Bility Rallies Support For A United Opposition -Says He’s Willing to Sacrifice Anything to Reconcile Opposition…But
Opposition Liberty Party National Chairman Musa Hassan Bility has made a clarion call to the opposition community in the country to rally around a common cause by uniting themselves with the sole objective of making the George M. Weah administration one-term. According to Bility, he will sacrifice anything to bring greater unity and reconciliation among the opposition. However, pundits believe Mr. Bility cannot reconcile the CPP if the internal wrangling within his own Liberty Party remains unresolved, as this special Analyst review has observed.
“I am willing to forgo anything that will make the opposition to be united in this country, even if it will cause me to leave the chairmanship of the Liberty Party just for the opposition to unite, I am willing to do it. I am not ambitious to become somebody at the detriment of the collective wishes of the people,” Mr. Bility said.
The opposition Liberty Party made the assertion Tuesday, May 17, 2020 when he spoke on the OK FM Conversation program on a variety of national issues especially those affecting his party, his political ambition, the problem in the CPP, and how the internal rift within his own political party can be resolved.
The statement from Bility comes on the heels of the protracted case of alleged forgery and alteration of the framework document levied by the political leader of the All Liberia Party (ALP) Mr. Benoni Urey against the political leader and standard-bearer of the Alternative National Congress (ANC), Alexander B. Cummings and others.
“Let us not give the government the ride to succeed, we could leave and go our separate ways and be civil in the exercise. We could meet to discuss and the other side of the divide can withdraw from their case from the court and we sit down to sign the agreement that we are all parting to our various destinations but we will be civil and begin to engage the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change government,” Bility averred.
When asked to confirm or deny rumors making the rounds of his ambition to contest the presidency or go as a running mate to Mr. Cummings, Mr. Bility said he was qualified to occupy any job in the country, be it the Presidency or the Vice President position, but he is not going to be desperate for the job because he is not ambitious enough to ruin the chances of what the opposition wants to achieve in the country.
“Do I want to be a good President, yes. Do I want to be a good Vice President, yes I want to be but I can tell you that the Liberty Party and the Alternative National Congress will not want to be at loggerheads because Musa Bility wants to be President or Vice President. The level of flexibility we want to give Alexander Cummings is if he cannot find anyone in the LP to be his running mate and wants to go outside of the party, I will say he is free to do so. For what is happening right now in the country, I have put my ambition in the freezer for now for the sake of the future of the country,” he said.
Mr. Bility said he was disappointed in some individuals in the opposition whose personal interests have caused a lot of uncertainties for the future of the opposition family, and frowned on the allegation against Cummings in court, adding that it only serves to benefit the government that they are trying to wrestle power from in 2023.
The renowned businessman then called on former Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai to reach out to Cumming to reconcile and resolve the CPP crisis, adding that if Cummings gets back to him and says that he has met and reconciled with Boakai, he will not bother to ask for the details of the agreement but will work and encourage others to bury their differences to move the opposition forward.
Bility however said his reconciliation call notwithstanding, he is optimistic that Mr. Cummings will be exonerated from the charges levied against him because he believes in Cummings as a man of integrity and honesty.
Political pundits also believe that the benefit of such a move would be the renewal of the hope of the Liberian people in the possibility of an opposition victory in 2023. Chairman Bility added that it was better for the opposition to focus its energy on the ruling establishment, and formulating a deal to endorse any member of the opposition that enters the second round with President Weah and the CDC in 2023.
Reconciliation Talks vs Liberty Party Internal wrangling
Despite Chairman Bility’s reconciliation talks, pundits are of the opinion that such will remain cosmetic if the Liberty Party internal wrangling is left unresolved.
At the center of the CPP rift, constituent member Liberty Party stands divided due to what pundits believe is caused by the party’s political leader Senator Nyonblee Karngar-Lawrence and Chairman Musa Hassan throwing their respective support behind Unity Standard Bearer Joseph Nyuma Boakai and Alternative National Congress Standard Bearer Alexander B. Cummings to contest as the CPP standard bearer against incumbent George Manneh Weah and his Coalition for Democratic Change.
Quizzed by Journalist Julius Jeh whether the Liberty Party internal conflict is irreconcilable relative to Mr. Bility’s talk about reconciliation within the CPP which pundits say is caused by the party’s two top leaders having divided allegiances to Joseph Boakai and Alexander Cummings, the Liberty Party chairman said nothing is irreconcilable. However, Bility insisted that the law needs to take its course.
Musa Bility, it can be recalled, is currently embroiled in a legal battle at the Supreme Court over allegations that he tampered with the Liberty Party constitution to reduce the powers of the political leader and favor himself as National Chairman, as well as the National Executive Committee of the Liberty Party.
Responding, Chairman Bility said he and Political Leader Nyonblee Karngar-Lawrence are not authorities unto themselves, and that they must all respect the law.
“If the political leader and the chairman don’t agree, it doesn’t mean that the party will break down. There are decision-making bodies within the Liberty Party that the leadership must go to in case of misunderstanding and conflict. Everything that happened in the Liberty Party is because Nyonblee wanted to restore the 2015 constitution that gives her absolute power. I, Musa Bility refused to be party Chairman in 2018 when the position was offered by Counselor Brumskine. I could not be chairman of the Liberty Party under that constitution. I can’t work and someone dreams in the night that I didn’t speak to them, and when day breaks, they say your position is dissolved. I told Cllr. Brumskine I will be dedicated to the party but cannot be chairman under that constitution. So Cllr. Brumskine asked me to be chairman of the advisory council, and when we go to Lofa, we will pass the resolution for the party to review the constitution. The decision to review the constitution came from Lofa.
“Another thing I want you to know is that the decision to make Nyonblee political leader was totally unconstitutional; it was a matter of expediency. The political leader is not a position that is acquired. It is metamorphosed from being a standard bearer, and then after elections, you become a political leader,” Bility clarified, noting that everybody who came to the LP leadership got there because of the personal endorsement of Cllr. Brumskine.
“We were aware of all of this. So we said we will go to the convention and fix everything. But to say you are going to run the Liberty Party the way you want to do it, or the way the founding father did, that’s not going to happen.
“There would be no CPP today if not for these two parties. The law of the land recognizes that there is one Liberty Party and that Liberty Party recognizes the ANC. Whatever you want to do outside, however you want to do outside is fine. How then does Nyonblee and her people go to the Supreme Court to ask the Supreme Court to stop us from conducting our Convention if they had the authority? If Nyonblee announces right now that she is going to have a convention in Gbarnga, I will not say anything because I know it is nothing. But why when we say we are going to convention she runs to the court?” Bility wondered, noting that all that is going on with the opposition has made the Liberian people divided because they feel that the opposition is not working the way it should in their interest.
When quizzed on whether the LP perennial division would impact the opposition community, and what both sides are doing to reconcile, because seemingly both sides are unwilling to concede for the sake of reconciliation, Bility said as far as he is concerned, he recognizes and appreciates the Nyonblee faction for taking their case to the Supreme Court.
“There is nothing beyond that. Whatever decision that comes out of that court is either the beginning for me or the end for me. I will not go beyond that. When the Justice in Chambers decides against us, we will go to the full bench of the Supreme Court, and when they say we are wrong, we will go home and respect the law. This is the end of the road. It is either we take the reconciliatory effort to respect the fact that there is a constitution which we all have been incorporated into, and go on to run the party; or we can insist to her to make her decision. She can only make two decisions: she can issue another writ to stop any party proceeding until the case is heard, or she can formally decline, and that is the end of the story,” Mr. Bility stated emphatically.