‘We’re Useless If Not Reconciled’ -Ms Brumskine Scrambles to Salvage Dad’s Wrecked Party

Months of lingering internal conflicts within the opposition Liberty Party burst into near-irreversible proportion in the last two weeks as the diametrically opposing cleavages settle scores against each other for supremacy. Following a period of controversy over “constitution tempering”, Cllr Charles Walker Brusmkine’s Liberty Party shock the country when its Chairperson, Mr. Musa Hassan Bility, announced the suspension of the Political Leader, Senator Nyonblee Karngar Lawrence and a host of other bigwigs, for alleged failure to pay official membership dues. That pronouncement triggered what seemed to be a collateral response expressed in the dissolution of the Bility-headed National Executive Committee of the party by the Political Leader and the reversal to what was called ‘status quo ante’. Why many thought the feud was settled by this action, the Bility faction again struck back a few days ago with a special convention resolution by which a New Political Leader was named, fresh policy decisions taken, including endorsing a candidate for an opposition collaboration primary standard-bearer candidate. In the view of many pundits, this singular action and its precedential brouhaha, broke the camel’s back and sent the Liberty Party in total tatters. But as The Analyst reports, the daughter of the founding Vision Bearer of the Party is pulling strings, desperately fighting to bridge the divide and salvage a desperately beleaguered party.

The maxim, ‘where the elders fail the wise lads take preeminence’, is expressing itself strongly and visibly in Liberia’s foremost opposition political party, the Liberty Party. The party, widely presumed to be a conglomerate of some of Liberia’s brightest scholars and jurists, has gone into conflagration since its founder, Cllr Charles W. Brumskine, succumbed to the cold hands of death.

Infighting has grown from mere disagreement on the authorship of a reformed constitution to now a squarely factionalized and completely paralyzed party, triggering questions about the presence of “wise elders” in its ranks and files.

With everyone nearly taking side in the conflict, and all hopes dying for resurrection possibility, the daughter of Cllr Brumskine has stepped in to fill the void.

At a press conference yesterday, Ms. Charlyne Brumskine called on all sides to come to the reconciliation table as, in her words, “If we do not reconcile as a Party, we are useless to this nation.”

She recalled the Liberty Party was established on the philosophy of ‘Four Rs’, the first R standing for reconciliation.

“There is a reason that Cllr. Brumskine and the founding members of Liberty Party named reconciliation as the first R,” she said further. “This is the time for reconciliation! This is time to put Liberia and Liberty Party first. There were times when my father faced tremendous opposition, even from within his own Party.  There were some who betrayed him, who left him, who lied on him but in the end, he always put those hard feelings aside. In the end he always chose reconciliation.”

She asked: “What good is a Party with a leadership structure and executive committee recognized by the NEC but who do not have a strong constituent base, what good is a strong and large constituent base with a leadership structure that is not recognized by NEC? We are nothing until we ONE!”

“If we continue to fight like this we are of service to NO ONE! Certainty not any other political institution, and definitely of no use to the country.  The masses are looking to us! Our country needs strong political institutions as the prop for good governance!”

Agreeing that a Party or a government must establish its governing laws and stick to it even if it does not work in the interest of a few, the young Brumskine said however that “if the laws do not work in the interest of the majority, the Party then decides, through proper governance methods, to change the law. The Party should never change its laws to appease the whims of a few!”

She eulogized her late father as a man who embodied the rule of law and did not suffer compromises and petit corruption at any level in this institution.

She recalled: “Brumskine saw LP as his family. And nothing was more important to him than family.  Brumskine did not come from much money, he built LP from his earnings as a lawyer. He was not a millionaire, far from it.  But people flocked to Liberty Party because they saw something different about that institution, something they had not seen before.  They saw an institution being led by someone who had strong values and principles and never compromised such, not for money, not for recognition, not even for the Presidency!”

Brokering The Truce

Madam Brumskine has made a proposition she believes will reconcile the conflicting parties, stating what the public had seen as her silence for the last few months was actual a continuous engaging with the leadership and stakeholders of Liberty Party behind the scenes.

“I have remained publicly silent because I wanted to respect the role of our leaders in the Party. My hope was that the leadership would resolve the issues of the Party and never allow it to get to this point. But now my public silence no longer benefits the partisans of LP,” she said, adding that “time is far spent.”

“Now, in order to truly reconcile, rebuild, reform and recover Liberty Party, I ask that we constitute a council of elders comprising of no more than 7 persons, to engage the leadership of Liberty Party to find a means of making all views compatible and to help us find a way forward! This council will mediate,” Charlyne proposed.

According to her, the council will make findings and offer recommendations, behind closed doors, as a means of moving forward.

She proposed: “We will ask the office of the Political Leader to recommend 2 persons, the Executive Committee to recommend 2 persons and we will have 3 neutral members of the council. I offer to sit on the council. We can use the home of Cllr. Brumskine as the venue. I believe his spirit is there and will guide us.  I strongly believe that all we need to do is take the first step, God and our moral obligation to this country will lead us to the rightful end.”

The daughter of the founding Political Leader called on the office of the Political Leader, Executive Committee and Chairman, to recognize that “now is the time. Tomorrow is not promised. I challenge you to step up, put your differences aside and agree to the reconciliation council for the betterment of the Party and the Nation. I ask you to find it in your heart to come in the middle and lead from there!”

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