President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf appears to be under similar pressure that characterized the end of two of her predecessors – ex-Presidents Samuel K. Doe and Charles Taylor, respectively as both leaders faced defections and abandonments near the end of their rules.
The resignations and defections which characterized the end of both regimes appear to be quietly creeping at both ends of the Sirleaf regime. President Sirleaf is expected to hand over power in January 2018.But two years to the end of her tenure has seen four senior government officials tendering in their resignations.
Both ends simply because not only senior government officials are stepping down from the ruling establishment, but the ruling Unity Party itself has been hit by resignations of high profiled figures, including House Speaker Alex Tyler, who tendered in his resignation from the UP last week.
Resignations within the former regime of slain president Doe doubled as rebels led by ex-president Taylor intensified their territorial gains in the North Eastern town of Nimba and elsewhere in the country.
Several officials at the time including former Information Minister Emmanuel Z. Bowier, resigned while attending peace talks in neighboring Freetown, Sierra Leone, while defection from the army and the ruling party at the time were evidence that Doe had lost control.
In the case of jailed former president Charles Taylor, not only did he come under pressure from the international community, but as the rebel Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy or LURD seized most part of the country, Taylor got confused, effecting changes in his administration, affecting Foreign Minister Monie Ralph Captan and the army command structure amidst dozens of defections.
On the surface, President Sirleaf may appear to be in control of her party but the deep routed internal bickering has reared its ugly head in public, particularly with the resignation of one of the chief architects of the merger between the Unity Party and the Liberian Action Party in the person of House Speaker Alex Tyler.
Tyler’s resignation among many speaks of the current disunity within the ruling party, some which give cause for worry over the future of the party, after President Sirleaf leaves, whom many party stewards are disenchanted with.
Coupled with the resignations of senior members within the ruling UP is the level of resignations in her government and the president’s response or tacit silent on these unfolding developments. Foreign Minister Augustine Ngafuan’s decision to tender in his resignation while attending the United Nations General Assembly in New York, few weeks ago also speaks volume. Whatever the reasons given in his letter, there is an underlining factor of dissatisfaction, which notably is the same reason many party stewards have also resigned from the ruling establishment.
Keen observers of Liberian politics are beginning to ponder whether Mrs. Sirleaf will try to find a way in curbing what is becoming a rapid exit or just sit to let things slip by as her regime wines down.
-By Othello B. Garblah .