Monrovia — Chief Cyril Allen, former chairman of the National Patriotic Party, has cautioned heads of functionaries of government that Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor is not "a handpicked weakling within the political dispensation to be manipulated and played with".
He said, "Functionaries of government must be diligent in their duties and ensure that the Office of the Vice President is duly respected."
Chief Allen was speaking at the NPP Headquarters on Tuesday during the 72nd birthday celebration of Charles Taylor, founder of the NPP.
According to the chairman emeritus of the party, in the absence of NPP, no one can succeed in any political undertaking in this country.
Chief Allen: "The basis of our strength is the unity in our party. It's recognized all over the country that the NPP is the most politically broad-based party in this country. Because at the formative stage of our party, we visited the 68 constituencies at the time and planted our seeds in these various districts. Let it not be said that we are a weak institution that can be manipulated by a handful of people or drawn to one side and persuaded by individual sentiments and interests, absolutely not. The NPP is strong and firm in its base."
He added, "We want to send a warning out to the CDC also, we are part of the Coalition for Democratic Change, we're a very effective unit within the foundation of the party, we played a very major role in constructing the Coalition document and developing the formula for the electoral process that we won... "
A Divided Leadership
Chief Allen's further remarks suggest that internal division within the NPP could be responsible for the reported maltreatment that the Vice President, who is also the standard-bearer of the party, is experiencing from the government.
He urged the leadership of the party to ensure that the interest of the members remains paramount. "As a national leader, you cannot lead a group of people and don't represent their interest, you cannot lead a group of people and let disharmony prevail."
He referenced strains between the Vice President and the embattled Chairman of the party James Biney whom he condemned for not playing active leadership role and adequately representing members of the party.
"We know our partisans, as soon as they get a little favor or a little job, they think they're bigger than this party," he said.
He lamented that there are elements within the party who rain insults and insubordination to the standard bearer of the party.
"If anyone does not want to be part of this leadership, let them leave us alone so that we can forge ahead. You cannot have a national leader that is afraid to interact with his people, you cannot have a national leader that is absent from every major program of the party. If you want to lead us, you must be responsible and respectable," he said.
The embattled Chairman, Senator Biney, was expelled from the party in November 2018 after going gutter with the standard bearer over a decision reached by the executive committee to extend an olive branch for all members to left the party prior to the 2017 elections for political reasons.
It became glaring that the party was divided with a faction leaning towards President Weah's Congress for Democratic Change while the other barked the standard-bearer.
Upon his expulsion, the Chairman of the CDC on November 7, 2018 issued a statement instructing the NPP to reinstate Biney.
CDC Chairman Mulbah Morlu called on the National Executive Committee of the NPP to go back to status quo ante, adding that President George Weah will not do business with the NPP should it refuse to reinstate its Biney as chairman.
However, the National Executive Committee of the NPP termed statement coming from members of the Governing Council of the Coalition on the reinstatement of its Chairman as high level of interference in their party.
Addressing the news conference in the Charles Ghankay Taylor Conference Room at the party Headquarter Thursday, November 8, 2018, the Acting National Chairman of NPP John Gray said the statement coming from other members of the Coalition contravenes the functionary spirit and intent of the coalition agreement.
"It is, therefore, inconceivable on the parts of Mr. Mulbah K. Morlu, Moses Kollie, Mr. Janga Kowo and suspended Bolton Dennis, purporting as agents of the Governing Council to come up with a statement challenging the decision of the National Executive Committee of the NPP," Gray Said. "This matter is solely the internal prerogative of the NPP."
However, delegates loyal to Biney who attended an 'extraordinary session under his leadership on Saturday, December 1, 2018 unanimously voted to expel Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor from the party.
The delegates also agreed that a communication be sent to President George Manneh Weah, telling him to "recall" the two expelled persons, from their governmental posts.