Crisis Deepens In Unity Party 

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Crisis continues to deepen within the former ruling Unity Party (UP) as the leadership of the National Youth Congress has sent out words of condemnations towards what it refers to as acts of disrespect shown to the party’s Standard Bearer, Joseph NyumaBoakai and alleged criminality exhibited by some members of the Youth Congress. The newly elected Secretary General of the UP Youth Congress, Evans Boima Tuku announced early Thursday morning, September 22, 2022, that the Congress has rejected the decision of the National Convention, which is the highest decision making body of the party, to endorse the report of the 2022 Election Committee (EC) which disqualified Partisan Lansana P. Fofana and Partisan John Barleah from contesting the positions of Chairman and Vice Chairman for Administration in the Youth Congress. 

At the UP National Convention held in Gbarnga, Bong County in July this year, delegates voted not to readvertise the positions of National Youth Chairman and Vice Chairman for Administration upon completion of the investigation into complaints of fraud. 

The Election Committee, in keeping with the election guidelines and the party’s constitution, investigated and found that both candidates (Lansana P. Fofana and John Barlea) candidates for Chair and Vice Chair for Administration filed fraudulent birth certificates, to reduce their ages, along with their application for the respective positions they were seeking. However, Partisan Collins Tamba, the most senior executive of the National Youth Congress (Vice Chair for Mobilization, Membership and Recruitment) and the Acting Youth Congress Chair, as designated by the National Coordinating Committee (NCC), issued a counter statement Thursday, September 22, nullifying the proclamations made by the Youth Congress Secretary General. He termed his colleague’s action as an attempt to further deepen the crisis within the Youth Congress, disrespect the Standard Bearer, the National Chairman and other members of the National Coordinating Committee, which currently sits as the highest decision making body in the absence of the National Executive Committee. 

Tamba also alarmed over complaints from several youth leaders that their signatures were fraudulently placed on the release read by Tuku, and that they at no time authorized said action. 

This act, according to Tamba, is criminal and must be condemned in the strongest possible terms. 

He informed the public that the National Leadership (including the Standard Bearer) and other stakeholders of the party have convened several meetings surrounding the saga emanating from the Youth Congress since the Gbarnga Convention and that a decision was reached on the 18th of September 2022 in a leadership meeting held at the Standard Bearer’s Rehab office.

The UP leadership and stakeholders, Tamba added, acknowledged that they do not have the authority to review or undo the decisions reached by the 2022 National Convention and that only the National Convention, as per the constitution of the party, can review or overturn her decisions. 

At the September 18 meeting, it was further agreed that the National Coordinating Committee, headed by the National Chairman, in accordance with the National Convention’s mandate, should “OPERATIONALIZE the report of the Clarence Massaquoi Election Committee and the decision of the National Convention with reference to the legal opinion of the Party’s Legal Team headed by Justice Gloria Musu Scott within one week beginning September 18, 2022, because the national leaders had no authority to undo the decision of the National Convention.” 

The Acting Youth Chair urged all members of the National Youth Congress to put aside their differences and personal interests and elevate the Party’s interest above all of their selfish aims as they strive towards winning the 2023 elections. Tambareminded his fellow youth leaders, members and other partisans that the UP is a party of peace and integrity and its Standard Bearer is a symbol of these two principles, and therefore, if they intend to lead Liberia with integrity, rule of law and peace, they must first practice and live by those virtues. 

Tamba cautioned partisans and the public that until there’s an official statement coming from the National Coordinating Committee of the Unity Party regarding any pronouncement about the status of the National Chair of the Youth Congress and Vice Chair for Administration, all other pronouncements via whatever medium should be considered false and misleading and must not be given credence.

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