The ongoing rift within the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) seems to be getting dismally irreparable as constituent party stalwarts of the CPP have taken off their gloves to go bare knuckles in a brutal war of words that is leaving Liberia’s biggest opposition the worse for wear, and their followers more confused as to how such a divided opposition bloc can convince voters in 2023 to cast their lot with the CPP to deny the George Weah administration from clinching a second term. Smack at the heart of the latest CPP rift is the contention from three constituent members (the Unity Party, the All Liberian Party and the Liberty Party) that the political leader of the Alternative National Congress, Mr. Alexander B. Cummings altered the Framework Document, a claim that has been debunked by the ANC, through its National Secretary General Aloysius Toe, in a fiery press briefing held Monday at the ANC headquarters in Sinkor.
According to the ANC National Secretary General, in recent weeks, the Political Leader of the All Liberian Party (ALP), Benoni Urey, alleged that the Framework Document of the CPP was altered by what Urey called “nefarious” and “fraudulent individuals.”
“But sadly and disappointingly, Urey did not indicate or provide any shred of evidence to substantiate his wild claims and allegations, nor will he ever do so. He did not say exactly what was altered in the Framework Document, nor will he ever do so. He did not say who altered the Framework Document, nor will he ever do so. When Urey made those unfounded claims and wild allegations, he knew they were false and inaccurate. He knew that the Framework Document had not been altered. More importantly, Urey knew he was being disingenuous, in what amounted to a lie. Yet, he made these claims and allegations. As we will explain in detail below, Urey made them because those false allegations foster his selfish political motive and interest. He made them because he was executing a political ploy in a playbook of lies and deception. Urey has one objective: That is, Urey wants to impede the quest of Alexander Cummings for the CPP’s Standard Bearership through dubious means, and he believes he can win by every shortcut method possible. That is what Urey knows best,” ANC SG Toe countered.
Mr. Toe furthered that, far from Mr. Urey’s “devious allegations”, neither Alexander Cummings nor the ANC altered provisions of the Framework Document.
“In fact, no provision of the Framework Agreement was added or removed. There were no such alterations! No part of the Framework Document is altered. Never! These false allegations are hatched by Urey, for the benefit, and to the full knowledge of, a few individuals in the Unity Party (UP), supported by few persons in the Liberty Party (LP), to kill the proverbial dog that must be guilty at all cost, even if the facts prove otherwise.
In presenting his side of what he considered the facts surrounding the Framework Document, Mr, Toe indicated that on May 19, 2020, the Final Framework Document was signed via Zoom due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
“Each Political Leader, Party Chairman and their support staff were at separate locations during the signing and only connected via Zoom. Sen. Lawrence was in Grand Bassa, Amb. Boakai in Paynesville, Mr. Cummings in Sinkor, and Urey was presumably on his farm in Careysburg. Each Political Leader had one original copy of the Framework Document and one signature page to sign on.
“After the signing and publication of the Framework Document, there was massive public backlash on the provision of the Framework Document indicating that employment would only be for known and visible CPP members. This backlash prompted the need for a legal revision of the Framework Document, in order to ensure that it met legal, statutory and constitutional standards. All Political Leaders and party executives agreed that there should be a revision by relatively independent reputable lawyers after the signing. Even Urey recently admitted in an audio clip, that all of the Political Leaders knew about and authorized the revisions by the lawyers,” Mr. Toe asserted, following which he provided an audio clip as Exhibit 1, which he played during the press briefing.
Toe said, the Legal Committee was thus constituted and upon completion of its review submitted to the ANC an amended Framework Document as well as “issues arising from the review.” He said the lawyers made their initial presentation to the Political Leaders on June 19, 2020.
Said Toe: “On June 22, 2020, the then CPP Chair, Mr. Alexander Cummings, submitted the amended Framework Document and the “issues arising from the review”, received from the Legal Committee, to the CPP National Advisory Committee (NAC). In a WhatsApp message to the NAC on June 22, 2020, Mr. Cummings wrote: “Colleagues, here is the document from the lawyers with the key issues they suggest we change in the FA. I’m forwarding the FA for each Party’s EC to review and approve. It is critical that we stick to the timeline agreed for each party to submit their Respective Resolutions. We run the serious risk of not getting the CPP certified in time to register our candidates if do not…proceed” In this same message, Mr. Cummings also sent the agenda for a CPP meeting scheduled for June 23, 2020 to review and approve the revisions. See evidence of Cummings text message in the NAC chat room as Exhibit #2.”
Explaining further, Mr. Toe disclosed that on June 23, 2020, the Legal Committee made a presentation to the NAC at the Headquarters of the Liberty Party. All Political Leaders were present. The Parties reviewed the amended Framework Document from the Legal Committee and approved the amendments as submitted at this meeting. Also, at this meeting, timelines for next steps were also reaffirmed.
“On June 25, 2020, Mr. Cummings sent updates from the June 23rd meeting to all Parties, via WhatsApp, along with a reminder of the agreed timeline for the next steps as follows: Parties’ Review of Legal Draft – Tues June 23 to Saturday June 27, 2020; Submission of Feedback – Sunday June 28, 2020; Compilation of feedback by Legal Team – Monday June 29 – Wed July 1, 2020; Joint Ratification by all parties – Thursday July 2, 2020; and Submission of Resolution ratifying the Framework Document – July 3-5, 2020.”
Toe stated that all Parties submitted their signed and notarized resolutions on July 7, 2020, noting that Unity Party’s resolution has a notarization date of July 6, 2020, while Liberty Party and ALP’s resolutions have a notarization date of July 7, 2020.
“In fact, the Liberty Party Political Leader personally signed and dated hers on July 1, 2020, prior to notarizing their resolution. All parties submitted their resolutions to the ANC Secretary General during the week of July 6, 2020. See the four copies of Parties’ Resolutions, marked in bulk as Exhibit #3,” Toe indicated further.
He narrated further that the UP’s Secretary General, Mr. Mo Ali, was charged with the responsibility of getting the signatures for the Framework Document from all political parties.
“He did so and returned one original signature sheet to the ANC Secretary General, Aloysious Toe, during the week of July 6, 2020, as a copy for the ANC. Some Political Leaders and Party Chairs backdated their signatures on the signature sheet to reflect the date of signing of the original Framework Document, which was May 19. The amended Framework Document, revised by the Legal Committee and approved by all Parties on July 23, along with the ANC original of the signature sheet and the resolutions from all four Parties was notarized and filed at the National Elections Commission on the same day (July 14). See Exhibit #4. CPP was thus certificated,” Mr. Toe averred.
He said, one month later, on August 14, 2020, the CPP’s Certification Program was held, where all political parties were present, including Urey. On the basis of the Legal Committee’s revised Framework Document, notarized and accepted by NEC, the newly-certificated CPP was allowed to field candidates including Senators Abraham Darius Dillon and Nyonblee Karngar-Lawrence.
“Ladies and gentlemen of the press, I want to reiterate that the final Framework Document submitted by the Legal Committee, approved by all members of the CPP, and filed at the National Elections Commission is not altered. All revisions made to the Framework Document signed on May 19 were as a direct result of the review undertaken by the Legal Committee. There were no provisions altered, removed, or added after the final revision by the Legal Committee and approval by all parties. Copies of the Legal Committee final Framework Document and that filed at the National Elections Commission are attached as Exhibits 5 & 6.
“The ANC, upon completion of its 8-month tenure and as part of its turnover notes, submitted a copy of the FD filed at the National Elections Commission to the Liberty Party. The lawyers submitted a copy of their final revised Framework Document to CPP Chair, Sen. Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence of the Liberty, based on her request. The National Elections Commission, also upon request by Sen. Karnga-Lawrence, submitted a copy of the Framework Document it has on file. All anyone has to do, to validate or refute the claims by Urey, is to compare the revised Framework Document submitted by the Legal Committee and approved by all parties, with the Framework Document filed at and provided by the National Elections Commission. You will clearly see that Urey’s allegation is nothing more than cheap propaganda intended to harm and devalue the CPP.
“Again, recently upon request by the four Political Leaders, the ANC submitted copies of the version filed to the NEC and all three political parties signed for their copies of the Framework Document as well as copies of their respective Resolutions. See evidence of Receipt marked in bulk, as Exhibit 7,” Toe indicated forcefully.
Explaining further, the ANC Secretary General stated that for 16 months, the CPP has benefited from what Urey is now calling a fraudulent document.
“Since being certificated, and on the basis of the Framework Document filed at the National Elections Commission, the CPP was allowed to field candidates in several elections and won six senatorial seats, including the 2020 mid-term elections that saw Senators Abraham Darius Dillon and Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence re-elected. Ladies and gentlemen of the press, assuming for a moment for the sake of argument, without admitting, that the document filed with National Elections Commission was altered, as claimed by Urey, this would mean that the very existence and legitimacy of the CPP, and all elected legislators, now hangs in question. Any attempt to invalidate the lawyers’ amended version of the Framework Document, which is currently the version filed at the National Elections Commission, by extension invalidates the CPP certification and invalidates all CPP candidates elected under this Framework Document. So while Urey and his cohorts are seeking to destroy Mr. Cummings, they are also destroying the CPP – the only hope of the Liberian people. And the more we delve into what has unfolded in the last few days, the clearer it becomes that THIS is the actual intent of Urey’s sinister plan.
“What is even more interesting is that while Urey continues to lie and cause trouble in the CPP, nothing is being done to hold him accountable. This is a man who should not even be sitting at any table to discuss Liberia’s future because of his evil past, yet he is being allowed to destroy the CPP. The Unity Party’s Political Leader, Amb. Joseph N. Boakai and Liberty Party’s Political Leader, Sen. Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence both know that Urey lied. Amb. Boakai remains content, and appallingly silent, in the face of evil lies against Mr. Cummings, because it benefits him politically to make it appear as a fight between Cummings and Urey. But we are aware and the evidence is irrefutable that this is Amb. Boakai’s proxy war against Mr. Cummings, being fought by a man with depraved indifference to decency, truth and honesty. Sen. Karnga-Lawrence has compromised her neutrality and independence and, instead, become an underground instigator and co-conspirator in the campaign of lies against Mr. Cummings, leaking internal confidential CPP information and communications to the public, including Costa, to denigrate Cummings, because she is working assiduously hard to become Amb. Boakai’s Vice President. It is a shame that the plot to ruin the CPP happened under her leadership,” Aloysius Toe charged, noting that in furtherance of Urey’s “deadly playbook of cut-throat politics, his avowed loudmouth – ALP’s wayward mercenary and Indian Talk Show Host, Henry Costa (best noted for lying, extortion, blackmailing and psychopathic behavior), went on the rampage and accused Mr. Alexander Cummings of being a fraud, a cheat, and a criminal who fraudulently altered the Framework Document, without any evidence to authentic his usual diabolical lie. And while Costa is spreading his cooked-up lies about Mr. Cummings, Costa has never raised his voice to speak about Urey’s known and documented criminal activities and records. What the leaders of CPP fail to recognize is that this loudmouth boy in Costa has taken money from the ruling establishment to blow up the CPP, an irrefutable point noted by Montserrado District #10 Representative Honorable Yekeh Kolubah.”
“Why is Costa insulting Cummings, when he has never ever raised his mouth to Urey? Costa cooked up lies and said the worst and most nasty things about Mr. Cummings. As bizarre as these characterizations of Mr. Cummings may be, we are forced to wonder, and we ask you ladies and gentlemen of the press and public to join us in a united chorus in wondering: Between Cummings and Urey, as evidenced by their life history and confirmed by records of the United Nations and other international sources, who is best fitted as a fraud, a cheat and an unpardonable criminal? Yet, Costa never has and never will raise his mouth against his ALP puppet master, Urey. Between Cummings and Urey, who has the international press dubbed as merchant of death? Yet, Costa never has and never will raise his mouth against his ALP puppet master, Urey. Between Cummings and Urey, who has the United Nations accused of being an arms dealer to kill women and children, and is a money launderer? Yet, Costa never has and never will raise his mouth against his ALP puppet master, Urey. Between Cummings and Urey, who greased the monstrous killing machine of Charles Taylor? Yet, Costa never has and never will raise his mouth against his ALP puppet master, Urey. Between Cummings and Costa’s ALP puppet master Urey, who did Section 9.9 of the TRC Report accuse of using inhumane tactics and economic crimes to seize upon the chaos and strife in Liberia to gain power and to amass wealth and prolong and exacerbate the conflict? Yet, Costa never has and never will raise his mouth against Urey. Between Cummings and Costa’s ALP puppet master Urey, who did the United Nations and United States impose travel ban and asset freeze on in 2000 for facilitating the arming of rebels from the maritime funds so they could rip pregnant women’s bellies opened? Yet, Costa never has and never will raise his mouth against Urey,” Toe wondered.
He further pontificated that, between Cummings and Costa’s ALP puppet master, Urey, whose “wealth” is the fruit of economic crimes for which he is yet to answer?
“Yet, Costa never has and never will raise his mouth against Urey. Between Cummings and Costa’s ALP puppet master Urey, who has made this once glorious land of liberty, a bad dream for everybody today? Yet, Costa never has and never will raise his mouth against Urey. Between Cummings and Costa’s puppet master Urey, who has the international press described “when Librarians and the local press provide a platform to him to speak on national issues including governance, it becomes a gross betrayal of justice and accountability for his singular role in the destruction of the same country in the 1990s?” Yet, Costa never has and never will raise his mouth against his ALP puppet master Urey. Between Cummings and Urey, who has the international press described as having no shred of credibility and humanity for which tolerance by the other political leaders to even have him on the table to discuss Liberia’s future, much less speak for the opposition is considered “misplaced”? Yet, Costa never has and never will raise his mouth against his ALP puppet master Urey. Between Cummings and Urey, who has the international press accused of “selfishly manipulating and undermining the CPP, bad mouthing potentially credible leaders who may emerge as formidable candidates, and use the Council of Patriots and their “Indian Talk Show Host as a tool – bought and paid for? Yet, Costa never has and never will raise his mouth against Urey. Between Cummings and Costa’s ALP puppet master Urey, for who has the international community warned Liberians that the international community will stay shy of individuals like him who have no credibility and are tainted by allegations of economic crimes?” Yet, Costa never has and never will raise his mouth against Urey. Between Cummings and Costa’s ALP puppet master Urey, who remains listed as a Specially Designated National (SDN) by the U.S. Treasury Department with his assets frozen and being banned from travelling to the United States? Yet, Costa never has and never will raise his mouth against Urey. Between Cummings and Costa’s ALP puppet master Urey, who acted upon orders from his former boss to destroy Liberia, using his role as Maritime Commissioner to siphon millions of dollars to off-shore accounts in exchange for weapons used against the innocent people of Liberia? Yet, Costa never has and never will raise his mouth against Urey. Between Cummings and Costa’s ALP puppet master Urey, who is supposedly the richest man in Liberia with wealth amassed overnight with no recognizable source of his fortune? Yet, Costa never has and never will raise his mouth against Urey. Henry Costa has never raised his mouth against Urey and you know why? Because Urey is the financier of Costa’s propaganda machinery to destroy decent people, while shielding Urey and enabling him to benefit from his criminal behavior. Like Urey, the wayward “Live from Bombay” Indian Talk Show Host did not say how and what was altered in the Framework Document. He did not say it, nor will he ever do so, because he too knows that nothing had been altered in the Framework Document.
“In fact, we all recall in 2017 when he similarly blemished the reputation of Amb. Boakai, calling him “dead man walking” and “a sadistic, unrepentant, unapologetic tribalist”. Today he says it was campaign rhetoric. This is not about campaign rhetoric! This is about the lives and hard-earned reputation of decent people. Understandably, Costa and Urey have no decent reputation to protect.
“Ladies and gentlemen of the press, you may then wonder why Urey has manufactured these lies and why his wayward mercenary talk show host is trumpeting the lies to destroy Cummings and undermine the CPP. As already stated, Urey made the false allegations to foster his own selfish political motives and interests. This is what Urey knows best and his history and track record speak for itself. He was executing a political ploy in a playbook of lies and deception. Urey’s main objective is to tarnish the name of Alexander Cummings, through dubious means, in the hope that it will negatively impact Cumming’s chances of winning the CPP’s Standard Bearership. Benoni Urey, his Unity Party beneficiaries and their few Liberty Party collaborators, have one and only one mindset – to frame Cummings in a deadly political witch-hunt, regardless of the truth or of the future consequences to the CPP of such thoughtless actions. Their plan is simple. They believe that “if you want to kill a dog, it must be guilty at all cost”, even if the facts prove otherwise. And, if that doesn’t work, then the ultimate demise of the CPP is what he seeks because if he can’t have it then nobody else will.
“Urey is threatened by Cummings and doesn’t want Cummings anywhere near the CPP because it gets in the way of his fight to be Vice President to Amb. Boakai. He sees Cummings as the major obstruction to his undemocratic means to take state power and so he must destroy Cummings so JNB can lead the CPP. And after 3 years as President, Boakai will retire from the Presidency due to old age or failing health, making Benoni Urey an accidental President of Liberia. An accidental President Urey will then choose and hand-pick a Henry Costa as Vice President. This is the motive of Costa and Urey, and this is their plan for seeking to destroy Cummings.
“As Urey and his family know, the Liberian people would never put him anywhere close to power in his own name, as previously stated by George Weah. And in the mind of the Indian Talk Show Host, this absurd fantasy that a President Urey will then choose and hand-pick a Henry Pedro Costa as Vice President who believes he will by then be Senator of Montserrado. This absurd, diabolical naked greed for power is their motive, hence their plan for seeking to destroy Cummings as they see him, as in their way. A Cummings victory, which is now looking increasingly likely, against Boakai in the CPP Primary, shatters the Urey/Costa diabolically selfish plan against Liberia.
“Furthermore, Urey and Costa hate Cummings and ANC, and vowed to destroy both through calculated and deliberate falsehoods because they see Cummings as the major threat and obstruction to their undemocratic means to take state power. And this is the basis of the hatred for Cummings,” Toe accused.
He said the genesis of Urey’s hatred for Cummings is steeped in Cumming’s consistent push back against Urey’s plans to use undemocratic means, through the CPP, to destabilize the Weah’s Administration.
“Ladies and Gentleman, as you will recall, the ANC participated in the June 7, 2019 peaceful protest, and facilitated its success. A few days before the protest, it became clear that Urey and his wayward mercenary talk show host had ulterior motives: they wanted a simple peaceful protest, intended to call attention to the government’s ills, to be used to call for the resignation of President Weah. The ANC, supported by other colleagues, vehemently objected to the language of the Resolution for the protest having anything to do with President Weah’s resignation. This disagreement led to the CPP having no single position for the June 7 protest and no resolution was read. Unhappy and dissatisfied with the ANC and Cummings, Urey programmed and financed his wayward mercenary talk show host to unleash a radio onslaught, denigrating Cummings and the ANC at every opportunity. This was seen in the massive attacks against the ANC and Cummings by Costa concerning the Cape Mount bi-election seat allocation between Dabah Varpilah and Simeon Taylor.
“Urey again, in collusion with Costa and under the canopy of the now dead COP, decided to plan another protest in January 2020. Urey wanted to use the protest to remove President Weah. The plan was to keep protesters in the street for as long as was possible, diverting the attention of state security. Immediately, upon hearing all these, the ANC withdrew from the COP and, in October 2019, the ANC publicly announced its disassociation from the January 2020 protest to remove President Weah. The ANC argued then, and still maintains, that the unconstitutional removal of an elected president, however incompetent and corrupt, was not a way of life for those of us in the ANC. We informed the world and the country that the ANC would not be part of the protest intended to remove an elected president and called on the organizers to halt and abort their plans. The ANC worked in communities and on a radio stations to discourage Liberians not to attend that protest, and as God would have it, the protest was a complete failure. This action by the ANC is what has precipitated the anger, hate and vengeance of Urey and his wayward talk show host.
“Ladies and gentleman, Urey and his wayward talk show hosts are agents of death and violence – all for wealth and political power. As you may know, during the long political struggle involving Senator Botoe Kanneh of Gbarpolu, Urey and his wayward and Indian talks how host used his henchmen to reach out to us, particularly me, begging the ANC to use radical means (that is to use violence) and intimidate the government so Botoe Kanneh would be seated as Senator, as he Urey and Costa were doing clandestinely, without being caught and without accountability. Again, we refused to yield, and simply told them we are not like that.
“Again, and despite the unwarranted vitriolic attacks, Mr. Cummings and the ANC are even more inextricably tied to a commitment of peaceful, constitutional democratic change in Liberia through the conduct of democratic elections consistent with the rule of law, and this unchangeable dedication will continue to honorably inform our politics and quest for political offices,” Toe stated furiously.
The Way Forward
To settle the issue of the alleged alteration of the Framework Document and put the matter to rest, the ANC Secretary General suggested, now that the ANC has provided the copy of the Framework Document filed with the NEC, the lawyers have provided the copy of their final amended Framework Document, and the National Elections Commission has provided a copy of what it has on file, Mr. Urey must be made to show to the public the provision (s) of the Framework Document that was/were allegedly altered or he must be made to apologize to the public. The ANC made a formal communication to the CPP, through its Chair, Senator Kargar Lawrence, requesting her to make Urey to show the provisions of the Framework Document that were altered; but up to this date she continues to dance around it, presumably playing to the same political playbook to taint Cummings;
The ANC also called on Ambassador Joseph Nyumah Boakai, as an elder in the CPP, to tell the public whether or not Mr. Urey’s allegation is true that they did not approve the lawyers’ work. “Unless Amb. Boakai publicly comes clean on this, we hold the belief that it is a conspiracy between Mr. Urey and Amb. Boakai in trying to use illegal means to avoid defeat at the CPP primary.”
The ANC SG also called on the lawyers of the CPP to speak to the veracity of whether or not the Framework Document filed at the National Elections Commission has any provision(s) altered, removed or added from what they submitted as the final amended Framework Document.
Citing Section 8.5 (2) of the Framework Document that deals with Loss of Membership, with reference to “a Party withdrawing from the Alliance prior to the next Presidential, legislative and local elections shall not feed candidates in its name”, Secretary General Toe said this is principally what the entire contention is all about.
“This clause does not prohibit any party from leaving the CPP. If you want to leave the CPP, leave and form a new alliance and contest but the ANC shall remain in the CPP which was formed to provide an alternative to this roguish government for the benefit of the Liberian people.
“The ANC will no longer tolerate these shenanigans of political vampires like Urey. LIBERIA FIRST, OUR COUNTRY DESERVE BETTER. GOD bless you,” a very visibly angry Aloysius Toe declared.
The statement from the ANC Secretary General buttresses comments made by ANC former Chief of Staff, Attorney Moriah Yeakula, when she appeared over the weekend on Spoon Talk to provide clarity on contentions arising out of the Framework Document, as were being alleged by other parties of the CPP.
“The framework document is being attacked to make it seem that it was meant to benefit one party. The attacks are strategies to cop out of the CPP, but still be able to run. But there is a process that binds all political parties with the Framework Document,” she had stated at the time.