Jewel snubs S/Court
As NPP holds separate conventions amidst violent clashes
Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor Friday, October 7, snubbed a supreme court order that mandated National Patriotic Party (NPP) Chairman James Biney and Secretary General Andrew Peters to hold the party’s convention dedicating to herself the responsibility leading to violent clashes.
The violent clashes led to the party holding separate conventions at the Paynesville City Hall with Mrs. Taylor presiding over one group, while chairman Biney and Secretary Peters presided over the other.
The NPP’s 7th 7th Biennial Convention was held in compliance with the mandate of the civil law court, which adjudicated the prolonged leadership conflict within the former ruling party of jailed former President Charles Taylor.
Eyewitnesses say it all started when supporters of VP Taylor attempted to force their way into the convention hall after being denied to do so due to lack of convention passes.
The Vice President in return was said to have ordered ERU officers to take siege of the gate to allow her “unaccredited” supporters into the convention hall.
This was met with a stiff resistance from the Biney faction leading to a dogfight inside the convention hall. Following nearly an hour of intense dog fight among faction members, calm returned but that calm was short-lived as violence erupted again.
This prompted the VP Taylor faction to conduct their convention outside the hall of the Paynesville Town Hall
When the VP Taylor group left the hall the Biney faction proceeded with their convention thereby retaining the Maryland County Senator Biney as National Chairman after his challenger Abraham Masseley withdrew from the race.
However, partisans went ahead to elect George S. Mulbah- Vice Chairman /Administration, Daoda Metzger- Vice Chairman for Operations, Charlyne A. Taylor- Vice Chairman for Gender Affairs, John A. Siaway -Vice Chairman/ Planning, Policy and Research and Dopoe Menkarzon- Vice Chairman/ Special Project.
The rest of the elected executives are Thomas G. Goba- Vice/ Finance and Investment, Sylvia Z. Taylor- -Vice/ Social Services, Allison Barco -Vice/ Governmental Affairs and Randolph C. J. Cooper – National Treasurer.
Upon their elections, Mr. Biney in discharging his first major task appointed a 16-member coalition framework review committee to look at salient issues in the agreement that bounded the party to an agreement signed by the Congress for Democratic Congress (CDC), the Liberia People’s Democratic Party (LPDP) and the NPP during the 2017 election.
The 16-member committee is headed by Cllr. Abel Momodu Massaly and Dr. Agnes Reeves Taylor as Co-Chairperson while Atty Allison Barco is the Secretary-General. Others on the committee are, Samson Wiah, Albert Quenah, Charlyne A. Taylor, Dopoe Menkazon and other eminent partisans.
The convention conducted by the Biney faction also mandated the National Executive Committee of the Party to conduct conventions for the National Secretariat and other leaders with 6 years tenure across the country.
Meanwhile, around 5 pm, VP Taylor’s NPP faction moved outside of the hall and proceeded with activities of the convention with Emmanuel Lomax, chair of the elections commission.
Lomax said votes were taken and a decision was made to render all positions in the party vacant, allowing each of the partisans to contest.
“We the delegates attending the 7th Biennial Convention of the NPP do hereby declare the vote as a block to individual names attached for elective positions,” he said.
“We delegates have proffered this resolution and secured signatories of two-third majority votes of the 638 delegates … to give legal effect to any decision at this Convention,” he added.
Naming the officials elected, Lomax said Madam Jewel Howard-Taylor was elected NPP Standard Bearer; Cllr. Stanley McClain, NPP National Chairman; and Morris Paye, NPP Secretary General, among others.
Early signs of the convention experiencing some hitches popped up during the preparatory stages of the event when the party could not raise money for the initial budget of USD100K meant to cater for 638 delegates from across the country which prompted the party to take a decision on September 4, 2022, at its national Headquarters to reduce the number of persons on the list to 301 persons, according to the Biney Faction.
The party in a press statement signed and approved by Andrew Peters and Senator James Biney, National Secretary General and National Chairman respectively said the message was properly communicated to the partisans and the necessary adjustments were made, adding that the delegates were still excited despite the setback.
Now despite said understanding for a total compliance with the list for accreditation purposes, confusion broke up when on the instruction of the Secretary-General, some persons said not to be accredited were stopped from entering the hall.
These affected persons contended that the decision to comply with the number of persons does not exist and the original list of 638 remains.
Also speaking to journalists following the induction of the officials by the VP Taylor faction, VP Howard-Taylor said the NPP brought 638 delegates from across the country.
She said when the delegates arrived, they were told that there was a fake list of 301 persons.
“But we gathered and had some discussions with all the County chairpersons and delegates, and they have chosen. So we have 13 chairpersons from 13 counties and it is a new leadership of the NPP that has been inducted,” Madam Howard-Taylor noted.
She accused Andrew Peters of the fake list, saying he removed names of the actual people from the counties and replaced them with names of people who did not come from the counties.