MONROVIA: In the midst of mounting speculations and conspiracy theories surrounding a reported meeting between Senator Abraham Darius Dillon and former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the firebrand Montserrado County Senator has finally opened up on that meeting, which in his own words accordingly hinged on the political future of Grand Bassa County Senator Nyonblee Karngar-Lawrence, after Unity Party Standard Bearer Joseph Nyuma Boakai had failed to select her as his running mate, but rather chose Nimba County Senator Jeremiah Kpan Koung as his Vice Standard Bearer. In a rather frank deliberation when he appeared on Spoon TV Live nighttime talk show program on Saturday, June 17, 2023, Senator Dillon said the crux of the meeting was that Madam Sirleaf wanted for him to leverage his influence and convince Senator Lawrence to accept the running mate position which was still open prior to Mr. Cummings selecting Cllr. Charlyne Brumskine as his second in command.
“The meat of it is that there was a proposal for Cummings to select Nyonblee Karngar-Lawrence. The deal did not go through, and we are where we are. Madam Sirleaf supports Alex Cummings, and it is her right. Alex Cummings is taking instructions from Madam Sirleaf and Musa Bility, I can say that clearly; and whatever that they have, it is the instruction and advice of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. I didn’t want to be a part of it; we did not want to be a part of it, and we are not a part of it; and the deal closed. Period!” Dillon stated emphatically.
Dillon said, when former Vice President Joseph Boakai did not name Nyonblee Karngar-Lawrence, whom they all supported and had hoped she would have been named, other contesting parties thought it was an opening to seek the political hand of Senator Lawrence as their running mate. “We had Cllr. Gongloe making an offer; we had Mr. Alexander Cummings and his team drive into Grand Bassa County to make said offer, and along the way while we were consulting, I got a call to meet with Madam Sirleaf and we had a meeting for about 3o minutes, and then later joined by Mr. Cummings and Musa Bility.”
Expounding further, Dillon said as a national leader, he agrees with Costa’s assertion that “man can’t talk all”; but that generally, the crux of the discussion was to get his endorsement and their team’s endorsement to get Senator Lawrence to consent to running as running mate to Cummings. “Mr. Cummings and Musa Bility came and joined the meeting and I made some conditional commitments in that meeting, predicated upon xyz. When I saw thereafter no good faith courageous commitment following up, I cut it off. And that was the end of it.”
When he queried about his inner feelings about his meeting and conversation with former president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, whether he was scared that’s why he backed off from the offer, Dillon said there was nothing about the meeting to make him afraid, rather it was an eye-opener.
“The period after Joseph Nyuma Boakai announced Jeremiah Koung, that two to three weeks period was an opportunity for a long eye opening to what’s happening to the democracy of our country, who’s hijacking what, and including what is happening to our party, the Liberty Party. I was not going to be a part of rewarding anybody that got Liberty Party in shambles.
Regarding whether Madam Sirleaf is now playing an active part in Liberian politics following remarks she had made earlier that she would no longer be active in politics, Dillon reiterated that he met with Madam Sirleaf and she proposed a ticket for 2023. “Eventually that proposal did not hold and we cut the conversation off.”
The revelations by Senator Dillon come in the wake of a cryptic June 3, 2023 tweet from Madam Sirleaf stating: “I wish Senator Dillon the best in his political endeavors. I hope he will continue to espouse those democratic principles of freedom of expression and choice.” The Sirleaf tweet followed a promise from Dillon that he would be disclosing the outcome of their Fish Market, Sinkor meeting.
Speaking further on the much-talked-about tweet, Dillion thanked and appreciated Madam Sirleaf for her Twitter remark, saying that he respects the wordings in that tweet, and he respects her right to freedom of expression and choice.
“But Madam Sirleaf is simply saying, ‘shut your mouth; I’ve got my own choice to make too, and you must respect’. You know how our old people in a subtle way know how to tell you to shut up. That tweet was only meant to say, ‘you boy, that thing you want to say, you’d better shut up’. So, I respect that; her right to expression, her right to choose should be respected,” said Dillon.
Prospects for Rescue Team
Dillon seemed cautiously upbeat when it came to the question of Ambassador Boakai’s chances at the October 10, 2023 polls, noting that the people are resolved to democratically oust President Weah in October, but that the Rescue Team must do its homework.
“Unless we don’t vote. Unless we don’t vote in majority; unless we don’t recruit poll watchers; unless we don’t man our ballots. Look, George Weah is sitting as President. He vowed that as long as he is president, people like Darius Dillon can never be elected senator, especially of the county that matters most to George Weah and his party. He’s sitting as president and we whipped him twice in the very county. Maybe, if we didn’t have the vote to win, George Weah was going to come across as being too strong, like if he doesn’t want you elected, you can’t be elected. But all power is inherent in the people. It is the people that institute government for their happiness, their safety, their benefits and their wellbeing. And when the people speak in the majority, no one person has that influence to alter it.
“We will man our ballot, the people will vote, we will protect the ballot, we make sure that every ballot is counted right, our poll watchers will be trained enough to know why to sign, why not to sign if there are issues for us to win.
He said the fight over Montserrado County will be decisive but, in the end, the Rescue Team will come out victorious, not on account of his (Dillon’s) popularity, but because the Liberian people are tired of suffering, and that the people want Joseph Boakai as their president.
“Montserrado County will be delivered not on account of Darius Dillon. Montserrado County and the country will be delivered because the people want change, they want to be rescued. Montserrado County will vote Joseph Boakai over 70 percent, not because of Darius Dillon, but because the people want Joseph Boakai. The people want nothing to do with George Weah after October 10. The people want a government that will announce the audit of the George Weah government and hold people accountable. The people want a government that will stand firm and fight and push for the establishment of a war and economic crimes court. The people want to feel the impact of their resources. That’s why the people of Montserrado County will vote; not because of Dillon, but with Dillon, for the rescue mission across the country,” Dillon stated confidently.
Meanwhile, CPP Chairman Musa Bility, reacting to Senator Dillon’s version of the meeting with former President Sirleaf, said the Montserrado County lied on the elderly stateswomen.
“Dillon, until October 10, you will no longer get away with your usual diabolical lies. You lied on EJS last night about the historicity of that meeting. The public will hear from me tonight on SKTV at 6 pm. I’ve got your stories, man. And I will never let you get away anymore. You are a wicked, ungrateful, selfish, arrogant, illiterate, and ignorant man. Voices like yours must never be allowed to permeate our political space—enough of your blaa blaa. I’ll be with you until the final results of these elections are announced. Even if you speak bad English, I’ll correct you. After all, I’m more educated than you,” Bility fumed in a social media post yesterday.