Liberia: Urey Poised to Reunite with Weah?

Benoni W. Urey, political leader of the All Liberian People Party and President George Weah, right.

“... The President is my younger brother and I do not need to go to Boulevard Palace to talk to anyone. The party will decide which party to support during this election as politics is interesting but I am not going back to the Unity Party,” Urey disclosed.

Benoni Urey, once a close ally of former Vice President Joseph Boakai, has left the door open for a possible collaboration with President George Weah who is seeking reelection.

Urey, who is the political leader of the All Liberia Party (ALP) plan comes as the political landscape is witnessing unexpected shifts and alliances and after a fallout with Boakai, who is the leading opposition Presidential candidate.

Tensions between the once-considered formidable political duo had been simmering for months, culminating in a bitter dispute over the direction of their political alliance for the October 10 polls -- fracturing the once-unbreakable bond.

“I have unhindered access to President George Weah and would not go to Boulevard Palace to discuss or receive anything from the Liberian leader,”  Urey said as he denied rumors of meeting the entourage of Weah for a collaboration meeting.

“I can call the President and say come, he will come to my house. The President is my younger brother and I do not need to go to Boulevard Palace to talk to anyone. “The party will decide which party to support during this election as politics is interesting but I am not going back to the Unity Party.

“Anywhere else the party decides, we are going and we are going with force as nobody owns Liberia. When you work with a group for six years, but at the closing moment they tell you that we don't want any collaboration with you, that's the biggest betrayal ever,"  Urey noted as he accused Boakai of stabbing him in the back.

Urey, according to a Frontpage Africa report, which he has denied,  has begun negotiating with Weah's campaign to endorse the president. 

The negotiating took place between the associates of Urey and that of the ruling Congress for Democratic Change of Weah at Boulevard Palace but failed to reach a consensus on potential financial benefits.

Urey has strongly supported Weah in the past, especially between 2005 and 2017, before forming the ALP. He made substantial financial contributions to Weah and the CDC, insiders, and associates have said in the past.

Sources close to the former president's ally indicate that Urey believes that collaboration with Weah could provide him with a strategic advantage as it would seek his interest and serve as a potential payback for the alleged betrayal by Boakai.

The fallout between Urey and Boakai surfaced recently when Henry Costa accused the former Vice President of betraying the “hopes and aspirations” of the ALP and the “Liberian people.” 

Since Costa’s remarks, which were intended to acknowledge the fallout,  both supporters of Urey and Boakai had engaged in heated exchanges, with accusations of disloyalty and ambition-driven decision-making being hurled from both sides. 

“My fellow Liberians, let me tell you all the truth, we did not abandon Boakai as they would have you believe, but rather it was he who abandoned us,” Costa said about two weeks ago.

“Even worse, he has also abandoned his own vision for the Liberian people. The All Liberian Party is no longer allies or partners with Boakai and his Unity Party. We no longer share the same ideals, vision, or values.”

Boakai, however, did not admit or deny Costa and the ALP claim — he rather called Costa his son and said that he was willing to work with him still. 

Urey, who is now backing Costa, claimed that Boakai and his Unity Party treated them badly and even went to the extent of instigating division within the ALP.   He claimed Boakai and his entourage encouraged the defections of four ALP legislative candidates using tribal pressure. 

“Four of our candidates were taken away from us based on the fact that they are from the same tribe and same county. They use tribal pressure. People we worked with for six years and they were bad enough to destroy us.”

"We are not stupid and we will never be used in such a way again," Urey said." They have the nerve to get on social media and try to castigate us and say the party for few. The party for a few and still dying behind us. We have 36 new candidates this year for the elections and we are going to campaign to ensure that these people win.”