“On November 6, 2015, in Tubmanburg, Bomi County, I announced to the people that indeed I have made a return to the Unity Party,” former Bomi County Senator Lahai Gbagba Lansanah has disclosed in Monrovia.
The pronouncement by former ranking Senator Lansanah comes in the wake of mass exodus of lawmakers and political leaders from the ruling party.
Mr. Lansanah, who ran on the ticket of the National Patriotic Party (NPP), was defeated by Unity Party candidate Morris G. Saytumah, but refused to concede defeat. He was arrested along with his wife and others, brought to Monrovia and detained at the Liberia National Police (LNP) headquarters.
Speaker Tyler, who was linked to the arrests, denied the accusation saying he did not have the authority as Speaker of the House to order the arrest of any citizen as alleged by supporters of Senator Lansanah.
In an interview in Monrovia yesterday, the former Chairman of Senate Committee on Rules, Order and Administration said he was returning to the Unity Party in fulfillment of the 2011 merger involving the Liberia Action Party (LAP), of which he was a member, the Liberia Unification Party (LUP) and UP, adding that “besides, things and those who became hurdles to my association with UP are no longer around…it’s time I go back home.”
As someone “who believes in institution”, Lansanah said he decided to return to UP in spite of the ill treatments he suffered there. “I went back there because I know I came from LAP, which together with LUP and UP merged during the 2011 elections,” he added.
Lansanah said the departure of Speaker Alex Tyler and other members of the party is like creating avenue for good people to come in.
“If you spend close to ten or twelve years in UP, and decided to leave and go to another party, you will meet people there who want positions that you have abandoned your party for,” said Lansanah.
He said it was just a matter of time before Speaker Tyler decides to leave the party he just helped to establish.
On the question of whether he harbors future ambitions for a return to legislative politics, Mr. Lansana said the future indeed will decide.
He said the citizens of Bomi are proud that their daughter is president of the country and will always cherish that achievement.
Since his return to UP, Lansanah said he has developed a renewed confidence in the party, and has even been touring the county, and warning his kinsmen that Speaker Tyler’s action was not in their interest.
Lansanah bragged that despite his defeat by current Senator Morris Saytumah, he considers himself the doyen or godfather of legislative politics in Bomi.
Former Senator Lansanah said reconciliation must be holistic, and not be based on pocket side reconciliation.
“I have decided to accept the result and I told my people since June. I took Cllr. Saytumah to Sime Darby, my backyard, and told the people there to accept Senator Saytumah and let bygones be bygones. Whatever happened has happened; it was time to marshal the people of Bomi,” he added.
On the decision by Vice President Joseph Boakai to succeed President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the former Senator said: “I Gbagba Lansanah of Bomi County, I support Joseph Boakai. I will give him my vote if we go to the convention and I want to be clear on that.”