By Lincoln G. Peters
Ruling United Party (UP) chairman Rev. Luther Tarpeh has questioned unnamed ‘hijackers’ of UP’s revolution, asking where they were when his partisans walked through feces water to make Amb. Joseph Nyumah Boakai president.
“Let me say this, no man born of a woman will hijack this revolution. Where were they when we were campaigning and walking in the pupu water? Where were they when were insulted and attacked?” he noted.
On Friday, 2 February 2024, the UP chairman spoke out against the disappointments faced by numerous partisans of UP and its alliance parties in President Boakai’s appointment of officials.
They claimed that their leaders were not being considered by President Boakai in appointing officials to run his government.
The protesting partisans of the ruling party said they stood in the struggle for Boakai’s presidency but find themselves unemployed.
The UP and alliance parties’ partisans stormed Chairman Tarpeh’s residence in Paynesville on Friday, 2 February to express their disenchantment.
With the support of multiple opposition political parties, Unity Party won the presidential run-off election held on 14 November 2023, ending former President George Manneh Weah’s six-year rule.
But President Boakai’s appointment of officials has been the subject of discussions as some begin to wonder why the names of qualified people who backed his presidential bid are yet to surface in his government.
There have been claims that President Boakai is allegedly favoring individuals from abroad over dedicated home-based UP leaders who actively campaigned for him during the past election.
This is said to have led to protests organized by partisans outside the President’s residence in Rehab, Paynesville.
Thousands of youths backed by other high-profile officials of the UP besieged the home of Amb. Boakai in demand of jobs and inclusion of people they believe stood the test of time and campaigned for the party.
The protests shed light on the growing discontent within the UP, with members demanding fair representation in Boakai’s government because they significantly contributed to the party’s success.
As the situation unfolds, President Boakai faces the challenge of addressing these grievances to restore harmony within the UP and mitigate the potential impact on Liberia’s political landscape.
Heads of Motorcycle and Tricycle Unions of Liberia were seen petitioning the UP National Chairman to have their party leaders including him appointed in the Boakai-led Government.
According to the partisans, their concern has been for President Boakai to appoint UP and other political leaders like the UP National Chairman who they think is more than qualified and with a huge following.
Meanwhile, Chairman Tarpeh has denied any role in orchestrating the protests. However, he emphasized that he carries the burden of the partisans who feel overlooked.
“People think I’m the one coercing the partisans to carry out protests, but I am not. However, I’m the one carrying the party’s (UP) burdens,” he stated.
Chairman Tarpeh told the aggrieved partisans that they had the right to protest and express their concern to their leader.
“You have your right to express your disappointments but do it in an orderly manner. Don’t worry about me, I’m okay,” Rev. Tarpeh told partisans who were protesting at the President’s residence.
“All of us paid the price for Joseph Boakai to become President. Some of you took up the challenge during the campaign, some of you were threatened. We’ll want him to succeed, it’s too early; I know how you feel and it’s your right to go to him to tell him how you feel,” he continued.
“Let it be known that the main bosses are the people and once the people are not happy the leader will not go well. We made the President and he’ll listen to us,” said Rev. Tarpeh.
He assured partisans that no man born of a woman will hijack the revolution because the UP will not allow that.
The UP chair who also lost his house to a fire disaster during the past election period cautioned his partisans who were dominated by motorcyclists, to remain calm as it is very early for protests and complaints.
Chairman Tarpeh then donated forty 25kg bags of rice and LRD 120,000.00 to the UP supporters to take care of themselves in the meantime.