Bility Berates UP leader on Opposition Unity -Says “JNB blew up the chance during Naatehn’s Funeral”
MONROVIA: Amidst the call from stakeholders for a greater unity within in opposition community during this ensuing 2023 general elections, the Chairman of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) Mr. Musa Hassan Bility has said that as divided as others may see the opposition community to be, the UP Standard Bearer Joseph Nyuma Boakai should have used the period of agony of the CPP over the death of the National Chairman of the Alternative National Congress(ANC), Senator Daniel Flomo Naatehn to reach out to the CPP but instead abused the golden chance with the way he was insensitive to the colossal loss within the opposition community.
Speaking on the topic “The difficulties in achieving the illusive ‘opposition Unity’ on Saturday, September 2, 2023 in a podcast, Mr. Bility said he could not fathom how the Unity Party, especially its Standard Bearer would treat their fellow political party whose national chairman met his untimely death and when they needed comfort and consolation decided on an action that will further aggravate their agony, stressing that the action does not make any sense in spirit of opposition unity, reconciliation and being together to forge a common cause for the sake of the Liberian people they all want to serve.
He said the late Senator Naatehn was never a lesser person in the polity of the country, a man that is well known to the former vice president both in the national legislature and in the opposition cycle especially during the initial stage of the enlarged CPP that included the UP, LP, ANC and ALP and that the least they expected was Mr. Boakai leading an array of UP officials and partisans at the National Headquarters of the ANC to express their sympathy and sorrow over the death of a prominent national figure.
“I hate to say this but it is important to say we lost our chairman and almost every political party visited our headquarters to say sorry to the CPP, specifically the ANC but the Unity party did not turn out.
“Again from me in about 37 days or let say about 40 days, when the results of the first election will come, no matter what the results are, the group of opposition parties that are talking with each other today, let say about 5 or 6 of them, one person from among us will need the others and what you do now will determine how others will respond to you when you need them. Instead of bragging about it, you should get to the others and when UP did not show up at the ANC headquarters it hurt and what is more vexing and painful, I am saying all of these things because I prefer to be the bad guy at this time, than someone using these things tomorrow.
“Just in case in the unlikely event that the UP and the CDC go for a second round, what path or record would you use to say let me go and see CPP? Will you just say, look, come and vote for me in the second round?”, he said
Bility who pulled out his thought on how he will find it difficult to take UP serious about the opposition unity which they are talking about and doing different thing, said UP deliberately refused to pay a condolence visit to the ANC headquarters and that Mr. Boakai was not willing to place a call to Mr. Cummings on the demise of the former Chairman of the ANC and to enquire how they could be part of it. He said Boakai as the head of the UP delegation attended the funeral service and further humiliated and disrespected the CPP, adding that Boakai refused to acknowledge the CPP and express sympathy to them when he spoke and then walked out of the hall before the CPP delegation was called to make tribute.
“Today I was very, very disappointed, not just disappointed but was very disgusted, even the UP people did not go to speak to us and we expected that from them. Naatehn was with us, we worked together for years. The former Vice President or the Standard-bearer or the Chairman could have taken a ride in the name of opposition solidarity.
“Growing up we learned that no matter how painful a relationship between you and somebody, when you identify with them in their period of agony, in their period of bereavement, they will never ever forget it; they will remember that you console them and the UP would have scored a big goal on us.
“It could be VP Boakai calling Alex Cummings, and say I am going to sign the book of condolence, so what is the right time I should come; and you come with an array of opposition officials to say, look we are all from the opposition and we have come to identify with you. It would have meant a lot to us. But guess what they did not do that.
“And they also went to church today, the former VP got up, made no mention of Alex Cummings, made no mention of the CPP and the ANC, not us as a party and as if to say it was not enough, with the exception of two senators and the other useless lawmakers, and he sat down and listened to them but when they said it was time for CPP, the former VP got up and walked out. While we were walking on stage, they were walking out.
“I know CPP officials were fuming today but I was the one who calmed them down and you are talking about opposition unity”. He lamented.
He said curiously enough, even the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) which the opposition is fighting to unseat, exercised a high degree courage and humanity by sending its national secretary Jefferson Tamba Koijee to identify with them in their hours of bereavement “but you decided to trash that with the insinuation that oh ANC and CDC are forming a collaboration for the 2023 general elections; how dare you do that?”
Bility said within the opposition community it is an established fact that UP has the experience being in governance as a ruling party and he expected that would have been applied by Mr. Boakai but it did not happen
“I thought it was the time the former VP would have said, Alex, I know you are pained, CPP I know you pained, ANC, sorry, we lost a good man. But not only that, when we were about to go up there to pay our tribute, the entire UP delegation walked out. Aye mehn, the entire country expects us to work together”, he said.
Speaking further, Bility who normally attracts huge followership on his podcast said that he could not understand what UP thinks its baseless arrogance will take the party to the extent they are pretending that they can win the general elections without any other person’s invention. He said it is at this point that the party should undertake what he called “the principle of critical thinking.”
“Let us use the principle of critical thinking and say, what are the alternatives that I am going to be the one going in the second round with the CDC. Under the law of critical thinking, you must think what if that does not happen. What would you make of it if you were to go in the second round, how do you talk to me? Are you going to just say, my man let us forget about everything, really is that how you are going to say? No, it does not work out that way”, he said.
Going memory lane to point out how the former ruling party does have a good perspective of history and continues to make simple mistakes when it comes to going into an election and finding a winning way, Bility said when the late Charles Walker Brumskine, then standard bearer of the Liberty Party (LP) opposed the results of the 2017 presidential elections, UP joined in suit but have to retreat after it realized that Brumskine was calling for the cancellation of the entire results which UP thought would have deprived her of the presidency because the party’s calculation was in the second round, all the other parties and Liberians in majority would have supported them ahead of the Presidential candidate George Manneh Weah.
“Brumskine consulted widely and UP came and joined but when the case reached the Supreme Court and they knew Brumskine was calling for the cancellation of the entire results, they changed and said what they wanted was the voters register should be clean.
“That was their point then, what they were after was oh when we go to the second round the Liberian people will come to us but they got it all wrong. They saw the result.
“They are about to repeat similar mistakes again. The people will listen to their leaders, what you do to their leaders will determine what they will say or do in case you are the one in the second round and I am saying this so that you will have a rethink. I would have kept it to myself and used it as a basis not to talk to you tomorrow but I am putting it out so that you will know before time”, Bility said.
The CPP leader who is also contesting the District #7 seat in Nimba county said their initial thought about how the citizens will vote on October 10, 2023 was that the CDC will scale the hurdle to the second round and either the UP or the CPP would have joined the ruling party but the assumption was wrong as the reports available to them from a UK firm they contracted said the ruling party may not go to the second round and there is no clear winner at the moment, meaning any of the three forerunners, CDC, CPP and UP could win the race.
“If you see Alex Cummings jumping here and there, it is that report that is firing him up though it does not say who will be in the second round but it is a reflection of their extensive research .
“There is a possibility of you and us meeting in the second round; there is also a possibility that you go with the CDC and leave us behind or We and CDC meeting and you leave behind but what matters is how we treat each other”, he said.
Bility who sounded considerate and left room for the opposition parties to come together to collectively confront the ruling establishment said for some time now he has been in good conversation with the national chairman of UP Rev. Dr. Luther Tarpeh, Campaign Spokesman Mo Ali among others however said UP should also go further with making its position on opposition unity concrete and “stop campaigning from two fronts by using minions like Martin Kollie and Eugene Fahngon who lies on people , insults people who are far better than him”.
He spoke on the two meetings that were held by the opposition parties which were chaired by the Standard Bearer of the African Liberation League, Madam Sarah Beyslow Nyanti and said besides seeking for greater unity, they also discussed protecting their votes and working towards a violent free election.