The True Whig Party said in a move to trash multi-party democracy in Liberia, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has used a defunct PRC Decree from 1980 to confiscate the E.J. Roye Building which belongs to the National True Whig Party. The government has also secretly bribed two former officials of the party an undisclosed amount of cash to sanction its illegal action.
“It may be recalled that for the past eight years since Madam President came to office, she has made several attempts to lay her hands on the True Whig Party’s property. She first tried the process of eminent domain which did not succeed. Then the government made an offer of Six Hundred Thousand United States Dollars to purchase the building, but the party refused the offer.
Later the government claimed that it owned the building but failed to produce any legitimate document. Now in a desperate move, the President has gone back 33 years to use the unpopular PRC Decree to fulfill her dream of finally killing off the True Whig Party by seizing its national headquarters,” a TWP executive disclosed.
According to an executive of the TWP, Reginald B. Goodridge Sr. the government’s latest move was confirmed by the Deputy Minister of Justice, Benedict Sannor, who emphasized that the government did not negotiate to buy the EJ. Roye Building neither was it using eminent domain, but it was an ‘outright confiscation’ using a PRC Decree under which properties of individuals of the TWP were seized following the bloody 1980 military Coup d’Etat. Mr. Sannor claimed, however, that all properties seized under the PRC Decree were returned to their owners with the exception of the E.J, Roye Building. This claim is subject to verification.
Mr. Goodridge said when questioned about the amount of money the government bribed Peter Vuku and Othello Mason to consummate the deal, Mr. Sannor said he was not aware of the amount, but confirmed that the Ministry of Finance handled the transaction and added that the money the government paid was a ‘gratuity’ to help the party relocate its offices.
There are unconfirmed reports that the government’s primary goal in seizing the E.i. Roye Building is to convert it to private use to be leased to the African Petroleum Company, and that a confidant of the President who is no longer in government has been assigned the contract to renovate the building.
The rank and file of the National True Whig Party is using every means at its disposal to stop this latest attempt by the Unity Party government to create a one-party state by killing off opposition political parties.
The TWP is therefore calling on all civil society groups, opposition political parties, the Liberian media, the governments of the United States of America, the European Union, ECO WAS and the Mano River Union to intervene in this matter in order to stop this government from tampering with Liberia’s fragile post-conflict democracy.