From all indications, the storm that raged within Liberia’s biggest political bloc, the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), which seemed to have settled to a sort of lukewarm calm over the weekend when outgoing Chairman Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence called for calm as the CPP awaits outcome of internal investigations into the Framework Document alteration allegations, has again resurfaced, with the outgoing Secretary General of the CPP, Attorney Aloysius Toe, terming Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence’s statement as hypocritical, only meant to lend legitimacy to a committee whose leadership are members of former Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai’s Unity Party, businessman Benoni Urey’s All Liberian Party and Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence’s Liberty Party, tasked to render a decision that would support claims that the CPP was altered.
Making his position known Thursday, September 30, 2021 in a statement addressed to the current and outgoing Chairperson of the CPP, Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence, Atty. Aloysius Toe outlined key points why he feels Madam Lawrence was insincere in her declaration for calm amidst the ongoing storm within the CPP.
“In your press statement, which was released just few hours after the ANC held a major press conference on September 27, 2021, you wrote: ‘The CPP Chair notes with utmost concern…that all parties were asked to refrain from public discussion on these matters as the body agreed to engage the CPP legal team for verification and recommendations on the framework allegations. Unfortunately, issues that were agreed to be handled internally have become a subject of public discussion with allegations and counter-allegations compounded by character defamation, insults, and divisive messages.’
“I applaud you, Madam Senator, for the courage and voice to speak out and I am glad to see that you have mustered the courage to call for calm. Nothing can be more redemptive and relieving than to have a former leader of the CPP and Political Leader of our sister party, Liberty Party, attempting to quiet troubled waters. You have my respect, Madam Senator, and I wish you could do more. Your exemplary role in calling for calm in the CPP will go down in the history of political peacekeeping.
“But Madam Senator, while I applaud your sudden and new-found courage to speak out, and to call for calm, I am troubled and disturbed by the timing and content of your letter. Permit me, Madam Senator, to share my thoughts and reflections on your press statement in what I hope will provoke your introspection and cause you to rethink – and hopefully conclude – that your press statement could have been best issued differently and more aptly at an earlier time.
“The press statement dated September 27, 2021 under your signature, came eight days (8) days after your tenure as Chair of the CPP ended on September 19, 2021. Madam Senator, while this action clearly violates the Framework Document, I would have hoped that somehow you knew or would have known that your mandate as CPP Chair expired on September 19, 2021; that you had no authority to issue statement as CPP Chair beyond the expiration of your tenure. I honestly believe Madam Senator that this actually skipped your attention. I would therefore request that you retract and recall the letter, as same lacks validity and authority.
“It has been a cherished tradition and modus operandi of the CPP, which you inherited as Chair, that before a letter or press statement is issued, the content of the document is shared with the other parties for their input and authorization before the communication is sent out in the name of the CPP. Madam Senator, I noticed that you issued your statement unilaterally without input from the other parties. Madam Senator, wasn’t it appropriate, as a matter of courtesy and perfect decorum, for you to inform the other parties before issuing the statement?
“You indicated in your press statement that the investigation committee will report on October 1, 2021, and immediately a press conference will be held. Why a rush for a press conference, Madam Senator? What time are you allotting for internal review of the committee’s report before holding press conference, “immediately” after presentation of the report? Is it because you have excluded the ANC from the process, and don’t want to allow it an opportunity to respond internally, but rather score a PR salvo as opposed to the “calm” you claim to be calling for? Or is it because in your September 27, 2021 press statement you’re now moving the goalpost on the “investigation committee’s” term of reference from “reconcile all framework document versions and ask CPP legal advisors to verify same” to now doing “content comparison between framework document signed by political leaders on May 19, 2020 to what’s filed at NEC”? Are you questioning the CPP legal team’s integrity or that of what they did?” the current ANC and outgoing CPP Secretary General wondered.
SG Toe further wondered whether by the term “investigation committee”, Senator Lawrence was referring to the four-man committee to which she appointed Vice Chair of the Liberty Party, Augustus Fredericks, who takes allegedly takes direct instructions from her, without the consent of the Liberty Part’s National Chairman and National Executive Committee.
“Do you mean the committee on which Cole Bangalu, Vice Chair of the Unity Party is serving as a member? Do you mean the committee on which Mr. Theodore Momoh, National Chairman of the ALP is serving as a member? Madam Senator, let me refresh your memory of what you already know. Fredericks, Bangalu and Momoh are all accusers, who have alleged privately and publicly that the document was altered and will return no contrary position, that will defeat or invalidate their conspiracy theories. Furthermore, all attempts by the ANC’s representative to take part in the committee’s activities have been prevented. For all intents and purposes, Fredericks will do and report on exactly on what you want. Momoh will do what Urey wants, and Bangalu will do and report what Amb. Boakai wants. They will “vote in bloc” to render political conclusions rather than factual and evidential conclusions. And ANC will have no say in the report or have any opportunity to respond internally and would have to forcefully respond publicly. Wasn’t it prudent and expedient for you to have facilitated a more independent and neutral committee to find the facts? The need to have an independent and neutral investigation is not without precedence in the CPP. When the Nimba violence took place, the CPP set up a neutral and independent committee of professional disinterested-parties. I wonder why you couldn’t do the same, but I am sure this too, skipped your attention. I suggest strongly, for the purpose of credibility that you dissolve the teleguided socalled “investigation committee” and constitute a more independent and neutral committee of professionals from the Inter Religious Council, the National Bar Association and the Civil Society of Liberia. These are issues of grave national concerns, and not children’s play,” SG Toe charged gravely.
“Madam Senator, your call for calm, which came with jet-like speed just few hours after the ANC responded to two years of “character defamation, insults, and divisive messages, is not only concerning, but late and belated. Why now, Madam Senator, why not then? Where were you and where have you been, Madam Senator, when Henry Costa, an executive member of the ALP, called Mr. Cummings a criminal last week and accused him of fraud?
“Where were you and where have you been, Madam Senator, as Costa have continued to insult Mr. Cummings with the worst of hate and vitriols for two years on daily/monthly basis? Didn’t you reward Henry Costa by offering him to use the radio station of your late husband, “Radio D-15,” so Costa could have, not only an online platform, but also a radio station, to continue his insults against Mr. Cummings?
“Didn’t you fellow Liberty Party executive Senator Darius Dillon purchase a radio transmitter for Henry Costa to continue to insult Mr. Cummings? Madam Senator, you and Senator Dillon knew and should have known that Costa was insulting Mr. Cummings, defaming Mr. Cumming’s character and calling him all kinds of names, and even mocked Mr. Cummings – your fellow Political Leader and leader of another constituent party of the CPP; and you knew or should have known that Costa would continue insulting Mr. Cummings, yet you found comfort and pleasure to reward Costa with a radio station; and Dillon found gladness to reward Costa with a transmitter. Did it also skip your attention, to call for calm at that time, Madam Senator? It is quite discomforting and aggravating seeing you play “madam nice” at this time.
“Madam Senator, may I ask the same questions in another way. Where was your courage to call for calm when the ANC and its Political Leader, Alexander Cummings, became the subject of the unprovoked, vociferous, incessant and vitriolic attacks of extremists and radical propagandists in the CPP? Where was your courage when “internal matters” of the CPP including statements said to be made by you in meetings of the CPP were being used to legitimize the wholly false, malicious, wicked and devious character assassination of the honorable Political Leader of the ANC? Where were you and your courage to call for calm when Henry Costa publicly confessed that the Unity Party Chairman, Amin Modad, leaked out to Costa, unapproved minutes of the National Advisory Council of the CPP, to lambast Cummings? How easy and quick was it to find your “courage” to call for calm only after the ANC ran out of patience with what can only be reasonably described as the conspiratorial silence of those who know the truth, like yourself, but are playing along with the wicked machinations and deceptions to tarnish, without a scintilla of evidence or justifiable cause, the good and honorable reputation of the Political Leader of the ANC who has acted, and continue to act, in absolute good faith, to keep the CPP together?
“Madam Senator, it has to strike as a taint on your leadership ability that you would elect to be silent while extreme elements of constituent parties make wild accusations and undertake schemes of vilifications intended to pull the CPP apart by grossly mischaracterizing what every leader of the CPP knows, and have reasons to know, to be false, and only rush to “call for calm” when the ANC, the victim of this dangerous scheme, elects to publicly defend itself and challenge the dishonorable characters and intentions of its public vilifiers.
“It is open secret that you favor one aspirant over another, and your choice is Amb. Joseph Boakai. Accordingly, every vitriolic assault on your unfavored colleague, Alexander Cummings, incites your conspiratorial silence. But our vehement response now prompts your so-called call for calm. Honestly, neither the ANC nor I hold anything against you for choosing one CPP candidate over the other.
“Furthermore, it strikes me as wrong that you will allow your choice of candidate to influence your judgment, leadership, and decision-making for the CPP, so that your perception of the attendant harm to the CPP is dangerously short-sighted. As we are all discovering about your leadership of the CPP, it is difficult to lead a group fairly and justly when the leader is prioritizing personal ambition to be the basis for their judgments and decision-making as oppose to the supremacy of the best interests of the group.
“Look at what you have done, and are continuing to do to the CPP! Of course, you know the truth. Of course, you know the allegation against Mr. Cummings and the ANC is unfounded, nothing but a wild-goose chase, wrong, false, maliciously intended, and has no resemblance to the facts and the truth, which you knew then, and still know. Yet, conspiratorially, you have allowed the devilish accusations to fester, and have presided over dragging the CPP through this unnecessary public denigration, charade and devilish scheme, you have reasons to know, has only one motivation: To publicly paint a defamed, dishonorable and malicious picture of Mr. Alexander Cummings, whose character and honor you know is beyond reproach. Why? Because he dares to honorably and democratically challenge and contest against the former Vice President, your choice, in a growing call for real change in our country.
“Now, left alone to defend itself, and the unmatched honor of its Political Leader, as well as recognizing the need to fight back as the ANC was compelled to do – thanks to your prolonged conspiratorial, and one has to reasonably assume, cheerleading silence – suddenly you have found your lost voice and your missing courage to “call for calm”. How dare you?
“Remember, Madam Senator, our people say: “Town trap is not for rats alone!” The wise would caution that he who sows dishonor to exclude and get rid of another, will have the same dishonor waiting for their harvest.
“Oh what a tangled web we weave; when first, we practice to deceive”, these are the timeless words of Sir Walter Scott. Sir Scott warned that when we lie or act dishonestly, we actually initiate problems and create a domino structure of complications which is likely to eventually run out of control.
“These pieces of wisdom are instructive. Lest you forget and view these wicked and calculated deceptions through wholly selfish lenses as being only against Mr. Cummings, the document under challenge on allegations of being “fraudulent” and therefore illegal, registered the CPP with the National Elections Commission, and thereby qualified you and others to contest on the CPP’s ticket. If said document is “fraudulent” and not of the wishes of the constituent members, it legally extends that you and all other candidates of the CPP were selected under a “fraudulent” agreement which was not intended by the constituent parties. The “fraud” and illegality can, for all intents and purposes, extend to you and others, and should therefore be legally corrected by the nullification of your various successful elections. Beware, Madam Senator, of the extent of this tangled web of deception you and others are weaving.
“Finally, Madam Senator, the last eight months of your leadership have seen the worst in the CPP. Distrusts have risen, lack of leadership is self-evident, personal ambitions have overwhelmed decision-making, internal processes and procedures have broken down, leaks have become the new order, and I am sure I speak for many in saying, as respectfully as I can, that many will be happy to see you turn over the leadership of the CPP, which is long overdue.“Madam Senator, these are the thoughts and reflections from my mental skies. I wish I could have expressed them more clearly and more calmly than this. If I wrote anything that offends you, it was not done with any malaise; and no offense was intended,” outgoing Secretary General Aloysius Toe vented.
It remains to be seen what would be the reaction of other members of the CPP that were accused in Atty. Toe’s verbiage.
Meanwhile, initial attempts to reach out to spokespersons of the other three constituent CPP parties proved futile up to press time.