Former President Charles Taylor may be far away from Liberia, incarcerated in England for “aiding and abetting” ex-RUF rebels in Sierra Leone, but there are indications here that the man, who held Liberia and West Africa breathless for nearly 10 years with his own NPFL rebels, still wields influence on politics in the country. Mr. Taylor is currently serving a 50 years sentence in a London prison.
But the National Chairman of Mr. Taylor’s former ruling National Patriotic Party or NPP, Cllr. Theophilius C. Gould, has warned partisans and Liberians in general to stop mentioning the former first partisan in the current domestic politics.
“It is unfair to our founder and former first partisan for stalwarts of the NPP and Liberians to still use his name in domestic politics”, Cllr. Gould said here, and added, “Our former President played his role in the Liberian politics and left the scene; it makes no sense for our party’s executives to say, Mr. Taylor said, ‘I should vote for this person and that person. That is totally wrong!”
Speaking at a recent honoring ceremony held for the newly elected President Pro-Tempore of the Liberian Senate, Armah Jallah, at the party’s headquarters in Cong Town, suburb of Monrovia, Chairman Gould said such comment, linking Taylor to the day to day politics in Liberia is unfair and it does more harm to his (Taylor’s) name by linking him to the politics of the State.
During election for the Senate President Pro-Tempore post in 2012 between Bong County Senator Jewel Howard Taylor and former Grand Bassa County Senate Gbehnzohngar Milton Findley, the Bong County Chairman for the NPP, Marvin Cole, revealed at the Capitol Building that before the ballots were cast in the Senate, Bomi County Senator Sando Johnson, publicly announced that he had received instructions from Mr. Taylor not to vote for Senator Taylor because she was the first person from the opposition to have congratulated President Sirleaf on her re-election.
Mr. Cole quoted Sen. Johnson as saying that Taylor pointed out that Jewel’s action put the lives of thousands of Liberian youths, who protested the results of the presidential election at risk, and that her decision did not represent the interest of the NPP.
Chairman Gould further maintained that it’s quite unfortunate that executive members of the party, who other partisans look to for direction, to have used Taylor’s name in such negative form, which he described as unhealthy for the former first partisan and the NPP family.
He noted that one major challenge of the NPP currently is the fight within, adding that during the 2012 Pro-Tempore election, it was a partisan of the NPP, who turned the poll in favour of Findley, and the recently held election in the Senate, another NPP partisan bitterly fought against the election of Senator Armah Jallah, who is also from the party.
Also, the Senior Pastor of the Restoration Baptist Church, Rev. Joseph Gardea Johnson, said that the action of Senator Johnson brought the final nail on Mr. Taylor’s political coffin. According to the Liberian prelate, one of the cardinal reasons of taking the trial of Taylor to the Netherlands was because of influence in the local politics here.
Interestingly, Rev. Johnson noted, for the spokesman of the Taylor Family, few days to the final ruling to have made such revelation about his boss, was a direction confirmation of speculations at the time in the international community.
He warned that in order for the NPP to take the Presidency again, it should now start to re-examine the framework of Mr. Taylor and the intellectual dream of the party.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor