Ahead of the 2017 Presidential and General Elections here, there are reports that the public declaration and subsequent certification of businessman-turned presidential hopeful Benoni Urey, is leaving George Weah’s Congress for Democratic Change or CDC uncomfortable with fear that Urey’s All Liberians Party could neutralize CDCians.
The ALP is attracting young people across the country, particularly in Montserrado County where the CDC has held a strong grip during the last two Presidential elections as demonstrated by the huge turnout of young people at its recent certification and refreshment program in Monrovia.
Whether the turnout by predominantly youths was due to the sumptuous food served at the ALP headquarters on the Old Road, which was characterized by scuffle or a genuine support for the party is not clear. What seems apparent, nevertheless, is while CDC political leader George Weah is currently enjoying nine years of employment at the Liberian Senate, Urey and his All Liberians Party are exploring every opportunity to win the attention of the young people, who gave birth to the CDC and place their hope in Weah.
Speaking to this paper Tuesday this week at the ALP headquarters on the Old Road in Monrovia, National Chairman Emmanuel Lomax, said the party is not worrying only the CDC or Weah, but all political parties and individuals aspiring for the Presidency.
According to him, the ALP is now engaged in a loan scheme, creating direct empowerment for its business-orientated partisans, adding that secondly, young people who saw Weah as the only source of redemption for their political and socio-economic status, now have Urey as the best option.
Lomax continued that Urey has qualities of an ordinary Liberian as a man, who understands the plight of the people. He said currently, the ALP is in Grand Gedeh County, recruiting about 300,000 partisans, while Mrs. Mai Urey, wife of its political leader, isLofa County, using the humanitarian arm of the party to reach out to the citizenry.
The ALP chair added that the party is also in discussions with other political leaders and political institutions for reduction of the proliferation of registered political parties in the country, saying, if all goes well, the opposition bloc may not feature more than five political parties in the 2017 race.
Lomax, like Urey, is formerly of ex-President Charles Ghankay Taylor’s former ruling National Patriotic Party, NPP. He admitted that the ALP shares a lot in terms of its policy and platform with the NPP and other parties here, but it strongly believes in action and engagement with the people.
But the CDC has swiftly reacted to what it considers mere bluff from the ALP, stressing that it would not waste precious time to respond to a political party that is barely a week old. The All Liberians Party was certificated by the National Elections Commission in late July.
National Secretary General JangaKowo, said the actual numerical strength of any political party is known at the ballot box and not in the media, calling on the ALP to wake up from its dream land. Kowo said the ALP first attempt with the Liberia people thru its so-called loan scheme led it to scandal and Lomax should rather be thinking of designing new strategies to clear the party’s integrity, if it ever had any than measuring arm with the CDC that had participated in two presidential elections and consistently maintained its popularity.
According to him, CDC is the only political party in the country that had maintained its tolerance and popularity’ despite being suppressed by the ruling Unity Party. Kowo indicated that Lomax should now be concentrating on seeking the face of the Liberian people in an apologia manner and forgiveness from God Almighty for alleged economic crimes committed by its political leader, Benoni Urey during the Taylor regime.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor -Edited by Jonathan Browne