Some members of the opposition Liberty Party led by its political leader Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence are poised to expel the Chairman of the party, Musa Bility.
Billy's pending expulsion is the effect of a wider internal crisis that laid bare the fragility of the two leaders’ relationship, resulting in the suspension of the political leader over alleged unpaid dues.
"The Political Leader of the Liberty Party, Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence will hold a major press conference on December 12, m at the party’s Montserrado County office located on the Old Road at 12: PM," a release from Daniel Sando, an aide to the party leader said.
The primary aim of the meeting, Sando said is to expel the party chairman and to address all issues surrounding the operations of the Liberty party.
But Chairman Bility has challenged the appearance of Executive Committee members at Sen. Karnga-Lawrence press conference today, stating that he will resign if fifteen executive committee members show up at the conference.
Bility latest remark is a display of an uneasy alliance between Bility and his political leader, which has split the party and the fight for the decision-maker position.
"If 15 executive committee members attendecision-makerblee Karnga-Lawrence press conference today, I will resign as chairman of the party," Chairman Bility said in a Facebook post.
The Party Executive Committee is the highest decision and Bility seems to control half of them. The party has 31 executive committee members but Chairman Bility is challenging the appearance of even 15 persons.
While Bility this week suspended the political leader along with party's executives including Senator Abraham Darius Dillon for failure to pay their dues, it's not clear whether the suspended political leader has the power to expel the Chairman
His action to suspend Sen. Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence, and other high-ranking officials for unpaid dues – reopening wounds of past internal crises and rehash of old dirty politics that ensued between the party political leader and its chairman.
Chairman Bility, on Dec. 6 informed his political leader that she has been suspended for owing dues of US$18,000 for the period January — December 2021.
Bility, who claimed that his action is backed by Article IX of the Liberty Party Constitution, then warned his political leader that if she fails to clear the debt, he will be left with no choice but to expel her from the higher leadership position she currently occupies.
But Sen. Karnga-Lawrence fired back and denied Bility’s claims of unpaid arrears – and threatened to have him expelled for not respecting the rules and norms of the Party – deepening the root cause of their fierce struggle for political power that dates back more to the day the LP chairman took office this year.
It is a spiraling crisis between the two, which has come to dominate the body politic of the party, ranging from allegations of anti-democratic behaviors to fraud, which might soon lead to political inertia, undermining the party’s ability to raise its voice against bad governance, corruption, and poverty.
And no one can be sure who will win the power struggle that appears to be paralyzing the Liberty Party but the losers are clear – the partisans and an image of a party well-known for its organizational tranquility.
The widening rift is a spillover of Senators Karnga-Lawrence and Dillon, as well as Daniel Sando, an assistant to the party’s political leader, open accusation that the party’s chairman and secretary-general made dubious changes to the party’s constitution.
Then chairman Bility and secretary-general Martin Kollah denied the allegation but took revenge by suspending Sen. Dillon and Sando for “making several unauthorized public utterances, derogatory statements against the chairman and executives.”
In the end, the Liberty Party has been entangled in one problem after another, which at any given time, can be kick-started by the two leaders or their support – thus underscoring the growing challenge they faced in exerting control over the party and unifying it.
At the same time, it poses a serious challenge for the party’s National Advisory Council (NAC) which has worked so hard to find a safe option to resolve the internal political quagmire that came out of the tempering claims, as well as find a safe landing.