Written By: Martin K. N. Kollie
Two high-ranking officials of CDC, Bong County Superintendent Esther Walker and CDC Chairman Mulbah Morlu, are on record for narrating through leaked audios about a hardcore conspiracy or sinister plot to remove H.E. Jewel Howard-Taylor as Vice Standard Bearer of CDC and Vice President of Liberia. Does this billboard of an impending CDC Retreat substantiate or validate such startling revelation?
The Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) was birthed in 2004 and certificated by NEC as a political party in July 2005. Ambassador George M. Weah agreed to lead CDC as its political leader while pronouncing his candidature for 2005 presidential election at Monrovia City Hall in Sinkor on November 24, 2004.
After losing two (2) successive democratic elections in 2005 and 2011, CDC knew it could not come to power if it stood up in 2017 general and presidential elections. Conceiving a convenient political marriage with NPP and LPDP was its last option and best strategy to employ.
And it worked so perfectly for them under a grand coalition (CDC, NPP, and LPDP). After 11 years in opposition, a tripartite coalition dubbed and styled “Coalition for Democratic Change – CDC” was born on November 2, 2016 and accredited by NEC on December 19, 2016.
On December 28, 2016, Senator George M. Weah of Montserrado County was elected as Standard Bearer of this grand Coalition and he picked Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor of Bong County as his running mate. The Coalition (CDC, NPP, and LPDP) had three (3) major objectives for coming together, namely:
1) To deliver Liberia and Liberians from a failed Unity Party (UP) led Government;
2) To respond to the cries of Liberians by reducing the number of political parties;
3) To merge shared values and similar philosophies.
In order to ensure a more cordial collaboration and guarantee a glorious future of this new Coalition, a Governing Council was formed by LAW. According to “The Article of Collaboration”, the Governing Council is the highest decision-making body in the absence of Convention whilst an Executive Committee runs the day to day affairs of the Coalition:
A) Structure of the Governing Council:
1) CDC – Standard Bearer George M. Weah (1st in command)
2) NPP – Vice Standard Bearer Jewel Howard-Taylor (2nd in command)
3) LPDP – Political Leader Alex Tyler (3rd in command)
4) Three Chairmen of CDC, NPP, and LPDP
5) Three Secretary Generals of CDC, NPP, and LPDP
6) Three Eminent Members from each Collaborating Party
Even though VP Howard-Taylor sits #2 at the level of the Governing Council, but the photos of LPDP Political Leader Alex Tyler and CDC Chairman Mulbah Morlu are bigger and placed or positioned above her on this Retreat Billboard.
Before 2017 elections, VP Jewel Howard-Taylor’s photo was placed neck-to-neck with President George M. Weah on almost all billboards. What has changed in 24 months? The Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) of Pres. Weah has forgotten so soon that it took the Jewel’s factor to secure victory in 2017 elections.
The new billboard for CDC Retreat has further confirmed public speculation of a prolonged impasse between Weah and Howard-Taylor. It has somehow validated past revelations of a grand conspiracy to axe JHT as VSB of CDC and VP of Liberia. The latest revelation from Mulbah Morlu via a leaked audio coupled with this new billboard says a lot.
A few questions to ponder over:
1) Even though NPP is second in command of this Coalition, why place LPDP Political Leader Alex Tyler and Chairman Mulbah Morlu’s photos above Vice Standard Bearer and Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor’s photo?
2) Why make CDC Political Leader George M. Weah, LPDP Political Leader Alex Tyler and CDC Chairman Mulbah Morlu’s photos far bigger than NPP Political Leader Jewel Howard-Taylor’s photo this time around when this was never the case in 2017?
3) During 2017 Campaign, Jewel was up, neck-to-neck with Weah on almost all campaign billboards, banners, flyers, stickers, etc. What has brought her down especially below Tyler and Morlu on CDC’s new billboard? Isn’t this an affront or a disdain to VP Howard-Taylor?
4) The theme of this impending retreat is “Celebrating the President for sustaining the peace for 2 years while undertaking massive developmental initiatives”. Why celebrate only the president and not the vice president too or even the entire government since it is teamwork? Why not choose this theme “Celebrating the CDC-led Government…” which covers everybody?
The theme suggests that everything and all things evolve with and revolve around ex-Soccer Star George M. Weah. This is a glaring resemblance of FASCISM. Is President Weah a black fascist? The theme of this retreat coupled with his statues built/being built has made us to believe so. How can President Weah even be celebrated for 2 years of peace when hardship, corruption, and bad governance remain increasingly prevalent under his administration?
Thousands of Liberians recently protested against these vices on January 6, 2020. In 2014, UN officials said, “Peace means dignity, well-being for all, not just absence of war”. Former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said, “Peace means access to education, healthcare and essential services for all.” What kind of PEACE will CDC be ‘celebrating President Weah for sustaining’ when over 70,000 civil servants are yet to be paid for months and US$25m cannot be accounted for?
President Weah cannot be a champion of peace when he has hypocritically refused to guarantee JUSTICE for over 250,000 Liberians who lost their lives during Liberia’s brutal civil carnage. How can President Weah be an Ambassador of Peace when he is playing politics with the establishment of a War and Economic Crimes Court? The entire CDC Retreat slated for February 14-15, 2020 is just another political gimmick and fiasco.
I think CDC should be celebrating Weah for increased hardship – high inflation – high unemployment – zero foreign direct investment – liquidity crisis – drop in enrollment as a result of tuition hike – food insecurity – depreciation of local currency – high tariffs on imports – lack of donors’ confidence – violation of our constitution – abuse of women, girls, children and minorities – mysterious deaths – police brutality – crackdown on critics through thuggish groups – patronage and partisanship – lack of basic social services – plan to remove VP Taylor – etc.
The crises confronting CDC and George Weah are just too far from ending. Key among those is how Pres. Weah and his closest confidants, including Min. Samuel D. Tweah, Min. Nathaniel McGill and NPA Boss Bill Tweahway, have hatched a plot to oust VP Taylor.
JHT has become a major target of repression and censorship. Credible information says she has even been denied portion of her budgetary appropriation and other incentives. The Executive Committee, Diaspora Chapter, and Bong County Chapter of NPP have all raised alarm against such mistreatment.
VP Jewel Howard-Taylor has been playing her cool in past times. She has not been attending CDC political rallies even campaign rallies of 2019 Montserrado Senatorial By-elections. The feud in CDC seems to be deepening as Liberia’s economic crisis worsens.
Beyond this end, does VP Jewel Howard-Taylor really have a future in CDC ahead of 2023 elections? It is likely that the Coalition for Democratic Change may severely crack if Jewel is ousted. History is not too far from documenting this CRACK which puts the Liberian people in a better position of reclaiming their socio-economic and political destiny.
About The Author: Martin K. N. Kollie is a Liberian activist, columnist, and emerging economist. He is a former student leader at UL who currently lives in exile it. He can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org