriotic Liberians, having gone throughout every nook and cranny of this Republic, assessed the political and development situations in our country, consulted with our people and having evaluated and soberly reflected on the character traits of all those wanting to become President and Vice President of Liberia, have resolved and declare our support to VP Boakai and Attorney-at-Law, Speaker Emmanuel Nuquay," he said.
Tamba said their decision to cross-over is not only "a pride to us, our families, our friends, political supporters and many followers but also our chiefs and elders of the land who sanctioned it. It is an honorable duty traditionally to listen and yield to the voice of wisdom.
"We indisputably share the vision of this winning team to drive a new agenda for Liberia; one that sincerely seeks to put emphasis on all Liberians through inclusive representation without discrimination which will in effect contribute greatly to our national development and reconciliation.
"We are aware that a few will call us names but we encourage them to muster the courage to join us because the truth is that this decision is in the best interest of the state and the forward march of our country and people," he said.
He added that "History will be kind to us because this is our testament to the people of Liberia and the world that we stand for peace, stability, development and national unity in our country.
"We will work with you - body, mind, and soul from Todee to Barrobo, West Point to Hoffman Station, Careysburg to Edina, Lake Piso to Late Talla, Waum to Konobo, Belle Fassama to Karquekpo, Grandcess to Suehn Mecca, Wayzohn to Webbo, Kpatawee through Gibi and to Cestos to ensure that Ambassador Boakai and Speaker Nuquay of the Unity Party -win this election based on proven records of their high degree of humility, tolerance, wisdom, and ability to unite and lead this country on the path of Peace, Stability, and Development."
From the Liberty Party's end, (4) District Coordinators of Montserrado County pledged their support to the VP.
These Coordinators, who hailed from Districts #4, #5, #6 and #10 made the disclosure last weekend that they have resolved to cross over to the UP. They include Moses P. Tokpah, Washington G. Kartoe, Shadrach Capehart and Ronald J. Fayiah.
They indicated that they parted ways with the LP because of its Standard Bearer. "We and our colleagues want to decisively announce to the nation our resignation as coordinators of the largest auxiliaries of Liberty Party for electoral Districts 4, 5, 6 and 10 of Montserrado County," they said.
They alleged that they had been oppressed while performing their respective responsibilities, but did not what oppression they allegedly endured. They also described Brumskine as undemocratic, uncivil who single-handedly drafted the party's constitution which gives him exclusive power.
They also accused Cllr. Brumskine of failing to live up to his many promises "where we have vigorously worked in our various communities recruiting and mobilizing supporters for the LP.
"We have realized that the Brumskine-Karnwea ticket does not have any good intent for our country. For instance, look at the case of Cocopa Rubber Plantation. This plantation was intended for the people of Nimba to manage in anyway whatsoever to improve the livelihood of the great people of Nimba, but because of Brumskine-Karnwea's manipulation, today the Plantation is owned and managed by both of them," they said.
Coordinator Fayiah said he and his colleagues in 2011 joined the political fight against Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to elect Cllr. Brumskine as president, but are glad that that didn't happen at the time.
Meanwhile, a Liberty Party official who spoke to the Daily Observer, denied allegations of oppression, by the defectors, saying: "There is nothing wrong to leave one party for another if you decide to do that, but it is unfair for such people to make up stories against the party they have decided to leave."
He condemned the defectors for their lack of vision and assured them that the Liberty Party is not worried about their decision to leave.