It appears like allies of the Council of Patriots or CoP are scattering all over the place one by one following the December 30th protest and the subsequent immigration fracas with leader Henry Costa.
On Tuesday night, the Executive Committee of the former ruling Unity Party or UP announced the suspension of its Chairman Mr. Wilmot Paye on grounds that he unilaterally issued a press statement requesting UP partisan to stay off the CoP’s much trumpeted protest after the party standard bearer and leader former Vice President Joseph Boakai and other executives have publicly announced their support of the protest.
The suspension of Mr. Paye follows media reports that he and former Vice President Boakai were not on speaking terms, a report Paye denied in an interview with this paper on Monday night,
Party Secretary Mo Ali, who also serve as the co-chair of CoP, said the party has put together a committee to investigate Chairman Paye’s unilateral decision and the rationale behind it.
He told reporters that Paye’s suspension will remain enforced till findings into his motives are established. He further noted the further action will be based on the committee’s findings.
However, Mr. Paye who appears to be defiant says he was duly elected on a white ballot just as the former Vice President to serve the party.He opined that it is only the delegates from the 15 political sub-division of the can change that decision through another election.
He sees his suspension as a conspiracy between former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and Joseph Boakai, describing it as a flop.
“They have tested us inside and outside and they have failed,” referring to his political leaders trying to manipulate his actions.
He said despite these twist and turns, the decision to suspend him has only reinforced his resolved speak the truth and stand up against the ills in society.On Monday, Paye dismissed rumor of an internal conflict within the party saying its reconciliation process is on course.
The UP Chairman told the New Dawn via telephone interview Monday, January 20, 2020 that the party is focused on its reconciliation process and is building on the commitment of members who see the UP as their common vehicle.
Following the 2017 presidential and legislative elections, the former ruling party was embroiled in an internal bickering, which saw the suspension of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and other officials who were deemed close allies of hers.
The matter was brought before the National Elections Commission (NEC) which ruled in favor of President Sirleaf and others. However, current party standard bearer former Vice President Joseph Boakai and chairman Paye took an appeal to the Supreme Court. Nonetheless the case was soon withdrawn a year later following a reconciliation meeting between the both parties, led by Mrs. Sirleaf on one hand and Mr. Boakai on the other.
Paye says the reconciliation process entails individual commitment, mutual respect and seeking of the common good for each other, while the party remains the common vehicle that drives them all.
He denied reports that there is currently a bad blood between himself and party standard bearer Joseph Boakai, adding that they have been on good terms and that there is even a planned meeting of party officials in days.
Mr. Paye described the media report of a brawl between he and former Vice President Boakai as the work of distracters who want to exploit the gains being made within the party by creating an artificial conflict to ride on.
He said he is not surprise that such reports are coming at the time when there is a pending mid- term senatorial election in October of this year.
But it is not clear what all these will boil down to now as the party has announced his suspension validating clams on an internal conflict within its ranks.
Of course one thing that is certain is that Mr. Paye argues that the UP is a party which has held its members together even when the naysayers predicted its collapse in 2011 and 2017. “UP has always had a number of issues but has surmounted the challenges,” he bragged.By Othello B. Garblah