The National Chairman of the opposition Liberty Party, Lofa County Senator Steve Zargo says he will not be contesting the position of National Chairman neither will he be attending the Special National Convention of the party to held from January 22nd to 24th 2021, in Gbarnga, Bong County, slated to review its Constitution and elect a new corps of officials.
Chairman Zargo in a Press Statement, dated January 20, 2021, provided Biblical analogies supporting his intent to step aside, especially referencing the Book of Ecclesiastes and the story of King Solomon who made the wise decision with the two women that claimed ownership of a child.
Quoting Ecclesiastes 3:1, Senator Zargo said: “to everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”
“Like one of two woman who had to face King Solomon when a decision to cut a contested baby into two, it is my opinion and hope that my volunteer action will provide a smooth landing for Liberty Party, as it goes to a Special National Convention!!” Senator Zargo stated.
Continuing, Senator Zargo also referenced Greek philosopher Socrates in justifying his decision not to contest the National Chairman position ahead of the Special National Convention.
Senator Zargo’s decision comes against the background of news that businessman Musa Hassan Bility is gunning for the National Chairman position, having rallied the support of all Liberty Party 15 County Chairpersons and county secretaries, thereby placing him in control of 36 plus votes ahead of the convention.
Going down memory lane
Recalling his myriad contributions to the Liberty Party over the years, Senator Zargo expressed gratitude to the party’s vision bearer, founder and key financier, the late Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine, who transformed the LP from a perceived localized Grand Bassa County party to a political behemoth that has contributed immensely to the grooming of men and women with exemplary integrity over the years.
“It is with deep sense of honor that I express gratitude to the Almighty God for his manifold blessings and his ever-present Grace that made it possible for me to ascend to the position of National Chairman of Liberty Party, an institution of enviable standing in the body politics of our Country. I cannot find an easy source of strength to reflect on the Late Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine, who saw in me the potential to provide, in concert with like minds, Leadership for our noble institution the Liberty Party,” Senator Zargo recalled.
Reminiscing about how he ascended the LP National Chairmanship position following the devastating results of the 2017 presidential and general elections, Senator Steven Zargo spoke of the turmoil that the party endured which called for a radical shift not only in policy but in leadership structure.
“Exactly two years and nine months ago, partisans and supporters of this Liberty party assembled in the City of Voinjama, Lofa County, at an Executive Council Sitting to elect new corps of officers who would lead Liberty Party through the turbulent seas of despair, after a controversial national election, and certainly, in the aftermath of our unsuccessful drive to overturn the results of the 2017 Elections through court actions. I recall those were very trying time for LP. Enough of resources had been expended, both on the case and the campaign, by Cllr, Brumskine and others. Our drive to put in place a new leadership at a Council Sitting was greeted with uncertainty.
“Our founding father had used so much of his personal resources. For ease of access to delegates coming from across the Country, and for the purpose of minimizing cost, he bought into idea of holding the Council Sitting in the City of Gbarnga, Bong County. As a Genius of LP foundation, he rationalized that despite the very low support of our beloved Party to the Lofa County Campaign Team during the 2017 Presidential Election; despite the fact that the Leadership of LP in Lofa had earlier approached Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine to consider one of us to chair the National Leadership of Liberty Party to strengthen our argument for the people of Lofa to Vote for Liberty Party and by extension Cllr. Charles Walker. Brumskine over Amb. Joseph Nyumah Boakai of Unity Party.
“That despite the general feeling in the LP then was that the Lofa Leadership (Dr. Samuel Ngaima, Momo Saifa.Kpoto, Jaygbeh Kollie, Augustine Forkpa Zaizay and the late Eugene Fallah Kparkar and I, among others), would not support and campaign for LP in Lofa – the result showed the contrary as compared to Counties that were fully supported.
“Cllr. Brumskine was prepared to support a Candidate for Liberty Party Leadership from Lofa this time around. I was honored to have won his confidence. Hence, we proceeded to Voinjama where the Council Sitting was held from April 23 – 24, 2018,” Senator Zarbo recalled, as he recounted his myriad achievements over the years that he served as Liberty Party’s National Chairman. (See Press Statement for full text)
SG Jacob Smith Says Won’t Contest
Meanwhile, the longest-serving Secretary General of the Liberty Party, Jacob Smith, has reiterated his declaration that he will not be contesting his post at the Special National Convention in Gbarnga.
“Liberty Party goes to a Special National Convention today, Friday, January 22, 2021 to elect its national leaders and as well adopt proposed amendatory language to the party’s Constitution. Consistent with my declaration two years ago, I shall not seek reelection to the position of National Secretary General (having served as Assistant SG for Press and Public Affairs before becoming SG), neither shall I stand for any position on the Executive Committee for now,” Mr. Smith posted on his facebook page day.
Attributing his reason for stepping aside as “personal”, outgoing SG Smith said he made the decision following consultations with family members, friends and political allies.
“It is the honorable thing to do, here and now. I believe I have paid my fair due. Seventeen years standing in the gap to preserve the institution when others were not around, must mean something. It’s time for retrospection and introspection.
Despite his stepping aside, Mr. Smith has however thrown his weight behind Atty. Kla Edward Toomey who will be vying for the Secretary General position along with LP stalwart Martin Saye Kollah.
“Two distinguished partisans, Kla Edward Toomey and Martin Saye Kollah, have expressed their desire to succeed me. These are two young men with whom I have shared separate professional experience, and I’m convinced that the complementarity of their expertise will propel LP in a positive direction. I do hold a personal bias, however, in the direction of Kla Toomey by virtue of the years he spent with me within the Secretariat. Martin’s planning skills would better position him for the post of Vice Chair for Policy and Planning. I’m on record for saying this to the two gentlemen,” Mr. Smith further disclosed.