What Difference Is There Now in Political Ideology, Senator Findley?
Last weekend saw the abrupt exit of former Grand Bassa Senator and Senate President Pro-Tempore, Gbehzohngar Milton Findley, from the ruling Unity Party (UP). Since he quit the Senate in 2014 as a result of his defeat in a special senatorial election, Mr. Findley has been actively engaged in mobilizing Grand Bassonians for the election of Vice President Joseph Boakai on the Unity Party ticket in the pending presidential election. In one interview, Mr. Findley is recalled as having stated, “Bassa is not Brumskine’s stronghold. Let’s wait and see whether he will come third; I dare him.” Less than three months ago Mr. Findley lifted Vice President Joseph Boakai’s hand and introduced him to the Bassa people as the country’s choice for the presidency.
This high degree of euphoria that gripped Findley and his supporters soon dwindled following the announcement of Speaker Emmanuel Nuquay as vice running mate to Joseph Boakai. In a statement over the weekend Findley said his resignation was based on “differences in political ideology with the Unity Party and nothing else.”
Was Nuquay’s selection as running mate part of the “ideological differences”?
Findley based his argument on Article 17 of the Constitution which states, “All persons, at all times, shall have the right to associate fully with others and refuse to associate with political parties, trade unions and other organizations.” Difference in political ideology and the constitutional right to associate and to disassociate is indisputable. However, politics being concerned with people makes it imperative to ask this question: What is Senator Findley’s difference now with UP’s political ideology?
The UP under President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has ruled Liberia for 12 consecutive years, and Gbehzohngar Findley has been in the vanguard of preaching and supporting all the good about the party under her leadership. In addition he was, until his surprise announcement last weekend, staunchly supporting its new standard bearer, Joseph Boakai, to continue the UP hegemony. Mr. Findley’s message, until last week, had led many to believe that UP and its standard bearer could still be relied upon to take the country to a higher level. In the wake of Gbehzohngar’s sudden change of heart, he needs to tell us what caused it. He must surely realize that this sudden change of his has dashed the hopes of the many whom Findley has over the past several years convinced to see the Unity Party as the best alternative to lead Liberia. In order to get the disappointed and gullible electorate on par to make the right decision for Liberia going forward, Mr. Findley needs to explain the difference in political ideology he now senses, that sparked his abrupt break with his beloved UP, from which he benefited in his election to the lofty position of Senate President Pro-Tempore.
The public needs to know what led to cohesiveness in ideology at first and the difference arising now. What caused you, Mr. Findley, to believe strongly that UP was the best party to lead Liberia over the past 12 years and further to continue for at least another six under Boakai? All Liberians, especially those who supported you over the past few years, need to know the real reason for your change of heart. Please tell us what it is. Is it what some are speculating, that the VP did not select you as his running mate?
Remember, Mr. Findley, how in 2013 when the Liberian Senate under your leadership as President Pro-Tempore, summoned then Central Bank Governor J. Mills Jones to ask him why he was giving out loans to market women and other underprivileged Liberians. It was at that time that the market women and men accused you of engineering the current Code of Conduct to witch-hunt Governor Jones. We further recall that during that period protesters converged at the Capitol and accused you of attempting to block their chance to get loans to continue their small, struggling businesses. They said then that instead of seeking the interest of ordinary, poor Liberians, you were using your high elective position to deny them the great opportunity Governor Jones was trying to afford them to lift them out of poverty. We do not want to conjecture that your sudden change of heart was sparked by the rethinking and reversal positions of many influential and powerful Liberian officials over the Code of Conduct.
We leave it to you to tell us what caused this sudden change of heart.