By Kadiker Rex Dahn, PhD
Good reputation and integrity are essential qualities of political leadership. There are a number of Liberians who in the public political discourse, pretend to be honest in their dealings but in reality, their actions are often accompanied by deception to say the least. These political crooks, because some have wealth whether legitimately or ill-gotten, in one form or another, surreptitiously navigate their way into political parties to make their presence felt. These individuals, we conceive, have hidden selfish political agendas but what is clear is that some of these individuals have for a lack of better phrase, character problems both at the national and international levels. Becoming a political party’s chairman is not child’s play. While it is true that no one is infallible, at least, we expect a party’s chairman and other officials to be beyond reproach. When an individual desiring to be a party’s chairman is besieged by claims of corruption, deceptions, cover-ups, insincerity, double-dealings and misuse of international funds, members of such a party must unanimously say no to such a person. Based on our research, it seems to us that, nationally and internationally, Musa Bility, a member of the Liberty Party seeking to be the Chairman of the party has a credibility problem and therefore must be denied the chairmanship. If Musa Bility is not rejected and denied, certainly, the Liberty Party of Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine may be at the brink of losing credibility.
Based on our political analysis, we reject Musa Bility and ask members of the Liberty Party to do likewise. Our rejection of Musa Bility or the call to deny him the Chairmanship of Liberty Party centers on two major flaws. The first flaw has to with Musa Bility’s action of neglect and disrespect for the late Cllr. Charles Brumskine, the political leader of the Liberty Party. It can be recalled that during the runoff between George Weah of the Coalition for Democratic Change and Ambassador Joseph Boakai of the Unity Party, Musa Bility and others without the approbation of the political leader, arrogantly endorsed George Weah. While it is true that the Liberian Constitution allows freedom of expression and association, we believe that his action was not thoughtful but naïve and irresponsible. A party executive endorsing another candidate in the absence of that party’s political leader is a shame and a disgrace. Such an action undermines trust and credibility. This is one of the reasons why we have strong regard for Senator Darius Dillon: his refusal to join Musa Bility and his colleagues in endorsing George Weah. Such action by Senator Dillon speaks to the character of a good leader. Moreover, Musa Bility and colleagues’ votes given to George Weah helped to make him President of Liberia. We ask, what did Musa and colleagues know about the character that was endorsed: Competent or incompetent? Musa and colleagues’ endorsement of an individual they may not have known well ushered in a government that has not been able to deliver. Trust is of the essence here. What’s the guarantee that Musa Bility in 2023 presidential election will not repeat his action or, to put it bluntly, sell Liberty Party to George Weah and his CDC? We are concerned and are again urging members of the Liberty Party to be concerned as well. As members of Unity Party and by default members of the Collaborating Political Parties, we find it quite troubling for Liberty Party to elect someone like Musa Bility to the chairmanship of the Liberty Party, a party that belongs to Charles Walker Brumskine, the man Musa Bility and colleagues disrespected and undermined. Musa and runaway colleagues had no regard for the late political leader evidenced by their action of neglect.
The second flaw has to with the international image of Musa Bility. Musa Bility once served as president of the Liberia Football Association but was removed, banned and fined for mishandling of funds from FIFA. According to the BBC as quoted in Daily Observer on July 25, 2019, Bility was banned for 10 years and fined USD 500,000 for breaching its code of ethics. Daily Observer, quoting BBC further, continued, “Football World governing body found the former Liberia FA (LFA) guilty of having misappropriated FIFA’s funds as well as having received benefits and found himself in situations of conflict of interest… various payments were made by FIFA to (and received from) entities owned by or connected to Bility and his family.” Considering the above, if the claim is true, we think and believe that not considering his ban and fine, which brought shame and disgrace to our country but that his desire to be a party chairman, is disingenuous to say the least. Why would an individual who considers heading a political party owned by a national and international icon like Brumskine be placed in such category by the international community, yet disregard the implication? Could it be that just as he mortgaged FIFA’s funds according to the above quote, he equally so intends to mortgage Liberty Party? We are very much concerned and invite executives and members of the Liberty Party to equally be concerned about electing Musa Bility to the chairmanship of the Party.
Executives of the Liberty Party
At this juncture, we specifically invite Senator Nyonblee Karngar-Lawrence and executives of the Liberty Party to take stock of Musa Bility’s activities both in the Liberty Party and his ban and fine by FIFA. As executives, is Musa Bility really the choice to help the CPP democratically unseat George Weah and his government? We do not want ugly political games. Before the December 8, 2020 mid-term elections, we wrote an opinion piece endorsing you, Senator Lawrence, in Grand Bassa County. We did that because we wanted you to continue being the face of Brumskine in the Party. How then as a political leader not in opposition to someone who in one form or another frustrated and humiliated the late Cllr. Charles Brumskine that you replaced? We are told that the late Brumskine gave his blessings to Senator Steve Zargo to be the Chairman of Liberty Party and since then he has performed. Chairman Zargo and the CPP helped you, Senator Lawrence, in reelection. Chairman Zargo and CPP also helped in the election of Brumskine’s son, Abraham Darius Dillon by first winning a senatorial by-election and his reelection of December 8, 2020. While Zargo and the CPP were working day and night, Musa Bility was on the hand, planning and plotting to be the Chairman. In political discourse, people use their wealth to entice and deceive. We are told (whether true or not) that Liberty Party is struggling to pay her bills, hence the offer by Musa Bility to underwrite the cost. In underwriting the cost, Musa seems to be enticing voters with the pledge and promise that he would deliver Liberty party from such financial hardship. Before redeeming the Party, he wants to be elected chairman of the Party. We ask, if Musa Bility is really honest in his dealings with Liberty Party, why not as a member pay those bills in question and allow Senator Zargo to continue? Is he seeking quid pro quo? Again, FIFA’s quote above reminds us to be careful in dealing with someone whose international image seems to be blurred and tainted by his own actions. We need clean characters in all of the political parties that are member of the Collaborating Political Parties. We appeal to the political leaders of the CPP to be cognizant and play an advisory role in this Liberty Party’s drama which may have the propensity to undermine the CPP if the wrong person is placed in leadership.
In this article we have taken the time to detail some activities of Musa Bility which some members of the Liberty Party may not know. The decision by Musa Bility and colleagues to endorse George Weah in the 2017 general elections disrespected and undermined Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine. Even during the internment of the political leader, the behavior of some individuals in Buchanan clearly portrayed that Liberty Party has serious political opponents, some of who have disguised themselves to be members. FIFA’s action against Musa Bility directly or indirectly reminds the public not to do business with Bility. Senator Dillon representing the Liberty Party in the Liberian Senate has proven himself to be an upright man. What he stands for and preaches should be the song in the Liberty Party. If the Liberty Party can produce an honest Dillon, why should the party’s chairman be questionable? In our opinion, Musa Bility may be planted to undermine CPP in the general elections of 2023. Considering all of these concerns mentioned above, we tend to think and believe that Liberty Party is at the brink of losing credibility if the banned and fined Musa Bility is elected to be the national chairman. We emphatically say NO to the election of Musa Bility as the chairman of the Liberty Party. We ask party executives and registered members to do likewise.
About the author:
Kadiker Rex Dahn holds a PhD in Historical, Philosophical and Social Foundations of Education from the University of Oklahoma. He is a member of the North America Scholar Consortium, membership with the Highest Honor. Contact: [email protected].