Mr. Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan, former Foreign Minister and a one-time executive member of the Unity Party (UP), has tendered in his resignation to the Chairman of the party. His letter was sent in sometime last week, UP Secretary General, Mr. Wilmot Paye, said.
Speaking on an evening phone-in program broadcast on the state-owned radio station—LBS— yesterday, Paye confirmed the party’s receipt of the resignation letter, adding that everyone has the right to associate or dissociate with the party.
It is not clear if the UP tried to dissuade Mr. Ngafuan from resigning.
This will be the former Foreign Minister, who also served in the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf-led administration as Finance Minister’s second resignation from any major part played by the ruling party.
Mr. Ngafuan last October 2015 resigned as Foreign Minister/Dean of the President’s Cabinet, while he was abroad with the president.
When contacted, Ngafuan confirmed to the Daily Observer his resignation from the party and stated that he is leaving with malice towards none, and is open to work with “positive forces from all political institutions, including members of the UP as well as Liberians with no party labels
in helping to move Liberia forward.”
Ngaf, as he is populary called by most of his peers, further stated that it is his fervent prayer that the Almighty God will continue to bless and guide every political party and/or political actor to work for the collective good of Liberia from whatever vantage point they find themselves.
On his next political home and what specific role he is going to play in the upcoming 2017 General Elections, he said: “This will be made clear very soon.”
He refused to divulge why he had parted company with the ruling party, which he helped to win state power in 2005. He stated that he has not been dissuaded from resigning from the party by senior officials.
This resignation, however, is the first in a series of big political moves he is about to take in the coming days and weeks. But judging from his previous public comments, one can expect that he is now earnestly beginning his mission to vie for the presidency of Liberia. He had said in an interview few months back that Liberians should not be surprised if he chose to run for President; instead what should surprise Liberians is if he chose not to run for President.
Even though he didn’t say why he had resigned from the party, a source very close to Ngafuan said the former Foreign Minister had previously discussed with the President in December 2015 of his intention to resign from the party.
Among the reasons this person provided included the party’s failure to put in the requisite internal frameworks and consultative processes to ensure that it remained true to its platform and the expectations of its partisans.
He also said Mr. Ngafuan doubts commitment of party leaders to upholding the tenets of internal democracy as evidenced by their taking open public positions on the party ticket for 2017, long in advance of convention, which according to this source, UP hierarchies should be conducting and supervising, and not taking sides.
“After the 2011 run-off elections and in spite of the fact that he served as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Dean of the Cabinet and played leading roles in the 2005 Campaign (he served as spokesman of the campaign and founded the largest auxiliary of the party called the Youths for
Ellen’s Presidency) and the 2011 Campaign (he served as member of the Campaign Team), he has been excluded from almost all formal and informal party consultations, the latest being the home-coming program held by the party in December,” this source said.
“As a result of this trend of exclusion and weak internal consultation framework, he had been unable to contribute as he had wanted to, toward shaping the direction of the party to ensure unity of purpose and a strengthened commitment to deliver on key expectations and aspirations of the Liberian people, which would make the party to occupy cherished positions in the minds of the Liberian people,” the source stated.