Ishmeal Sheriff, who claims to be disenchanted over the current trend of leadership at both party and national levels, says he intends to contest as an independent candidate.
... amid ruling party's search for a strong candidate against Dillon
Ishmeal Sheriff, a founding member of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) now ruling under the Coalition for Democratic Change, has declared his intention to contest the upcoming senatorial election for the seat in Montserrado County.
Mr. Sheriff, who claims to be disenchanted over the current trend of leadership at both party and national levels, says he intends to contest as an independent candidate to bring hope to many disenchanted partisans of the CDC in case he wins.
Declaration by the disenchanted partisan on June 24, 2020, came as the public, knowing well the enthusiasm of CDC in producing candidates in an election, continue to look up to the party to put up a candidate that will contest against incumbent Senator Abraham Darius Dillon, whose popularity has overwhelmed the Senate over the few months he has served.
Recently another stalwart of the CDC, Deputy Commerce Minister Jamaima Wolokollie, declared to the public that she has gotten the blessing of the party to contest on its ticket, but information continues to trend on social media and in the public space that the party is contemplating putting forward Representative Thomas Fallah to contest on the party's ticket, though Fallah himself is yet to come out with any statement whether or not he intends to put his hat in the election.
Earlier this week, Deputy Minister Wolokollie sternly criticized the party's chairman Mulbah Morlu on the radio, alleging that Mr. Morlu has always prioritized people from his home county of Lofa to contest on CDC's ticket in Montserrado, which politicians consider a "no man land." Representative Fallah, the man at the center of public discussion now for the seat, hails from Lofa County.
Mr. Sheriff, on the other hand, presents himself as the hope for all CDC partisans who feel disappointed and disenchanted now in their party that is at the heap of leadership in the country.
On a local radio in Monrovia, Sheriff said: "I am a member of the Green Revolution; I am a member of the disenchanted bloc and every disenchanted CDC grouping in Monrovia. They invite me to their meetings; they see me as their hope and when I am in their meetings, I sometimes give them hope and courage."
It may be recalled that last week hundreds of beach workers claiming to be loyalists and members of the CDC staged a protest in demand for pay after reportedly working for 21 months.
Members of the CDC, however, have remained resolute and loyal to their party since its formation and participation in presidential and legislative elections dating far back in 2005. Regardless of the many criticisms that came against their political leader George Manneh Weah at the time, they remained resolved to see Weah ascend to the presidency, and upon taking as President in the 2017 election, the expectation grew high that the CDC government would bring the much-needed change the country needs.
Though Sheriff did not state factor characterizing the CDC-led government that makes him feel 'disappointed and disenchanted,' he, however, indicated that there are many 'scammers' in the Liberian political arena who have no interest in building the country but after self-aggrandizement.
Without disowning his party, Sheriff said: "I am a member of the CDC. There is one thing we have to fight against in Liberian politics; we need to fight against scamming and high level of deceit that is being ushered into our country's politics. This is giving our country hard time."
Mr. Sheriff added: "From 2005 to now, I don't believe in scamming. I tell you exactly what I will do and how I am going to do it. The CDC is not a religious institution, but a political institution. So, the fight is on. I am working closely with disenchanted CDCians to ensure that we get to where we want to get".
Some time in 2019 CDC Chairman, Mulbah Morlu, held a press conference in Monrovia and declared that within the short period of rule, some people have acquired wealth that they would not dream of, and there was a need to investigate how people he did not name acquired the wealth.
Speaking further, Mr. Sheriff described the CDC as a political institution that has a history of conflict, referencing the selection of the late Montserrado Senator Geraldine Doe-Sheriff over Lenn Eugene Nagbe during the senatorial by-election in 2009 as an instance.
He recalled that the situation prompted a split within the CDC at the time.
He expressed the hope that the ruling party will learn from past mistakes not to put individuals whom partisans and supporters do not want on the party's tickets.
Mr. Sheriff pointed out that CDC's candidate Madam Paulita Wie was massively defeated by Senator Dillon because she was not best suited for the party's strategy.