One may say the opposition collaboration has gained sufficient formidable muscles to outweigh the popularity of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) judging from the launches of the campaigns of candidates of the opposition bloc. Since the 2017 presidential and legislative elections, the four main opposition political parties including the Unity Party (UP), the Liberty Party (LP), the Alternative National Congress (ANC), and the All-Liberian Party (ALP) signed a pact of collaboration, as a result of which they jointly support the decisions of Telia Urey from the ALP and Abraham Darius Dillon from the Liberty Part to contest the seats made vacant by the deaths of Senator Geraldine Doe Sheriff and Montserrado County District #15 Representative Adolph Lawrence. Accordingly Senatorial Candidate Dillion over the weekend launched his campaign at the Unity Party Headquarters which was jubilantly attended by multitudes from member-institutions of the opposition collaboration. Overwhelmed with the mammoth turnout, speakers at the occasion questioned the CDC’s claim to political ownership of Montserrado County as professed by the ruling party’s political Leader President George Weah. The president recently addressed a CDC campaign rally when he said Montserrado County is their stronghold in which the ruling cannot be defeated. But With the present trend of politics, especially the governance process punctuated by a dismal economic performance and appalling hardship, the pendulum of popularity clock is seeming ticking towards the opposition bloc. This has overwhelmed speakers at Dillon’s launching last Saturday and they said that “CDC has no deed for Montserrado County” and vowed to win the by-elections; The ANALYST reports.
The launching started with a grand parade by the opposition bloc through the Tubman Boulevard to the Unity Party Headquarters where the launching was held amidst battle cries, music and dances that added flavor to the event. The master of ceremony recognized and invited to the podium one after the other the leaders of the opposition bloc and other invited guests. The ALP Chairman Theodore Momo first took the podium followed with an introductory remark; followed by ALP Standard Bearer and the Collaborating Parties’ Chairman Benoni Urey, the National Patriotic Party’s Sando Johnson after whom tough-talking Representative Yekeh Kolubah took the podium as famous talk-show host and political commentator Henry Costa took the microphone from Kolubah for his comments before Unity Party Chairman Wilmot Paye could present Senatorial Candidate Darius Dillon and District #15 candidate Telia Urey the electorates.
At the end of the critical speeches, the Monsterrado Senatorial Candidate Abe Darius Dillon took the Podium, begging the masses of the people to please cease the battle cries so the message will go through. He started with recognition and appreciation of the Chairman of the four collaborating opposition parties, Mr. Benoni Urey and paid special tribute to the political leader of the Liberty Party, Nyonblee Karnga Lawrence who, Dillon said, even though in her grief would have loved to be part of the launching but was out of the country.
“The Liberty party full supports our candidature – Telia Urey and Darius Dillon.” Dillon further recognized that Telia is the best person to replace the late Adolph Lawrence in District #15 and the late Adolph Lawrence started a fight, and even in his death, he left instruction. When fighter for social justice died, the fight should not die. And then there is no better replacement for the late Adolph Lawrence than Telia Urey.
Changing campaign methods
The Senatorial candidate told his campaign team and the throng of supporters that his campaign operation has demonstrated change in campaign mentality whereby candidates lavished money and rice to buy the votes of the electorates, which at the end does not make the candidate obligated and committed to the welfare of the people. He added that one should talk about agent of change, his campaign message that demonstrates change.
Dillon said he is changing the voting mentality and exclaimed, “I am changing the voting mentality of the people making them to know that, “your vote is your voice, and not the money that the people who want your vote give you. I want to owe you commitment when I am elected, that is why I am not giving you money and rice,” he said.
He then pledged his commitment to the people for the support he has been receiving, citing the donation of US$200 he received for one old lady who was in a wheel chair. “I want your vote so that I will go in there at the Legislature to join Yekeh Kolubah, Steve Zargo, Nyonblee Kaaaarnga, Sando Johnson and all of the few good guys in the Legislature to fight for you. My message has resonated. The only way the other people will win us is unless you did not vote for us,” he said.
Responding to George Weah
Montserrado County Senatorial Candidate did not only make commitment to seek the welfare of the people through policy formulation, Dillon further committed himself to fighting so as to teach George Weah and his people the difference between “Change for hope” and “hope for change”.
“The people told you that Darius Dillion is nothing. But because of Darius Dillon and this “little girl” Telia Urey, Liberia did not have president for four hours when the president suspended himself from being President saying he want to make palava with us. And since Weah said he wants to make palava, myself I am prepare to return the palava,” Dillon noted.
Responding to assertions by the CDC’s George Weah that Telia Urey and Darius Dillon cannot win election as long as he is President, Dillon said the only way they cannot win these elections is unless George Weah is God; and for the fact that he is not God, the opposition will win, adding, “The man is crying like baby.”
Hear Mr. Dillon: “George Weah asked the people: Don’t vote for Telia Urey because Mr. Urey, Telia’s father is a thief and because her pa is “a killer” and because ‘Dillion does not have university degree.’ But who is supposed to be thief here and who is supposed to prosecute thief? What he is waiting for to establish the war crime court? Benoni Urey says he wants War Crime Court; why is George Weah running away from it?”
The Senatorial candidate also quoted President Weah as saying that Yekeh Kolubah developed wrong attitude from the war, questioning the CDC icon, “But when George Weah is somewhere, you see Prince Johnson near him.”
He said that President George Weah told his people that they should not vote for Darius Dillon because he does not have college degree, which Dillon notes is a truth. “Yes George Weah is right. I don’t have a college degree. But George Weah is limited when he restricts education to the acquisition of college degree.”
While Dillon said education is good and should be encourage, Dillon not withstanding said when the president who is holding a master degree limits education only to acquisition of college degree, then he does not know what education is because he is not educated. The Senatorial candidate defined education for George Weah and CDCians as the acquisition of skills which he pointed out can be acquired formally and informally, none of which he said President George Weah has.
“Let me tell you, that the man is a contradiction. He said don’t vote Darius Dillon because he does not have college degree; but he is the same man that appointed Jefferson Koijee as City Mayor. He said don’t vote Darius Dillon because he does not have college degree, but he is the same man who makes Mulbah Morlu chairman of their party; Weah said don’t vote Darius Dillon because he does not have college degree but the same Weah but this is the same Weah who told CDCians to vote Saah Joseph with no credentials,” Dillon reacted.
Candidate Dillon further reacted to President Weah’s call that electorates should not be vote Darius Dillon because he does not have college degree, saying that this same Weah appointed Arwen Wesseh and Mamacee Kabbah in his government without degrees, stating the CDC political leader and President is a complete contradiction of himself.
“But I want to put George Weah with his college paper to test. To meet me at his CDC Compound where he will feel comfortable, give him a desk and give me desk, and let use write a letter of application –NO SPYING- then we will know between us who is educated.” Mr. Dillon said
Dillon pointed out that the National Election Commission told them that they will have meeting with contestants on Wednesday to disclose the date of polling, saying that any time they do their internal polling and George Weah’s friend did not come closer to him and Telia, they can postpone the election.
Dillon said he is asking for the votes of the electorates to the Senate for three reasons including ensuring cutting down of huge salaries paid to public officials including legislative, executive and judicial officials saying, “If we don’t win this election, consider UP dead, Liberty finished, ANC going nowhere, ALP will not even kick the engine.”
His mission to the Senate, he pointed out is to further influencing policies towards training the less fortunate brothers otherwise referred to as Zogoes to make them productive citizens; and thirdly to add to the few good legislators to enforce the check and balance role of the Legislature.
For her part, District #15 Representative Candidate Telia Urey lamented the suffering experience by the people of Liberia, and noted that that she and Dillon entered the race to give hope to the future of the country.
“It’s no secret that we are suffering in this country. Poverty, hunger, lack of good education, lack of good healthcare, unemployment are the vices that we’re suffering. So this election is not about Telia Urey, it’s not about Darius Dillon. It’s about each and every one of us that are gathered here today,” she said.
She maintained that the people need real representations. “We need people who will stand up. We need people who will fight for us to make sure we get all the necessary things that will make the lives of our people better, not only those in District #15 and Montserrado Country but for the entire citizenry of Liberia.
She said contrary to statements by President Weah that the opposition team will not win, she noted that they will win because they are not losers.
“The real losers are those, who are elected and cannot deliver on the service of the people, adding “This election is not girlfriend business, it is not about corruption business. We need the real people that will make our lives better,” she concluded.