The political maxim, “he who comes with equity must come with clean hands’, appears to be starring in the face of the opposition All Liberia Party headed by former stalwart of the former ruling National Patriotic Party, Benoni Urey. Mr. Urey and his ALP are part of the country’s major opposition bloc, the Collaborating Political Party (CPP). Towards the pending crucial midterm senatorial elections, the CPP is strategizing perhaps consistent with the charter of the coalition to position aspirants and amalgamate resources for possible victories against a very formidable ruling party. But it seems internal circumstances and practices within the ALP are not all conductive for transparent participation and mutual respect, and some of its key members are crying foul. Some are charging the leader of the party, Mr. Urey, with nepotism—contending that he has turned the party into a family club, as The Analyst’s reports.
A constituent party of Collaborating Political Party (CPP), the country’s biggest opposition group, is once again in the news—not for any good purpose. Recently, it was reported that the founding head of the party, the All Liberia Party, Mr. Benoni Urey, was flirting with his longtime friend, President George Weah and his Coalition for Democratic Change.
This time, Mr. Urey is facing stiff opposition from within his party, as some stalwarts say he is making all key decisions along with his family members, principally is daughter, Ms Telia Urey, while the rest of the membership looks on and are treated as strangers.
It can be recalled Urey, Chair of the CPP, during last year’s by-elections, was again accused of putting Telia forward as a candidate for the coalition in unorthodox ways that did not go well with other members of both his party and the CPP.
Multiple sources told The Analyst the ALP leader, without consultation with other stakeholders of the party, has once again seconded his daughter, Telia, to the CPP’s National Advisory Committee, from the National Executive Committee, a committee he had decried as inactive in the past.
“How can a political party that claims ruling rights in the future behave in such a way,” said a partisan of ALP who referred not to be named in print as yet. “Are we running a family club or a political party? Nepotism in this party is so glaring and pervasive that no one else, other than Ureys and their extended family members, has a say here.”
The Ureys’ family-friend, Sando Johnson, just ran away from the National Patriotic Party to join the ALP in his desperation to cling to the senatorial post of Bomi County.
“All that is the decision of the Ureys and their kin and kith,” said an ALP source. “You don’t run political institutions like that. We are losing respect because of the nepotistic way in which the Political Leader has turned our party. A revolt is imminent if he’s not careful.”
According to ALP sources, Mr. Urey appointed his daughter to the NAC after she complained that the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the CPP which she was previously appointed to, wasn’t active. They added that the NAC membership includes the 4 Political Leaders, the 4 Party Chairmen, the 4 heads of the Legislative Caucuses and a female Representative each.
“At one point, the executive of the ALP initially appointed part stalwart Mrs. Belle Roberts to the NAC and Telia Urey to the National Executive Council (NEC) of the CPP,” one of the aggrieved sources hinted. “But Mr. Urey and family later decided to monopolize the affairs of the party, thereby replacing Mrs. Roberts with Telia on the NAC, while Mrs. Roberts has now been seconded to the NEC to represent the ALP.”
“Is this how we will take state power in this country?” bemoaned another sources. “And the Ureys are not even blinding anyone of their endemic nepotism they are practicing, and despite complaints from us, the CPP is going ahead ignoring us as if they have endorsed Urey’s attitudes.”
The sources told The Analyst that the Ureys control the party because while the father is the Political Leader and serves on the NAC, the daughter whom he also appointed as Vice Chair of the Party for Political Affairs is placed on the same Advisory Committee.
“This is outright nepotism, and we are tire with it,” another source contends. “More vexing is the fact that all these decisions are made without an open discussion involving the participation of other party executives. Indeed, ALP is a family club and not a political party anymore. This is regrettable.”
Our reporters made efforts to get Mr. Urey’s side of the story but to no avail.