The former chairman of the beleaguered ruling Unity Party or UP, now Senator Varney Sherman appears to be running away from his own shadow days after he branded President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, his party sitting president as being ungrateful. Sherman who is currently smarting under a USD950, 000 alleged bribery scandal told local journalists at the Capitol Building last week that Mrs. Sirleaf is ungrateful and that she has paid him evil for good.
Sherman in further venting his anger at Mrs. Sirleaf told reporters that Vice President Joseph Boakai doesn’t need her support to win the 2017 presidential race. Of course, it is left with the conscience of Mr. Boakai to distance himself from Sherman’s rant against the president.
But on Tuesday fearing the damage he may have done to the Baokai campaign and how his public displayed of anger against the President has confirmed report of a big divide within the ruling establishment-something that is gradually robbing Boakai of his presidential dream, surrogates of the troubled Sherman on Tuesday issued a poorly written press release suggesting a smear campaign against their man for his utterances against madam President.
The release suggests that the reason for the smear campaign against bitter Sherman was simply because he had gone out to campaign for poor Joe Baokai.
“It was also disclosed that this latest development seems to be planned by some members of the executive branch of government, making reference of his recent political speech made to partisans of the ruling Unity Party at the Buzzi Quarter Community in Monrovia, where he called on them to support the presidential bid of the Vice President,” the Sherman release said.
“…this campaign which is being funded by critics of the Senator is also aimed are (sic)weaken his quest for the effort being applied to making sure that the presidential bid of VP Boakai remains unsuccessful, and to bring him to public ridicule,” the release continued.
Now, the Sherman media team which issued this poorly written release further went on to say “The investigation also revealed that a source closed to the Unity Party further disclosed that the objective of this smear campaign against Senator Sherman which is said to be originating from the executive is aimed at tarnishing his reputation with the sole objective of publicly damaging his political career in these electoral periods.”
Both Sherman and Sirleaf were bitter rivals during the 2005 elections, which the latter won ushering in her first term. The both statesman and stateswoman later combined forces in 2011 as Mrs. Sirleaf defeated former UN official Winston Tubman in a race that was climaxed by violent demonstration in 2011.
The Congress for Democratic Change or CDC even though announced its withdrawal from the run-off of that election; its candidates were still on the ballot.
Deterioration in relations between the two came to public notice when Sherman delivered the 2012 Independence Day oration in Tubmanburg, Bomi County, accusing his own leadership of departing from the cord version.
Addressing legislative reporters at his Capitol Building Office in Monrovia on Tuesday, 19 August Senator Sherman, narrated in frustration that following the 2005 General and Presidential elections, which they both contested as presidential candidates, President Sirleaf approached him and the Liberia Action Party (LAP) that he led as standard bearer, for a merger, which he wholeheartedly accepted, despite refusal by some powerful stalwarts of his party.
The Liberian corporate lawyer continues that he consented with the understanding that the deal was in the best of the country.
Senator Sherman notes that in its final report and recommendations, the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommended that Madam Sirleaf should be barred from active politics, but he challenged the recommendation before the Supreme Court free of charge, adding that when Liberians rejected four proportions for national referendum, including tenure for presidency, he also took the matter before the Supreme Court and won the case to declare winner for legislative seat on the basis of simple majority.
According to him, President Sirleaf did not give him a dime for those legal services, but he did so purely on the basis of building cordial relationship with the President indirectly for the betterment of the Unity Party. During his entire tenure as chairman for the ruling party, relations with the then standard bearer, was rough.
Sherman further explains that when the merger deal was concluded with the Liberia Action Party, Liberia Unification Party and the Unity Party, which led to the second term victory of President Sirleaf, he raised millions of United States dollars to fund the President’s campaign activities.
However, he notes that the only award the President gave him was to indict him falsely on the Global Witness report, thereby derailing his hard earned characters built over the years.
According to him, he deserves better from the presidency than using a “British boy” to disdain his image in the name of politics or fighting corruption.
Sherman, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, further laments that during the 2014 special senatorial election, President Sirleaf refused to support his bid for the senate despite his lobbying powers that he brought on the table of the Unity Party. He claims that he won 60 percent of the total votes cast without any support from her.
He argues that the reported changed of concession law, for which he is on trial, was done with the involvement of the European Union, the United States Agency for International Development or USAID, and other international groups.
By Othello B. Garblah