Agreeing with Urey, Costa Against JNB’s ‘Deception’ -CPP’s Bility Talks Tough About Opposition Conundrum
MONROVIA: The National Chairman of the opposition Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), Mr. Musa Hassan Bility, says he believes with utmost certainty everything that All Liberian Party (ALP) political leader Mr. Benoni Urey and political activist Henry Pedro Costa said about Unity Party Standard Bearer Joseph Nyuma Boakai playing a deceptive role in nearly breaking up the CPP and using Mr. Urey to file a forgery lawsuit against CPP Standard Bearer Alexander Cummings.
“I want to start with this whole story of the ALP versus the Unity Party, and the impact on the CPP, and then my take on it. The reason why I want to start with that is because in our politics, leadership is everything. It’s been two weeks since Henry Costa had his press conference. There’s been zero reaction from Vice President Boakai or the Unity Party.
“Within the last 24 hours, Mr. Urey has spoken. I believe he was clearer, more pointed on what went wrong and how he feels the Unity Party treated the ALP. Then you look at the history of several things – this very Unity Party, what they’ve done to people, how they’ve used people. I remember, I will never forget, because as long as we are in politics, people find other reasons to say things. But whether you like it or not, the election in Liberia was over. Old man Boakai got sick, I believe, a year later,” Bility said over the weekend during one of his latest regular podcasts.
According to Bility, after the 2017 presidential and general elections, the political career of Ambassador Boakai had taken a nosedive, and that it was businessman Urey who revived Mr. Boakai’s presidential ambition.
“I remember, I had a meeting with Benoni Urey in his office at Lone Star, and he told me that he was going to officially abandon his presidential bid and was going to support Vice President Boakai. I remember that day, I told Ben that sometimes if you count yourself out quickly and so easily, in politics you become less and less valuable. I think if you have a plan not to run, you should wait so that the people around you, or your organization, can be of value and then they can benefit. But then, he doesn’t see things that way. As far as Ben is concerned, if he says he’s for you, he’s for you, if he’s against you, he’s against you. So, he didn’t listen to my advice.
“What bothered me, and I don’t think many people see that, is, while some of us saw the ALP as a hostile organization, a hostile party; their actions based on what Costa said, and based on what Mr. Urey has revealed further, were being directed and advised by Vice President Boakai.
“I am happy that in all of what happened, I never reached to a point where Mr. Urey and I will not speak again. It never happened to me. I did my best to build a relationship with Mr. Urey. And it helped me because in the end I was able to utilize that relationship and get stuff out of it. And that’s why I am here today to say to everybody that what was the benefit of that? What was Mr. Boakai’s advice? What did he tell Mr. Urey? I listened to Costa very carefully, that the decision to dissolve the CPP came out of fear expressed by Vice President Boakai, that if he stays in the CPP, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf may manipulate the outcome of the CPP. So, for fear of competition, he said, let’s walk away and form a new alliance. And everything was put in motion to dissolve the CPP. Mr. Boakai has not answered to that; he has not said if Mr. Urey or Mr. Costa lied; that he never did anything. But he was the chairman when the whole thing started. The CPP was plunged into crisis when Vice President Boakai became chairman of the CPP.
“It started with the Liberty Party crisis. I am here and I am saying it loud. At no time did the Vice President reach out to me and say, Musa, how can we resolve the issue? How can I help? I do remember at one time, he did tell Mr. Cummings that, ‘I think Musa is right, but I cannot support Musa because Nyonblee supports me; and I think on paper, Musa is right’. And Urey and his party did everything that the Vice President wanted.
Unity Party’s sense of opposition unity
Bility said he has always been suspicious of how the former ruling Unity Party perceives opposition unity; that in his mind, Unity Party wants everything that has to do with the opposition camp to be centered around itself.
“My argument tonight is, if for any reason we want to call for the unification of the opposition, which I still believe in, then can we now be honest and say what happened to the CPP? Can Vice President Boakai answer the questions that have been placed on his desk? You can’t just come to me and say let’s join on opposition unity. The Unity Party sends out their surrogates to insult us, abuse us, lie on us. But for them, opposition unity means that we must say that we will support the Unity Party. The Unity Party will not go in the second round of these elections. If you know about elections, if you know about politics, every political institution, every serious candidate in the election, besides George Weah, when we’re just talking about the rest of the candidates, they have one or two interactions with the Unity Party, and none of them have been good.
“Today, there is no opposition party that the Unity Party has not attacked. As soon as you raise your hand to say you want to be president, they get up and say it’s Ellen who sent you. So, is Ellen responsible for people’s rights? You forgot Baccus Matthews, Amos Sawyer, Tipoteh, Dew Mason, Kesselly, Gabriel Kpolleh; you forgot all these patriots who fought for multiparty democracy? Those people fought so that Liberians can be able to express their desire to run for any office they wish to, without any limitation.
“But if you check the opposition today, every one, by the time you say you want to be president, Unity Party will start attacking you. They have created this thing around themselves that makes it look like the opposition is about supporting the Unity Party. But there is a parable that the Mandingo people have. They say, if the person is going to sleep very well, you will know it when they start napping. What example is the Unity Party putting on the table? You’ve got bad blood with Gongloe’s party, the LPP. You got bad blood with all the parties in the opposition. You’re insulting Grace Kpan and Monibah. You are insulting everybody. You’re saying things about everybody. By the time people open their mouths and say they want to be president, it appears as though they will go against Joseph Boakai; as if to say the presidency has been reserved for Joseph Boakai and his people.
“Why don’t you have a coalition? Why is there not a single party that has joined you? There are 19 candidates besides George Weah. Why don’t you have a relationship with one of them? What does that say about you? There are more than 40 political parties in this country. Why don’t you have a relationship with one of them on the book? How do you expect to win election? It’s difficult. You created a monster for yourself.
“When the ALP was supporting the Unity Party, many people got hurt, a lot of people got hurt. But you know what? People felt like these people did all of these things for you. Even those who are happy that Unity Party treated ALP this way because they may be hurt from the way ALP treated them, even those people will never trust you. Because the fact is that the ALP was your most trusted ally. You ditched them. You treated them like they never existed. You expect the other people to assume that you are a decent person, and you are going to remain decent, and that you will not do anything wrong? We’re talking about the opposition uniting, where is your rapprochement? Who are you talking to? And then you come talking about opposition unity. Unity Party, do you appreciate the fact that you seem to be out there now, just as you have become an outlier in the opposition?
“The Liberty Party, we are not in coalition with LPP, but we have a good relationship with them. We are not in coalition with LINU, but we have a good working relationship with them. We are no longer fighting with the ALP; we are not in coalition with them, but we have a good relationship with them. Does it bother you that none of those parties in the opposition have a relationship with you? Mr. Urey is talking today, that you wrote a letter to say that you don’t need anybody; you don’t need coalition to win the election. You said that to five political parties; that they must drop out to join you, but you are not going to go into any coalition with them. At what time are you going to assume that these people are going to come back to support you? The match is not in your favor.
“Every Liberian other than George Weah who decides to run for the presidency is a minus for the Unity Party, and there are lot of minuses there, thousands of votes. But you don’t see it that way. You see it as you being the one to make the decisions. If it’s not you, there should be no opposition if you don’t head opposition. That’s what in fact you come with, that’s your argument; that if we are going to sit down on the table, before we even say hello, Joseph Boakai must be the standard bearer. What is the measurement, what is the yardstick?
“Now, the people say Joseph Boakai is not well. But you haven’t answered to that to say it’s not true. The people say Joseph Boakai is not honest; he negotiated to receive foreign money. You haven’t responded to it. For me, I believe Costa. I believe him because you have not given any reason not to believe him. And I can tell you, today we are 80 days to the election. And then you trying to define a sort of opposition. You insult everybody. You insult us. Even as we speak, you have these foolish people, very foolish and stupid people online. You have Dillon insulting Cummings, you have Eugene Fahngon and Stanton, that criminal, insulting everybody and lying. You say nothing. Your Mo Ali, that jobless political pimp. I am sure he’s in America now definitely begging people. He begged for the ticket, he begged for pocket change. He begs for everything. He’s not working. He wants to live a good life, but yet he’s not working; so, he’s begging for everything. These are the people who must decide the politics of our country. We are in trouble.
“The opposition is working together. We have worked with LPP to try to develop a framework for free and fair elections. Other political parties have joined us. We will continue to do that cooperation with those people, and we will seek a better direction for our country, and we will work to make sure there is opposition unity. But as far as I am concerned, Unity Party has taken itself out of the opposition circle; it has placed itself into the former ruling party circle, and therefore, it has no interest in any opposition. That’s how I see Unity Party, that’s how I feel about them,” Chairman Bility said emphatically.
Last warning to Nyonblee, Dillon, Others
Delving into the Liberty Party conundrum that threatened to break apart one of the country’s strongest opposition parties, Chairman Bility said as far as he and the LP Executive Committee are concerned, Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence, Senator Abraham Darius Dillon and other expelled party stalwarts have no place in the future of the party because they have sold their birthright.
“I see Nyonblee has put up a statement, instead of admitting to the fact that you have been told by the Unity Party logo not to place the LP logo near their party logo. You know, Unity Party is very smart. If they were going to allow you to use Liberty Party logo near the Unity Party logo, they were going to end this election in court instead of campaigning. But they are smart; they have smart lawyers; they have smart thinkers. So, they informed you, Nyonblee, that you cannot use the Liberty Party logo. The Liberty Party logo is being used by the CPP. But how you don’t see that. And you write a letter that doesn’t even make the least of sense. You are literally saying that you have signed for the party to cease to exist. Are you not shame? 99.9% of the letter that you write is written by somebody, and then Daniel Sando puts your electronic signature. You don’t write. So, the people write for you trash, and then you sign them. That letter basically says that you conceded to the fact that you cannot use the party log; it tells you that you have no power to put anybody on Liberty Party ticket, which you admitted. And now you say the party logo is not going to be used until a new judicial body. Where is that judicial body coming from? You can’t just talk out of your head. As long as people like you sit down in the Capitol Building; the same democracy that brought us there, is the same democracy that brought the court. So, it is what it is. You don’t want to respect the law, we will make you to respect the law, Nyonblee. That letter that you wrote is literally a disaster for yourself. You wrote a letter that you have decreed for the party to cease to exist, without any reference to any power. But you have all this bunch of foolish people behind you who go clapping for you without even thinking. If you think you have all this authority, then why are we here? If you think you have all this authority, why is the Liberty Party on the ballot without you? If you think you have all this authority, why is the Unity Party not allowing you to use the Liberty Party logo? Because you can’t. But yet, you go out there, you inform people, make to know things that make no sense.
“Nyonblee, your people are insulting Charles Brumskine’s daughter who is on the ticket; the man who literally took you from nowhere and made you senator. The man who all of you were claiming to protect his legacy; now you are fighting his daughter. This will be your last fight. We are prepared. In the coming days you will see. Now it’s you alone. All the other people have dropped by the wayside. We will deal with you in the court. We will go after you. The money that you raised, you will take it from you, and we will make sure that you don’t have a place in Liberty Party. You have been expelled from the Liberty Party. You are no longer a Liberty partisan. As long as I am chairman, that’s not going to change because that decision has to come from Congress. We took the decision because you defied a decision of the National Convention. We will take you to court. We will prevail on the judge to see reason that you do not exercise that right.
“You should stop calling yourself Political Leader. You are not Political Leader of the party. You should stop making yourself making to believe that you have any power to do anything. You don’t have power to do anything. Thank God we’ve reached the final leg of this journey. Actions will be taken against you; we’ve just put you on notice. And that it will also be taken against any political party who tries to act along with you. We are not done with you yet. But I can say this Nyonblee, I can say this Dillon, you guys will never come back to Liberty Party. You will never be associated with Liberty Party. You spent too much time trying to destroy this party. The work that we do; the things that we have been doing to keep this party going, and you are the first so-called political leader in this country that reduced yourself to becoming a campaign manager – position that they will run ring around you.
“Look at what has happened to Zargo. It’s very naïve. He’s going to lose the election in Lofa. But then you have people insulting Charles Brumskine’s daughter. You use Azango to insult Charles Brumskine’s daughter. You use all these your minions; you use this half-illiterate Darius Dillon who is literally illiterate, and that illiteracy that is in him has caused him a degree of inferiority complex that caused him to become arrogant. You take these people and put them on Charlyne. You will regret that. I promise that you will regret that. I am chairman of this party.
“On behalf of the Executive Committee of this party, Dillon and Nyonblee, you guys will never come back to Liberty Party. You have been expelled. What is left of us now is to go to court and seek a declaration from the court so that we can stop you from calling yourself political leader of the party, and so that we can stop you from using the party name, and then so that we can retrieve the money that you raised in the name of the party. That’s corruption. Even on a normal day, Nyonblee, the 2015 Constitution of Liberty Party, the 2020, the 2021, none of them authorizes the standard bearer or the political leader to raise money. What are you depending on to use the party name to raise money for Joseph Boakai in America? You’re not going to do again. As far as I am concerned, that chapter is closed. The rest is for the court to hear our case against you and give a final judgment. Stay away from the Liberty Party because at the end of the day I don’t see any logic in what you are doing. You are running against your own party; you are campaigning against the daughter of the man who made you; you are trashing your party; you are forcing your members to go and register under Unity Party, thereby losing their Liberty Party membership. How more can you go to break down a particular party?
“What are you going to say to the Bassa people? Vote against Brumskine’s daughter? Vote for the man who rejected me, and thank him for rejecting me? Where is thy pride? When someone says that you are not worth, it becomes a challenge for you to prove your worth. How does not choosing you as a vice president, and choosing you as a campaign manager make things better– are you watching? It’s a charade.
“For me, these are political times, but I have a lot of respect for Jeremiah Koung. He’s my junior brother from Nimba, he’s my senator; I respect him, and I will always respect him. I will never use this platform or any platform to insult him. He’s brilliant. Whatever stripes he has as a a politician, he has earned those stripes. And for me, it does no harm to me. The Vice President is not the one that runs the country, and there is nothing in our constitution that says the vice president runs the country. So, my focus is on Joseph Boakai and I believe that he’s not capable of running Liberia. And Nyonblee who sat and told all of us that she was going to be Joseph Boakai’s running mate even though she didn’t admit it to me, but was making it appear to Liberians that’s what was going to happen. It’s the first time I see in the history of Liberian politics people canvassing to be vice standard bearer, but yet the man never chose you.
“How dare you come and call yourself rescue mother? Do you know what a mother is? A rescue mother should be more important than everything. They didn’t pick you. And then you get up and say you’re rescue mother, and now you’re going after Charles Brumskine’s daughter. No! We are warning you. We are coming after you, and this time around, we are coming to you to stop you from using Liberty Party logo. I cannot allow for you, myself or anybody to break that party down!” Chairman Bility blasted.