The headquarters of the ex-ruling National Patriotic Party or NPP has come under siege again by angry partisans from across Liberia, currently converged in Monrovia, demanding the embattled national chairman Cllr. Theophilus C. Gould, to step down.
For roughly two years, the NPP has been on a “rock and roll” over the running of the party by Chairman Gould, who has been accused by “Concern NPP Partisans” of perpetually holding onto power after his chairmanship expired, and allegedly refusing to reinstate county chairs he dismissed despite being ordered by the National Elections Commission.
Interview conducted with partisans in the NPP compound on Sunday evening, June 14 established that they had staged a siege on the former ruling party headquarters for about three days, in an attempt to prevent Gould and his team of leaders from entering the premises.
The NPP’s Montserrado County Coordinator Mr. Saye Miller and the head of the “Concern NPP Partisans” that are leading the siege, Mr. Joe K. Kwemie said, they will continue the protest until the day Chairman Gould agrees to go for party convention.
The protesters claimed that the embattled chairman is afraid of being defeated at convention, and has allegedly been downplaying calls from the 15 counties chairmen to arrange for convention that may possibly see a transition in “Gould’s dormant leadership.”
Both Miller and Kwemie also accused the NPP leadership led by Gould of allegedly mortgaging the party’s properties to business entities without any meaningful impact on the party, except for Cllr. Gould and his minority block.
Speaking to The NewDawn on behalf of county chairs and grass-root supporters of the NPP yesterday, Mr. Miller said Cllr. Gould had allegedly orchestrated police’s visitation into the NPP compound in Congo Town since they took over headquarters for the past few days, but the police allegedly found that their presence was peaceful and therefore, did not bother them.
The group head, Mr. Kwemie fears that the NPP’s convention has been hijacked by Mr. Gould and his minority supporters, and that there is no information flow from the hierarchy of the party to the grass-root level.
“We want immediate convention or else, we will continue to pursue the leadership until we can have convention. It’s being overdue. I spent three days here; police been coming and going, but they found we are peaceful and so we are not leaving from here even if it takes us one month or three months,” said Mr. Kwemie.
He denied that there is any support from other influential partisans against Mr. Gould, claiming that he and his colleagues have been rallying their personal money in the tune of nickels and dimes to sustain the protest at the compound until “the minority group” agrees to go for convention.
For his part, Mr. Miller recalled that the NPP conflict has gone to the NEC and to court as well, but Cllr. Gould has been allegedly ignoring orders from either the NEC or the court to take certain actions that could settle the current crisis.
He claimed that since the death of the party’s secretary general, Grand Bassa County Senator John Whitfield, the party has gone dormant under the Gould-led administration.
He claimed further that Cllr. Gould has failed to reinstate dismissed party officials as ordered by the NEC, insisting that they would not leave the compound until those issues are settled. By Winston W. Parley – Editing by Jonathan Browne