The widening division within the Press Union of Liberia was very visible during the first National Convention of the Union.I was opportune to have been at the Baptist Seminary on the Eobertsfield Highway for two of the three days of the convention, which was poorly planned. And from what I did see, I think there is a need for the older folks of the PUL to intervene now or elsewhere, their dream will be far from what they thought when they were initially putting the organization together.
To keep grip on the leadership, Quaqua and his supporters, including Malcolm Joseph, were accused of buying votes. An opposition standard bearer, I’m told, infused into their campaign, seven thousand US dollars on November 12, 2010 to win supporters of other candidates over, and truly, it worked.
The name of the opposition leader was not disclosed, but a few journalists to me that the money may have come from Cllr. Charles Brumskine, whose Friends of Brumskine, Mr. Quaqua, Malcolm Joseph, Laurence Randolph, Abdullah Kamara, etc., etc., were all members of.
I was informed that the President of the PUL, Mr. Peter Quaqua campaigned against his former Vice President, Mr. Jacob Parley because he saw him as a threat to his objectives.
At the onset of the Quaqua administration and throughout the two-year period, Vice President Parley was the only official who went against most of the mal-practices of Mr. Quaqua, while others like the former Secretary General , Phillip Sandi, former Assistant Secretary General and present Vice President, Malisa Chea-Annan and former Financial Secretary Jashua Kpanneh were always supportive of the President,
Even when Parley had discovered that Mr. Quaqua had directed invitations from foreign trips and there were arguments, only the Vice President would be the one to take the stand.
For these issues and others, Mr. Quaqua finally decided to marginalize his Vice President in all of the Union’s activities as evidenced by the low profile given him during the 46th anniversary of the PUL in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, as disclosed by a number of journalists. From the way I see the present situation in the PUL, there will always be coordinator efforts by a few journalists outside of the leadership to sustain the present divide, so that they can continue to amass wealth at the expense of ordinary members of the Union.
Because the present President is their kind, they did everything possible for his reelection to the extent that, I informed, most of the voters who were in the opposition were given between US$20-39.00. Very disgusting about this division in the Press Union is the conspicuous silence of the influential members of the PUL, including the Kennetrh Y. Besy, Standard Peabody, Terrance Sesay, Elizabeth Hoff, Lamini Waritay, and other veteran Liberian journalists.
While I do reason with their silence due to the disrespect given and the way things may be going in the organization, it is also important and would be helpful to all journalists that they begin to put the behavior of Peter Quaqua and a few others in check. To allow this division to continue would mean the emergence of actions among other members of the PUL that would detrimental to the survival of the Press Union that we ordinary Liberians admire so dearly.