All Liberian Party (ALP) political leader Benoni Urey says he has always been a fighter in the cause of improving the lives of the ordinary masses. And in the spirit of this cause, Urey says, he is launching a presidential bid to eventually rescue Liberians from their current precarious living conditions perpetuated by the current regime.
As a man who is successful in the business arena, Urey is poised take his successful track record to the poll come 2017 in the cause of economic, political and social liberation.
“I have been here”
According to him, he stands the best chances of all in the presidential race because he has always been with the Liberian people, especially the ordinary ones during the nation’s dark days; therefore, he knows the plights and their needs.
“I have been here with the ordinary people; I have gone nowhere so I know the plights of our people,” he told the Daily Observer in an exclusive interview on Tuesday, August 30, adding that managing Liberia is simple, but those who have been opportune to occupy the highest positions do not love the country neither its people.
Though being someone who is accustomed to victory, as he believes, Urey is also a believer in the realities of life, as a result, he expects to either win or lose next year—but does not want to experience the latter to the current ruling establishment, neither to any of its associates.
“I do not have to be president”
In this regard, he said, he will not rule out partnering with other opposition politicians or parties to unseat the Unity Party (UP) government.
Urey says he and other politicians are discussing a merger to have the weight that would eventually deny the ruling party a third term. They have been having several meetings to ensure that this comes to fruition in 2017, though the issue of who becomes the standard bearer, in case of any merger, remains sticky.
“I do not have to become president of Liberia,” Urey told the Daily Observer, “I just want to see the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf small group of people who together govern Liberia for their own purposes come to an end.”
For this reason Urey said, “I am preparing myself to fight tooth and nail to ensure that no one will come from the UP to take power—if it requires me to spend everything that I have, even down to my precious life, to ensure that the UP and its many tentacles spread all over the place, with some in disguise, receive massive defeat at the poll next year.”
As a successful Liberian businessman, Urey does not see any possibility of losing next year’s election, but if he does, he promised to remain on the ground—as he has always done— and work with any victorious candidate, but cited the UP or any of its associates, as an exception.
He compared a UP victory or the emergence of any of its associates to an “old wine in a new bottle.”
“Ellen and her cronies have failed the Liberian people, and so, they must be booted out. The President and her associates, some of whom have left her sinking boat, have ruined our country and let us to know that they don’t have the commitments to move this country forward,” he said.
“If it cost my life, I am willing to die, but UP and its associates will not win,” Urey said, adding that victory in this case is sure as ever.
The ALP leader further told this newspaper that Liberia has always lacked a president that would exhibit leadership commitment to move the country forward. “We need a president who is farsighted, committed and above all, love the country and its people. But we have been unfortunate in this regard,” he said.
Urey also noted that genuine reconciliation under this government has become illusive, because those who are supposed to commit their political will to the process are themselves not reconciled into their hearts.
He therefore frowned on the manner in which the process of reconciliation is being conducted and those appointed to lead that direction.
“The ALP has a list of 15 ‘Musts’,” Urey said, “and the first ‘Must’ is that we must reconcile Liberia.”
Highlighting what he saw as a fundamental issue with the erstwhile Truth and Reconciliation process, Urey asked, “How could you bring someone who has almost lived his entire life abroad and was not here when devastations were ongoing, to come and lead such a nationally important process?”
The person is not part of any social and fraternal group to bring some level of relevance to the process of mending the hearts and healing the wounds of Liberians.
And as a result, he said, President Sirleaf does not want Liberians to reconcile, because she is not willing to lead the process.
“When you have a President who says one of her major weaknesses is her inability to forgive, this clearly indicates that we are not ready for reconciliation in this country. And I strongly believe that President Sirleaf cannot make Liberia a reconciled state when she herself is not willing to reconcile with others,” Urey added.