Counselor Charles Walker Brumskine’s tribal campaign strategy has received sharp slap in the face from Presidential hopeful Benoni Urey, who describes such strategy as divisive.
The National Elections Commission (NEC) last month released the Provisional List of 10 candidates for the Rivercess County Electoral District # 2 Representative By-Election, scheduled for 21 April.
On a campaign trail recently in Cestos, Rivercess County to sell Liberty Party’s candidate in the upcoming by-election for a vacant representative seat in the county, Cllr. Brumskine in an apparent tribal sentiment said, it was time for the Bassa people to produce a President for Liberia.
Brumskine mounted the stage in Cestos not to campaign for the Liberty Party man he has taken there, but to preach tribal politics, telling the people of Rivercess that the Bassa people were tired of making other people President, and it is time that they elect one of their own (Brumskine) to the Presidency.
But the people of Rivercess had not digested his call for tribal politics when new comer Presidential hopeful Mr. Benoni Urey, formerly of the Taylor’s regime, drove into Buchanan City, Grand Bassa County and addressed a Church congregation, telling them to abandon deceit and hypocrisy and demonstrate true love by liking a person not on the basis of tribe, but character.
Mr. Urey is one of those ex-officials, whose names had been on UN travel restriction since former President Charles Taylor was handed over to the UN-backed Special Court of Sierra Leone, which tried and convicted him of adding and abetting RUF rebels to carry out mayhem and abuse.
However, the UN Sanction committee lifted the ban some two years ago and Urey is now a free man.
Cllr. Brumskine, a two times defeated Presidential candidate, had similarly used tribal sentiment both in 2005 and 2011 respectively to seek votes from his kinsmen, but that did not work as he miserably lost the poll in 2011, trading behind Senator Prince Yormie Johnson of Nimba County, who came third in the first round of the election, and automatically became a kingmaker in determining who got elected in the runoff poll between President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Cllr. Winston A. Tubman of the Congress for Democratic Change.
Both men worked in the regime of former President Taylor – Brumskine as Senate President Pro-Tempore and Urey as head of the then Bureau of Maritime Affairs. But Brumskine fell out with Mr. Taylor and subsequently escaped the country, citing fear for his life for disagreeing with Taylor.
He return to Liberia after Taylor had relinquished power and became hero over night, which perhaps propelled him to eye the Presidency since.
Critics have described Cllr. Brumskine’s comments in Rivercess as shooting himself in the leg with a 45 Magnus as tribal politics could become counterproductive to his Presidential dream.
By Jonathan Browne