It appears to be getting tougher by the day for the leader of the All Liberian Party (ALP), businessman Benoni Urey, who is losing his grip on partisans in the leeward counties with just a few weeks to the elections.
Some top ALP officials in the counties are leaving the ALP camp and are heading to political parties that many are considering as the front runners in the upcoming October polls.
The latest of the ALP crossovers are the party’s leadership in Lofa County who pledged their support to the ruling Unity Party last Saturday.
The ALP County Chairlady Lorpu Wleh along with the coordinators of six districts announced that they have tendered their resignations to join the Unity Party. The districts include Voinjama, Kolahun, Quardu-Gboni, Wahasa, Vahun and Zorzor.
They said before making their decision, they examined political and economic situations in the country and also consulted with people and critically evaluated and soberly reflected on the characters of all those wanting to become president.
They made the declaration over the weekend at the county’s recognition and appreciation program for 14 counties of Liberia and several individuals for their endorsements and financial support and official launch of the campaign in Voinjama, Lofa County.
“We have hereby resolved to willingly declare our Presidential and Vice Presidential support to Unity Party’s VP Boakai and Emmanuel Nuquay as our next leaders come October 10.
“We are proud and prepared for the consequences of this decision,” they said.
According to them, their decision was based on the tradition of supporting chiefs and elders of the land who sanctioned it because it is an honorable duty and responsibility to listen and yield to their voice, wisdom and advice.
The former ALP leaders said: “We anticipate a peaceful and tolerant campaign void of personal attacks but dealing with issues which will make our elections violence free. “
It may be recalled that on August 7, eleven influential ALP members led by the party’s then national assistant secretary general for press and information, Dickson N. Tamba, resigned from the party and pledged their support to the presidential bid of Vice President Boakai. The new recruits, many of whom were ranking members of their old parties, pledged to do all within their power to ensure that VP Boakai, whom they described as “the light of the country”, is elected at the polls in October.
“We, formerly of the ALP, have come to pledge our support to the presidential bid of the best candidate for this race, VP Boakai,” said Tamba, speaking on behalf of the group. “These elections are defining moments for our country because we have not had such a democratic transition in years, and as such the VP is the most qualified to lead this process.”
He added, “This is a historic day for Liberia. Historic because, patriotic Liberians, having gone throughout every nook and cranny of the Republic, assessed the political and development situations in our country.”
Also, the ALP hierarchy in Margibi County resigned a few weeks ago, denouncing their support for the presidential bid of Mr. Urey. According to reports, the backsliders indicated that the ALP political leader was no longer the man to take Liberia to a brighter future. There have also been some defections in other areas.
VP Boakai meanwhile congratulated the Lofa cross-overs for pledging their support to the UP and for making the right decision that will determine the future of the country.
“We are happy to receive you and we must all work together to ensure a one round victory for the benefit of our nation,” he said.
He urged his supporters to remain firm, stating that this is the last opportunity for the citizens of Lofa County to elect a president and that they should not allow the opportunity to pass them by.
According to the ALP national chairman, Mr. Theodore Momo, Madam Lorpu Wleh left the party three months ago for educational reasons — she wanted to focus on her studies at Cuttington University, which ALP agreed to and supported her academic sojourn.
“ALP supported her but at certain point she left her duties as Chairlady for the party and focus on education which executives of the party agreed to released her off her post and allow her focus on her education. We later received a letter from her that she has resigned from the party but we are not moved by her resignation because we have found someone capable to occupied her position in the party,” be said.
He described her pledge of support the Unity Party as ‘political nonsense’.
Nevertheless, Momo said the ALP has appointed a new Chairman who is currently working in Lofa to ensure that Urey gets votes from the county.