It seems like the discord within the ex-ruling National Patriotic Party of former President Charles Taylor is far from over, further weakening the once cohesively strong political institution.
With its founder and ex-standard bearer Taylor serving a 50-year sentence in Britain for aiding and abetting former RUF rebels in Sierra Leone, the NPP has been rift by leadership struggle characterised by court actions and interim administration, which have effectively restricted its capacity to field candidates in any election, pending resolution of the current internal wrangling.
As if these infightings were not enough, the Margibi County chapter of the NPP has withdrawn support from the party current political leader Senator Jewel Howard Taylor and thrown its weight behind Senate President Pro-Tempore ArmahJallah for the Presidency come 2017.
Senator Taylor, who has announced her candidacy for the Presidency,is said to be out of favour with partisans of the party’s Margibi County chapter, and there are reports that she is lobbying to take the NPP to the Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia Dr. Joseph Mills Jones for the 2017 race. The CBL Governor financed her re-election campaign to the Liberian Senate.
The Margibichapter has accused Senator Taylor of betrayal as well as allegedly distancing herself from activities of the NPP. At ceremony in the county, which brought together women, youth and elders, the leadership of the NPP Margibi chapter also cited lack of leadership and inaccessibility of the ex-Liberian first lady since she became Senator of Bong County and standard bearer of the party, adding “Her leadership has disintegrated the party.”
According to the chairperson of the NPP Margibi chapter, Emmanuel Goll, Senator Taylor has made the party dormant and caused entrenched partisans to crossover to new political institutions, a situation,which he emphasized, must be changed.
Goll however used the opportunity to petition Senate Pro-Tempore Armah Zulu Jallah to contest on the party’s ticket for the impending presidential and representatives’ elections.
Speaking recently inWeala, Cinta Township, Margibi County, he disclosed that NPP partisans in that part of the country have petitioned Senator Armah Zulu Jallah, also a member of the national Patriotic Party, to vie for the nation’s highest seat.
“We pledged our unflinching support to you Jallah as our candidate come 2017,”Goll said and described Senator Jallahas an accessible lawmaker and dedicated partisan, who had over the period exemplified leadership to keep the NPP’s spirit alive.
Also speaking at the program, Ma Woto Musa, an entrenched NPP partisan during Charles Taylor era, and head of the women group in Margibi County, told Senator Jallah that they are resolved on the decision.
“As we’ve done before for our party, we endorse you as our next president. Because you never forget us; we have tested your leadership; we will carry you as our standard bearer,” Ma Wotoadded.
Responding, Senator Jallah thanked the partisans for the recognition and said he will address the petition in subsequent time. “I will respond to you after consultation with our people. “I appreciate you for the reception”, the Gbarpolu County Senator said.
According to him, though former President Charles Taylor is languishing in prison, but with the right person serving as touchlight, the NPP will definitely clinch state power for the second time.
Meanwhile, when Senator Jewel Howard Taylor was contacted via mobile phone for response, her phone rang endlessly.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Edited by Jonathan Browne