The first national convention of the Vision for Liberia Transformation party (VOLT) with the motto, ‘Transforming Liberia through Agriculture’, has ended in disappointment, leaving stranded delegates in frustration.
The convention, held February 23 to 25 in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, brought together hundreds of delegates from the 15 sub-divisions of the country.
Speaking on behalf of his fellow delegates during an urgently called meeting at the party’s headquarters in Buchanan last Sunday, the party’s Cape Mount County chairman, Ngayanga M. Vandii, said delegates never received lodging, feeding or transportation to get back to their various counties.
“In fact, we know ourselves and have homes and family members and the party made us to sleep in the dew and on bare floors at the party’s office in Buchanan,’’ Mr. Vandii lamented.
Prior to the party’s executive elections, the then vision bearer, who was later elected Standard Bearer, Dr. Jeremiah Z. Whapoe, apologized to the delegates for the inconveniences they experienced.
He then assured them that the mistakes would not be repeated as everything was on course for them to return to their various counties with jubilation.
The episode erupted after the convention ended and the newly elected executive leadership secretly left the convention hall at the LOIC campus in Lower Harlandsville Township outside Buchanan at about 7p.m. on February 25.
Those elected and inducted included the standard bearer, Dr. Jeremiah Z. Whapoe, Isaac G. Flowers-national chairman, Co-chairman for administration John C. Kollie, national secretary general Lawrence Gboyah, assistant secretary general, Ms. Linda Barkon, and assistant secretary general for press and propaganda, Emmanuel Banney.
Others were national women’s wing chairperson-Tenneh Varney, vice chairperson-Tata Kamara, secretary general Mary Kolue, and financial secretary Haza Bilidy.
The rest are youth chairman-Suolitto M. Konneh, national youth vice chairman–Ruth Borbor, and the national youth vice secretary for finance- Ms. Mickey Giwlaye, among others.
Installing the officers, VOLT’s election commissioner, Dyric S. Payway, urged them to protect, defend and uphold the constitution of the party for victory in the October elections
Responding on behalf of the new leadership, Dr. Whapoe thanked the partisans for their preferment and promised that they will live up to the confidence reposed in them.
Dr. Whapoe said 170 years ago, the past leaders of the country deliberately failed to cater to the needs of the people, but his party will engage in agriculture to grow more food for the people to get them out of poverty.
“When we grow more food through mechanized farming, our people will not depend on imported food, especially our staple food, rice, and as such no one will go to bed hungry again after two years of my leadership,’’ he stated.
He said education, health and other developmental initiatives will be the priorities of his party if he is elected President of Liberia to succeed the Unity Party government.