A group of Grand Bassa citizens under the banner “The Bassa Citizens against Brumskine Presidency” has called on Liberians to reject his (Cllr. Charles W. Brumskine) presidential bid, as he is noted for preaching tribal politics.
The party’s chairman, Mr. Jacob Smith has, however, refuted their allegation, describing it “as a campaign that is coming from people who are politically weak and do not have a voice in the politics of Bassa.”
The group, in a statement, said Cllr. Brumskine, as the head of Liberty Party, which has its stronghold in Grand Bassa County, continues to tailor his political messages and strategies in ways that foster tribalism, nepotism, cronyism and division, which are counterproductive to democratic governance, development and national renewal.
Brumskine contested the presidency in 2005 and 2011 without coming close to the presidency. After the 2011 elections, he vowed to back out of politics, but rescinded his decision this year.
The opposition group, in their statement which was signed by their communications director, Aloysious J. Y. Bull, and approved by their national chairman, Emmanuel Z. Wragboe, noted that Cllr. Brumskine’s message to the Liberian people has not changed since 2005.
They quoted Brumskine as saying: “This is time for Grand Bassa to produce a Bassa President. We will beat dumboy in the mansion when the Bassa people make me President. I will direct more development to Bassa when I become president.”
“These statements are not just mistaken, juvenile and inattentive, but they are also undemocratic and lacking the spirit of national vision, unification, patriotism, love and respect for all Liberians,” the group said in their statement.
Among other things, the group alleged that the Liberty Party candidate does not have a house of his own in the county, and rather sleeps in hotels and local motels whenever the leaders visit the county.
They also claimed that Cllr. Brumskine is on record for denying the people of Grand Bassa County many development projects and developmental programs through court actions.
“For instance, Cllr. Brumskine’s court actions led to the denial of the people of Buchanan over a half a million United States dollars World Bank sponsored fishery project on grounds that the project was allegedly being constructed on his land. Does he really want to be president?” asked the statement.
On the series of allegations raised by the group, Mr. Smith clarified that contrary to the allegation that the party is a tribal-based institution, a majority of the executive members of Liberty Party come from Lofa County, and not Grand Bassa County. “There is no line in the constitution of the LP that says the party will be run on the basis of tribalism,” he said.
“The executive committee has from time immemorial never been dominated by the Bassa tribe. We have also made sure that we’ve had the inclusion of every tribal element in this country.”
He backed his stand by referring to the winning of seats in Lofa, Gbarpolu and other counties, which, according to him, reflect that the party is national party and not a Bassa party.
On Cllr. Brumskine’s alleged refusal to allow the fishery project on his land, Mr. Smith said: “The fact of the matter is that there is no truth in what they’re saying that World Bank wanted to carry out a project – that was just propaganda.”
Smith alleged that such propaganda was being propagated by political rivals of the Cllr. Brumskine and the Liberty Party. “These were just a group of people who were trying to draw Cllr. Brumskine into the fray, which they did not succeed,” he added.
The Liberty stalwart said the land in question was Cllr. Brumskine’s private property and none of those heading the project ever sought his consent.