“UP is An Institute, not one man show” –JNB -As UP ends youth leadership dispute

MONROVIA – The Standard Bearer of the former governing Unity Party, Joseph Nyuma Boakai has said that the party is an institutional establishment that does not run on individual wings and caprices just as the long standing youth leadership dispute came to an end with the induction of Youth Chair, Melvin Cephus.

In an apparent response to criticism that he’s not a decisive leader, former VP Boakai said under his leadership, Unity Party has always operated and will always operate and make decisions through its established structures as a responsible political party order than the usual “one man show” culture in other political parties.

Speaking Wednesday, October 5, 2022, during the long-awaited “white ballot” ceremony for the positions of Youth Chair and Vice Chair for Administration of the Unity Party’s Youth Congress, Ambassador Boakai emphasized that a political party seeking to provide leadership for the country must endeavor to demonstrate institutional and structural leadership, and not impose personal opinions, views and decisions on people.

He called on the newly certificated and inducted National Chair and Vice Chair for Administration of the UP Youth Congress, Melvin Cephas and Cyrus Greene to promote unity, and collective engagement in the discharge of their duties.

VP Boakai urged the leadership and members of the Unity Party to put aside their individual interests and differences and see the “redemption” of Liberia in 2023 as the bigger picture that must be achieved in the greater interest of the Liberian people.

Wednesday’s ceremony came after the National Coordinating Committee endorsed the Clarence Massaquoi Election Committee’s report, which disqualified

Lansanna Fofana and John Barleah from contesting the positions of Chair and Vice Chair for Administration of the party’s Youth Congress respectively.

Fofana and Barleah were disqualified from contesting as Chair and Vice Chair for Administration for exceeding the required age limit of 35 years, but Mr. Fofana and his supporters have refused to accept the decision.

Both candidates had presented fraudulent birth certificates with reduced ages, during their application, which were reported and investigated, and led to their disqualification.

The “white ballot” program was planned after a stakeholders meeting was held at the Standard Bearer’s Rehab office on September 18 which reinforced that the decision made by the National Convention must be respected. The decision was to postpone the election for the two positions, conduct investigations and where the allegations were found to be true, the positions would not be readvertised.

Melvin Cephas and Cyrus Greene were elected on white ballot as Chair and Vice Chair for Administration respectively, for the UP’s Youth Congress.

UP officials have described Wednesday’s program as a move to shut critics up, and a manifestation that the party is bigger than any one individual.

Former VP Boakai led an array of party officials and well-wishers at the ceremony, which climaxed the July Gbarnga convention.

Meanwhile, as was earlier reported, Unity Party National Chairman, Luther Tarpeh boycotted the “white ballot” ceremony in an apparent show of dissatisfaction that his preferred candidate for the position of Chairman of the National Youth Congress, Mr. Lansanna Fofana was disqualified.

A low-key disturbance put up by few members of the Youth Congress believed to be supporters of Mr. Fofana was quickly brought under control and the ceremony went ahead successfully.

Speaking shortly after his certification and induction, Mr. Melvin Cephas vowed to be a leader of, and for all, and called on his few disenchanted young partisans to join his leadership and the Unity Party to work towards the greater agenda and goal of 2023 victory.

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