By Lincoln G. Peters
Vision for Liberia Transformation Party (VOLT) standard bearer Dr. Jeremiah Z. Whapoe was reportedly prevented from participating in the Unity Party retreat in Tubmanburg, Bomi County.
Dr. Whapoe was reportedly invited by President-elect Joseph Nyumah Boakai to participate in the UP retreat at his residence in Bomi County.
However, it is reported that the VOLT political leader was prevented by some party executives who claimed he had gone there to take their jobs.
The NewDawn Newspaper has been informed that UP Secretary General Amos Tweh, Madam MacDella Cooper, and other party executives were allegedly the key individuals who opposed Whapoe’s participation during the retreat.
Madam Cooper heads the Movement for One Liberia (MOL) political party and is a staunch supporter of Amb. Boakai. She is also an executive of the combined opposition political parties known as the UP Alliance that backed UP’s 2023 presidential bid.
Our investigative team understands that the majority of the UL Alliance executives allegedly demanded that Dr. Whapoe leave the hall because they didn’t get the support they needed from him during the election.
Before Boakai picked his running mate, Whapoe was one of the opposition leaders close to the Unity Party leader. Whapoe contested in the 10 October 2023 presidential election, but he declared his support for Boakai on 12 November 2023 for the 14 November run-off.
Following Boakai’s victory, the leadership of the Unity Party Alliance suspended the membership of Dr. Whapoe’s VOLT party due to some issues the party had with the UP.
According to the UP Alliance, it had an encounter with some members of the UP concerning VOLT which seemed to have been very serious and it demanded an urgent response from the leadership of the Alliance.
This paper is not aware if those issues have not been cleared.
In a telephone interview with this paper on Wednesday, 17 January 2024, UP Secretary General Amos Tweh said at no point in time was Dr. Whapoe prevented from entering the retreat hall.
Mr. Tweh also denied referring to Dr. Whapoe as an individual who has come to take their jobs, stating that he was invited by the Standard Bearer to have a private conversation.
“That is not to my knowledge that Whapoe was thrown out of the retreat because he came to take our jobs. I saw Whapoe and I know he had a discussion with the standard bearer. He went to visit the President-elect and they had a fruitful conversation,” said Mr. Tweh.
“The standard bearer is the one who invited people. Mr. Whapoe went there and had a great conversation with the standard bearer.”
“I don’t know which one you call thrown out. So, Maybe the standard bearer invited him for a private conversation. Others went there not for the retreat, but private conversation,” he concluded.
Some two Fridays ago, Dr. Whapoe was invited by President-elect Boakai for the UP retreat in Tubmanburg, Bomi County.
During the early morning, everybody converged at the retreat but, Dr. Whapoe was informed by Amb. Boakai that he didn’t need a pass because was invited.
Our investigation established that after having breakfast, Dr. Whapoe was prevented from entering the palava hut where the retreat was held.
At the breakfast table, he had a conversation with the President-elect, but later some unusual movements and derogatory statements allegedly came from some key individuals in the UP.
This paper is informed that Madam MacDella Cooper, Amos Tweh, and others were allegedly heard saying, “Whapoe is coming to take their jobs, some of us don’t have jobs and you coming to take our jobs.”
It is alleged that in the gathering there were comments that the UP Alliance didn’t get the support needed from Whapoe, therefore, he can’t sit for the meeting.
Dr. Whapoe was told by Amb. Boakai to wait in the house. After the meeting, our investigation gathers that Amb. Boakai came and discussed with Dr. Whapoe.
The President-elect is said to have told Whapoe that their friendship continues but stated clearly to him that the people don’t want him in their government.
When contacted over the development, Whapoe said he and Amb. Boakai are still good friends.
“We are good friends, Amb. Boakai and I. We exchanged text messages still. It’s true I was in Bomi but that is just what I can speak to,” he concluded.