Liberia: Unity Party Insider Reveals How Boakai’s Insecurity Led to Modad, Ali’s Defeat at Convention
MONROVIA – The 2017 general and presidential elections left the Unity Party devasted. The ruling party at the time went to that election without the support of its standard bearer emeritus, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. A lot of things were amiss during that campaign, and after the election which it massively lost to the Coalition for Democratic Change in a runoff, the once powerful Unity Party was left debt-ridden and with many disenchanted members.
This is the kind of Unity Party Amin Modad and others, including Mo Ali took over as Chairman and Secretary General, respectively. His victory in the election that made him chairman of the party was remarkable – 34 votes against the outspoken Senator and Progressive, Comany B. Wesseh, who obtained only eight votes. This was in September 2020.
The party at the time believed in Modad’s ability to salvage the party from sinking further. He succeeded the controversial Wilmot Paye whom many political pundits within the party believed was a big part of the problems the party faced. Paye was suspended and subsequently booted out of the Unity Party for unilaterally issuing a statement against the June 7, 2020 protest which was endorsed by the party’s political leader, Joseph Boakai, and the rest of the leadership.
In September 2020, Modad told FrontPageAfrica in an interview his vision for the party was centered around revamping and restructuring.
“My vision rests on four pillars: unity, restructuring, rebranding, and re-visioning the party, recruitment of membership, and sustainability of the party. We are on the side of unifying the party by bringing everything back and strengthening our counties structures. There is a total disconnect between the youth, the women and this has to change I am developing a team and I will work with anyone who wins,” he said at the time.
One of the major challenges both Modad and Ali had to settle at the beginning of their reign was to solve the disarray between the legislative caucus and the party’s leadership. This disarray posed a challenge to the selection of candidates for the senatorial election in 2020.
The Unity Party, despite being the immediate past governing party had less than US$4,000 in its account and was pressured with eviction due to its inability to settle its rental obligation.
The party was set to be evicted from its headquarters the same date slated for it to take over the chairmanship of the CPP.
This disgrace, FrontPageAfrica gathered was averted by Modad and his team, with Modad himself taking up a huge chunk of the responsibility and with almost no contribution from Boakai.
Where Things Went Wrong
Modad’s vision to structure the Unity Party in a manner that it wouldn’t be tied around a particular individual but rather function as an institution had the backing of Mo Ali and a few others. The intent of this move was to centralize the Unity Party in which decisions would be collective and sanctioned by the National Coordinating Committee or the National Executive Committee.
“So, the two always suggested to Joseph Boakai that suggestions from him should be made to the NCC for review and should not come as final decisions. They had also constantly argued that the party needed to be in charge of the standard bearer’s activities and movements instead of others who are not members of the party’s leadership. This angered Boakai and some from within his inner circle and others from outside the party including Benoni Urey. Boakai, therefore, thought that they were challenging his authority and needed to go,” the source said.
The Urey Factor
The political leader of the All Liberian Party (ALP), Benoni Urey, has since the 2017 run-off election been an ardent supporter of Boakai. While he argues that Boakai is the most senior and most experienced political leader in the opposition and should therefore the most suited to take on the presidency, there are many who believe that his motive is to be running mate to Boakai.
According to our source in the Unity Party, Urey has on many occasions succeeded in imposing his will on Boakai without any challenge.
Both Modad and Mo Ali have often termed Urey’s selection as running mate as detrimental to the Unity Party and could kill Boakai’s presidential bid.
Urey reportedly launched ferocious propaganda lies to bring both Ali and Modad down.
“Urey was the one who introduced the ‘Ali is being paid by Nathaniel McGill’. He made up several lies against the two and Joseph Boakai believes those lies and hence added them to the reasons why he never wanted Ali and Modad. Joseph Boakai paid a blind eye to the fact that Urey was doing all this because Ali and Modad opposed his vice presidential bid. He fell prey to lies all because he did not exhibit leadership,” the source said.
Liberty Party Cum Moye Factor
Modad and Ali strongly believed that the Unity Party’s performance in the 2023 election would be remarkable were they to go with a Liberty Party collaboration. However, in addition to Urey, Bong County Senator Prince Moye is also eyeing that position, FrontPageAfrica gathered.
Moye, according to the source, is also aware that he wouldn’t get the support of Modad and Ali in their respective leadership positions.
“At some point, the Amin leadership initiated a conversation with other parties and individuals to support the JNB cause. However, Moye and others saw that bringing too many other potential people on board would further dampen his chances of becoming a running mate. He, like Urey, joined the propaganda against the pair. For the most part, Sen. Moye would sneak to Joseph Boakai and have secret conversations with him,” the source disclosed.
Moye, knowing fully well his intention to bid for a running mate to Boakai turned down a request by prominent members of the party, including Dr. Augustine Konneh, Magdalene Dagoseh, Jake Kabakole and others, to contest the chairman position.
“That’s how Joseph Boakai himself took the phone and called Luther Tarpeh to contest against Amin Modad,” the insider stated.
Blamed for Lofa Defeat
Boakai and his immediate surrounding including Augustine Konneh, Magdelene Dagoseh, Jake Kabakole, Rep. Francis Nyumalin, and others blamed the Lofa defeat on Mo Ali, Amin Modad, Cllr. Jeror Cole Bangalu and Rep. Clarence Massaquoi.
Boakai has constantly said that Amin, Ali and Cllr. Bangalu left him in Lofa that’s why the party was defeated by Cllr. Jallah who was backed by the CDC.
It can be recalled that Senator Jallah got over 5000 votes from Foya where Amb. Boakai is from. This is mainly due to the level of infrastructural development and other projects carried out by the CDC Thomas Fallah in the area.
Amb. Boakai stands criticized for not giving back to his people in Foya despite his 12 years in government as Vice President.
FrontPageAfrica further gathered from sources within the party that many die-hard partisans are beginning to think that Amb. Boakai has not exhibited leadership and hence may not be capable of leading Liberia as they had once believed due to the belief that he is incapable of making independent decisions.