CDC Internal Crisis Deepens, as VP Taylor Speaks Out

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"We need to respect the terms of the agreement that consummated the Coalition so that we can live in an environment of peace and unity as we go forward," says Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor (right). Pictured: Howard Taylor and George M. Weah (left) led their respective parties to join the Coalition for Democratic Change that brought them to power.

— Says contents of the collaborative framework are being disrespected

Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor has divulged that the current framework that governs the ruling Coalition of Democratic Change (CDC) is being violated just three years after the party rattled power of the grips of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and her Unity Party (UP).

In a rare public admission, VP Taylor, who is the standard bearer of the former ruling National Patriotic Party (NPP), which is a member of the tripartite coalition, said that the entire collaborative framework on which the coalition was established, seems to be turning upside-down to the extent that the coalition is currently in a critical position because of the blatant violation of portions of the agreements that brought the three political parties in the collaboration.

“There are areas where there are explicit rules and laws and we need to abide. We need to respect the terms of the agreement that consummated the Coalition so that we can live in an environment of peace and unity as we go forward.

She alleged that some figures of the constituent parties are trying to transgress those laws and they are planting seeds of conflict. Though she did not out-rightly name those who are violating the terms of the agreement, the VP said the situation is leading to disenchanted members of constituent parties leaving either the Coalition or its member parties.

“The coalition is at a very crucial point as we head to the Senatorial mid-term elections. The agreement that we had that those parties that have incumbents in certain seats have the right of nomination to those seats, but this is no longer the situation and has been the cause of confusion within the coalition,” she said.

The cracks within the Coalition which is not something new began barely a year upon assuming state power with reported visible strains between President George Weah and his Vice President is becoming more unmistakable as the country heads into a crucial mid-term senatorial election slated for December this year.

It is something that many of the coalition support fears will badly hamper the bid to emerge victorious with the most seats come the midterm senatorial elections.  And that the maneuvering or political interplays that have helped to keep the coalition, which comprises the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), the National Patriotic Party (NPP) and the Liberia People Democratic Party (LPDP), will not outclass the current disenchantments that have overwhelmed the ruling coalition ahead of the December 8, 2020 polls.

According to Vice President, the situation has led to people leaving constituent members of the coalition and by our agreement, Bomi, Gbarpolu, and Maryland Counties belong to the NPP “because we have incumbent Senators in those counties.”

“The fact of the matter is that the NPP should have had the right of nomination to those counties. Sando Johnson was with the NPP as an incumbent in Bomi County but his post was being contested by members of the ruling coalition, which is totally against our agreement. So this led to him resigning. He thought that his rights were not being satisfied. I don’t know how the coalition will land on its feet,” the VP said on a popular night show, Spoon Talk on Monday night.

‘VP decries rape’

Meanwhile, VP Taylor has decried the alarming rape situations in the country. It is no secret that domestic violence and sexual violence against women and girls, especially rape, remained widespread and the alarming rate at which children and teenagers are being raped in the country is now a major cause with many calls for genuine and holistic actions that would help bring the situation under control.

Amid this situation, VP Taylor has her voice to a growing list of individuals calling for stronger punishment for rapists. She describes the growing wave of SGBV cases as a ‘grievous crime’, especially against minors. She said on the show that the issue of rape is alarming, out of control, and does not seem to be stopping.

“Today, I amplify my voice and add it to the many others who have been speaking for a campaign calling an end to rape in our society. I also pledge my unwavering supports to the call for harsher punishment for those who are convicted of raping a woman over eighteen years and a harsher one for those raping girls less than eighteen years,” she said

The VP said she is of the opinion that no man who rapes a child or a woman deserves the freedom to live a normal life. “What I do know is that every society must make up its mind how to handle its grievous crimes especially against those who are unable to speak or defend themselves.”

She called on the Association of Female Lawyers of Liberia (AFELL) to submit an amendment to the laws on rape by increasing the penalty thereof.

“I also call on the Movement for One Liberia (MOL) to establish community-based activities across our country to create awareness about the crime. I also call on the Ministry of Gender (MOG) to begin a robust program to deal with the issue of rape from the point of perpetration to the law.”

The VP added, “These not ordinary times, so desperate times call for desperate measures. We have been talking about this too much. It is time we combine our energy with concrete actions.”

9 COMMENTS

  1. Rape has always been widespread since Liberians started electing bunch of corrupt women and depraved men to positions of trust. It did not just begin with Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf; though, she, herself, a victim of rape while in prison during the regime of Samuel Kanyon Doe for allegedly participating in the 1985 Quiwonkpa attempted coup, rape, suffice to say, is a putrefying venture embedded in the fabric of society.

    Doe accused Ellen for complicity in the invasion of Liberia by General Quiwonkpa and for allegedly calling officials of the Doe’s regime “idiots” at a speech to a group of Liberians in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1984.

    While in prison for treason, Ellen was abused by some soldiers of the AFL who were noted for sexually assaulting women in military custody. When she became president of Liberia, Ellen returned to the BTC barrack in 2006 for the first time in 16 years to lament her ordeal in a normal Liberian parlance: “YOUR WOMAN IS BACK!” telling scores of AFL soldiers who have turned out to greet their President.

    One would wish a victim of rape and false incarceration, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf would have fought to harshly punish perpetrators of rape but the “rape enterprise” flared at an alarming rate during her regime.

    Like Ellen nearly all of the male presidents since Tubman have been sexual abusers of women. Tubman used to strip himself naked at a party of women where he alone was the man and summarily have sex with the women in attendance with prom and pageantry. He was a sexual mania who did not exercise but smoke and ate and engaged in orgies.

    President Tolbert built campuses for young girls where he deflowered them ( as Liberians women call it: virgilized them). Samuel Doe and Charles Taylor were sexual procrusteans who used sex as quid pro quo for government positions. The current president, George Weah is an avowed sexual predator. His main hobby is sex and licentiousness. He posits a depraved lifestyle for sex, alcohol, and money. He stands as the worst of all of them.

    During the regime of Ellen, Robert Sirleaf, the son of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf had sex with young men and in return for jobs. Some were raped but fear reporting it for fear of their lives. Robert Sirleaf, a notable and unabashed homosexual had sexual relationship with higher-ups men in his mother’s government, some of whom never went around women throughout the duration of Ellen government for fear of inviting anger from Robert, anger that would likely result in dismissal from the government.

    So, rape and sexual predatory behavior is condoned by those in authority. And Jewell of all person should know that. Why is there an internal friction between she and Oppong? Why would an illiterate and a chronically inferior person like Oppong with little to show for in terms of education would refuse to respect her?

    • Where in the above article or remarks by the vp, was there any mention of president Ellen Sirleaf as a victim or condoner of rape? Or you just had to draw her name in your silly rant because she’s your usual soft target, right? If by your asinine estimation the lady was a victim of rape while imprisoned (a blatant fabrication), but were that even the case, wouldn’t such a person deserve your empathy instead of shaming her as you display here? And from your keenness on the history of rape in Liberia, one can easily conclude you too, must be a victim or perpetrator of rape. In either case you will make a good advocate on the subject with facts as your guide.

  2. Vice President Jewel Taylor hits bull’s eye on the issue of rape, which unsurprisingly spiked, like in other countries, as a weapon of war during the civil conflict. It is reassuring she realizes that a holistic approach, rather than reliance on policing and prosecuting efforts alone, has a better chance of reducing these acts of sexual violence against the most vulnerable – females and boys.

    Reference noticeable violations of the tripartite collaborative framework which established the CDC-led Coalition, she reminds of LAP leader Counselor Varney Sherman’s 2012 complaint against UP for not living up to agreements and commitments that cemented the 2009/ 2010 merger of both parties.

    However, although the VP makes a valid point, her choice of example, Senator Sando Johnson, who was a leading actor in business-killing protests led by the original Four Collaborative Parties turned COP cum CPP, is a mute point. Frankly, if I was a CDC Senator, I would’ve long time ago echoed the proverb, “With friends like him, who needs enemies”. Let’s hope all legitimate matters are resolved by the CDC Coalition leadership.

  3. The vice president’s views are genuine, and I agree with her 100%. One thing that i do have a problem with her on is that she spoke against the removal of the Palm Grove Dumpsite/Cemetery, but since that time, has not visited the area. As residents of Gurley Street, we are faced with criminals jerking or robbing people, and now, a huge garbage situation. Madam Vice President, please come and see the outcome of the decision not to relocate the graveyard.

  4. What is the common thread that binds the commission of all the egregious crimes in Liberia? The common thread is impunity (committing crimes and going scot free)/.

    I do not downplay the seriousness and prevalence of rape in Liberia, but it must be tackled with a holistic approach. A Jewish parable says in order to kill the wild grapes, you must first destroy the vines because the vines give rise to the propagation of the grapes.

    The pathology begins with Weah. Why? Liberians do not see him or revered him as the chief law enforcer of the land and for reasons that are understandable. He himself has become an accomplice to so many high profile crimes.

    Don’t ask for the head when the beard burns.j

  5. Is there a total breakdown of law and order in Liberia? In a country where the current legislators and other high ranking officials of government are making huge salaries than ever before in the history of Liberia, the safety, security, and well being of the Liberian people is not guaranteed.

    How can this basic function of safety, security, and well being of Liberians in Liberia be guaranteed by the national government when, according to another online daily news outlet, there is rampant human trafficking scam going on with mostly young men from neighboring countries entering our national borders without the proper immigration documents?

    There are also cries that foreign nationals are openly harvesting our diamond and gold mines in our counties. Again, these foreign nationals are mostly young men from neighboring countries. These cries of the news outlets and the community seem to fall on the deaf ears of our national and local governments.

    Why wouldn’t there be a rise in the number of rapes in the country when there is a flood gate of young men crossing the borders from neighboring countries into Liberia without the proper immigration document? It has been reported that these undocumented individuals populate our towns and cities. They also populate our diamond and gold mines. They did not bring along their girlfriends and/or wives when they crossed into Liberia. Quite obviously, they will prey on the female population of the country. And it seems now, they raped our national borders and are now raping our mines and women with impunity.

    This national scam could not be going on without being given the okay by top government officials.

  6. Sorry Jewel. But when you lie down with dogs, you’ll wake up with fleas and ticks. So di it there you see so.

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