There were protests over the weekend at the ruling Unity Party convention in Kakata Margibi County over the party’s decision to bar officials of government from contesting at its primaries.
The primary was held in the Kakata Administrative Building on Sunday, 18 December marred by protest and fighting in the hall, and disruption of the process by some partisans.
All of these can be directly attributed to decision taken by party executives to deny appointed officials in government from contesting the county primaries after they had contested for various positions during the party’s national convention held in Gbarnga, Bong County in July, which saw the election of Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai as Standard Bearer.
Rep. Ballah Zayzay of Margibi District #2, county Superintendent John Buway and the chaplain general of the party in Margibi as well as some partisans were in complete disagreement over the decision, barring them from contesting the county primaries.
On the other hand, Rep. Ben A. Fofana and former county chairman, Jeremiah C. Quaye, support the party’s stance and they remained in the hall.
Rep. Fofana was also seen ordering the security to throw out one of the contestants, Mr. Vesselee Kollie.
Meanwhile, Supt. Buway had earlier registered with an amount of US$125 for the primary.
Party officials were locked in serious confrontation on Saturday, December 17 with reports that both Rep. Zayzay and Supt. Buway had planned to disrupt the process, if the superintendent were denied participation.
Buway allegedly ordered the county administrative hall locked to avoid any activity from going on there on Saturday, the day the delegates started to arrive in Kakata.
On the main day of the primary following reading of rules governing the process, Rep. Zayzay and Supt. Buway walked out of the hall angrily, causing their supporters to follow.
The lights and air conditioner in the hall immediately went off.
However, they allegedly told their supporters to return and disrupt the process.
Within few minutes, according to our reporter, who was on the scene, the entire hall turned disruptive and the process subsequently came to a standstill as fighting erupted, but Margibi County Chief Superintendent of Police William Johnson led several of his officers to calm the situation.
Despite the contention, the primary finally proceeded and delegates elected new corps of leadership that was inducted in office immediately by National Chairman Wilmot Paye.
By Ramsey N. Singbeh, in Margibi-Editing by Jonathan Browne