Disagreeing With The New Party’s Characterizations

LIBERIA’S NEWEST POLITICAL party, the People’s Unification Party (PUP) in a press release issued yesterday about its primaries during which time it elected aspirants for several counties for the pending senatorial race, referred to itself as the “NATIVE PEOPLE’s PARTY. The party also said it is seeking those indigenous people with the leadership ability to lead Liberia but not those who are corrupt and morally bankrupt and also not those who cannot intellectually discern the country’s political reality from the appalling economic condition of the people.

ANNOUNCING THE PRIMARIES’ result last Saturday, PUP acting Chairman, Senator Henry W. Yallah, among other things called on the downtrodden natives to be mindful of highly corrupt individuals who are in the habit of using their ill-gotten money to shoot their ways into state-power. Senator Yallah said the PUP is the only option available to the people to transform Liberia for the better; adding that “make no mistake, only the indigenous people can turn this country into a developed country.” He said the party will do whatever it takes to ensure victory for the PUP candidates.

A PUP RELEASE then reiterated the party’s mission to make sure that down-trodden indigenous people democratically ascend to state-power in Liberia. According to the release, the PUP was born as a result of the indigenous people’s desire to build a political institution that will prepare national leaders; thus taking Liberia away from the scenario in which political parties are built around lifetime presidential candidates.

WHILE WE RESPECT the rights of those Liberians to organize a political party in keeping with constitutional provision, we vehemently detest its characterization of referring to itself as the ‘Native People’s Party’ because such an assertion is very divisive and counter-productive to the kind of new Liberia this country is striving to build after years of civil conflict, which was also the result of this kind of divisive politics.

WE FEEL THAT phrases like “native people’s party and “indigenous people” by an institution organized to seek national leadership are scaring and sends a bad signal and if it succeeds, then this country is doomed to experience divisive politics, thereby undermining national unification, unity and cohesiveness, which are necessary in post-war reconstruction.

WHETHER THIS WAS an oversight or an attempt to conciliate or ingratiate those who are considered by the party as ‘native or indigenous people,” we believe that the party is trending a wrong path. We are concerned because should such a party ascend to national leadership with such slogan, what would be the plight of those perceived as not natives, when, in fact, this country belongs to all Liberians no matter of ethnic or tribal background?

CONSIDERING THE CONSEQUENCES of such nicknames and characterizations, we urge the leadership of this party to reconsider these native and divisive phrases. Political parties should be organized to espouse the agenda for all and not certain class of citizens, whether natives or what. This is a dangerous trend.

MORE IMPORTANTLY, THESE nicknames and characterizations are completely diametrical to the name of the party that refers to itself as “People’s Unification Party.” How can it be a party seeking to unify the country and its people, and at the same time speak of certain group of citizens. This is a paradox, which must be discouraged immediately, as it is said in Liberia; ‘it is better to hit the iron when it is hot,’ as the sooner the better.

AGAIN, WE URGE the PUP to see reason to abandon this divisive tactics or tendencies if it means well for the Liberian people. A HINT TO THE WISE IS QUITE SUFFICIENT!