Liberia: UP Goes to Convention
Opposition Unity Party (UP), a party that served Liberia for 12 unbroken years is expected to go to election this July 26, 2022 to elect new membership of its party ahead of 2023 general and presidential election.
Ahead of the Gbarnga 2022 National Convention, a segment of the party has named its team for the upcoming as some members of the team want to maintain their positions while others are taking a step above.
At a press conference at a local hotel in Sinkor, Cllr. Jeror Cole Bangalu, Chairman of Team Modad named former Liberian Vice President, Joseph Nyuma Boakai, Amin Modad, Dabah Mabande Varpilah,Margibi County Representative Ben A. Fofana and Cornelia Kruah-Togba as Standard Bearer, National Chairman, Senior National Vice Chair/Vice Chair for Administration, National Vice Chair for Governmental Affairs and International Relations and National Vice Chair for Inter-Party Relations and National Election Commission Affairs respective as some of the members of the Team.
He also named Whroway Bryant as National Vice Chair for Membership, Mobilization & Recruitment, Mohammed Ali as National Secretary General, Christian Cooper as National Deputy Secretary for Administration, James Yolei, National Deputy Secretary General for Research and Training and Edmund Forh Forh- National Treasurer as the additional members who are contesting along with Modad.For the National Youth Congress, he indicated that their team is headed by Togar Melvin Cephas who is contesting as National Vice Chair for Youth Affairs, Kuta Gbakolay for Secretary General, Emmanuel Kunneh Wreh Farr aspirant for Deputy Secretary for Administration and Jartu Worrell, aspirant for Treasurer adding, “All other aspirants for the Youth Congress will be named subsequently by T. Melvin Cephas.”
Speaking additionally, Cllr. Bangalu said as for the Women Congress, Mrs. Selena Polson Mappy will spearhead the team and will subsequently announce all other aspirants of her team.
“You can rest assured that Team Modad is in full support of the aspirants that will be submitted by Partisan Mappy”, he assured the women’s congress.
The Chairperson for the Team Modad said, “In my capacity as Chairman of Team Modad, and as a person who has faithfully served the Unity Party as National Vice Chair for Inter-Party Relations and NEC Affairs for the last six years, I do hereby present the above-listed partisans to you the voting delegates at the Gbarnga Convention to be voted in their respective positions with the mantle of leading our party and its Standard Bearer into the 2023 Presidential and Legislative Elections.”
It is not clear as to who is contesting against former Liberian Vice President, JNB in the upcoming Gbarnga National Convention, but news from the corridors of the Party has it that he is going unopposed on grounds that he is the only person, for now, best suited for said position in the party.
Attached is the full statement of TEAM Modad
Partisans, supporters and sympathizers of the Unity Party, fellow Liberians, voting delegates of the upcoming July 26-29 UP National convention, members of Team Modad, members of the fourth estate, ladies and gentlemen.
We have gathered here in appreciation of the opportunity given us by partisans and leaders of the Unity Party to serve for the last one year ten months. When Amin Modad was elected on September 8, 2020, to complete the unexpired term of former Chairman Wilmot J.M. Paye, he and his leadership inherited a Unity Party that had enormous challenges. During this period, many partisans including members of the National Executive Committee almost lost hope in the resurrection of the Unity Party. The Party was confronted with the midterm Special Senatorial elections, challenges related to its National Headquarters in Congo Town, and restructuring of counties leadership including the revamping and acquisition of headquarters in the 15 counties.
Over this period, the leadership of Chairman Amin Modad successfully negotiated and secured a new National Headquarters centrally located on Broad Street. It costs the Party more than US$ 50,000 to fully renovate the new Headquarters. It was through the leadership ability of Chairman Modad and members of this leadership that we secured funding through personal donations from partisans and supporters home and abroad to renovate the Headquarters that is now described as one of the best Headquarters any political party can boast of in Liberia. In addition to the National Headquarters, the leadership under the auspices of Chairman Amin Modad ably assisted by Madam Dabah Mabande Varpilah has been able to secure headquarters in Grand Cape Mount County, Sinoe County, Grand Gedeh County, Maryland County and River Gee. Through his interpersonal relationship and rapprochement with partisans in the diaspora, particularly USA and Canada, the leadership was able to mobilize resources to completely renovate the Unity Party’s Headquarters in Lofa County and has done 98% renovation works on the headquarters in Grand Bassa County. The leadership has also been able, through the personal contribution of Chairman Amin Modad, to secure a parcel of land in Sanniquellie, Nimba County for the construction of the Unity Party’s Headquarters in that county. In the coming months and years, we pledge to mobilize resources and secure funding for the construction of headquarters in those counties where we don’t already have headquarters of our own.
The leadership has also, considering the difficulty of movement within the counties by party leaders, acquired motorbikes for Nimba, Bomi, Lofa, Grand Gedeh, Sinoe and Grand Bassa Counties. In the not too distant future, the leadership under the auspices of Amin Modad will mobilize and secure funding to purchase additional motorbikes for the other counties. These tangible achievements, over the short period of time under the leadership of Amin Modad as National Chairman of the Unity Party, are unprecedented. On the soft side, we have been able to restructure some county leaderships and have also reduced the gap between the mainstream leadership of the counties, the district leadership and cascading downward.
Additionally, the leadership has put into place administrative measures that have made the operations of the Unity Party more institutional than an organization loosely run by individuals.
Unlike in the past, when the Unity Party had no apparent and entrenched relationship with its Legislators, our leadership has been able to cultivate a cordial working relationship with each and every member of the UP Legislative Caucus and this has cumulated into regular coordinated activities between the leadership of the Party, the party itself and members of the Legislative Caucus. More to that, our lawmakers are now fully involved into all the activities of the Unity Party. This is evident by the fact that members of the UP Legislative Caucus spearheaded the organization of the program for the opening and dedication of the new headquarters and also organized the march that led partisans to various diplomatic missions to present a petition statement relating to the attempt to ban the Unity Party from participating in elections.
While we are highlighting all of the above achievements of the current leadership of the Unity Party, one in particular stands tall above the others. Fellow partisans, as you may all recall, there was an egregious attempt by unscrupulous elements within our political corridors to effectively dismember the Unity Party through their efforts to stop us from participating in elections. We all know and understand that the main purpose for which political parties are established is to take state power through free, fair and transparent elections. Had they succeeded in this malicious and dubious attempt, we would not have been discussing a Gbarnga Convention today. This leadership stood firm and resolute along with the Standard Bearer of the Unity Party, Amb. Joseph Nyuma Boakai, and assembled some of the best team of lawyers Liberia can boast of.
These lawyers led by former Chief Justice, Her Honor Gloria Musu Scott and Cllr. Johnny Momoh with all of the support from this leadership won a decisive victory at the Supreme Court of Liberia.
This victory birthed a sigh of relief to all partisans of our noble party and we were able to field a candidate in the just ended Lofa County Senatorial bi-election.
With barely 15 months to go, to the Presidential and Legislative elections, the Unity Party cannot afford to make the mistake of changing an experienced and over-achieving leadership with one that does not understand the political inner workings of the UP and that of Liberia. It will be a disaster to put in place any leadership with the short period of time to the holding of elections to steer the affairs of the party.
In light of the above, we, come today to present to the people of Liberia, the Unity Party and in particular the voting delegates to the upcoming Gbarnga Convention a team of experienced, committed, loyal and innovative partisans to contest for various leadership positions at the convention. This team dubbed as “Team Modad” comprises of the following aspirants:
Amb. Joseph Nyuma Boakai- Standard Bearer
Amin Modad- National Chairman
Dabah Mabande Varpilah- Senior National Vice Chair/Vice Chair for Administration
Hon. Ben A. Fofana- National Vice Chair for Governmental Affairs and International Relations
Cornelia Kruah-Togba- National Vice Chair for Inter-Party Relations and National Election Commission Affairs
Whroway Bryant- National Vice Chair for Membership, Mobilization & Recruitment
Mohammed Ali – National Secretary General
Christian Cooper- National Deputy Secretary for Administration
James Yolei- National Deputy Secretary General for Research and Training
Edmund Forh Forh- National Treasurer
For the Women Congress, Mrs. Selena Polson Mappy will spearhead the team and will subsequently announce all other aspirants of her team. You can rest assure that Team Modad is in full support of the aspirants that will be submitted by Partisan Mappy. For the National Youth Congress, our team is headed by Togar Melvin Cephas who is contesting as National Vice Chair for Youth Affairs, Kuta Gbakolay for Secretary General, Emmanuel Kunneh Wreh Farr aspirant for Deputy Secretary for Administration and Jartu Worrell, aspirant for Treasurer. All other aspirants for the Youth Congress will be named subsequently by T. Melvin Cephas. In my capacity as Chairman of Team Modad, and as a person who has faithfully served the Unity Party as National Vice Chair for Inter-Party Relations and NEC Affairs for the last six years, I do hereby present the above listed partisans to you the voting delegates at the Gbarnga Convention to be voted in their respective positions with the mantle of leading our party and its Standard Bearer into the 2023 Presidential and Legislative Elections.