By Timothy T. Seaklon
The former Ruling National Patriotic Party (NPP) is now ready for serious political business as it contemplates its National Convention late July 2015 to elect a new corps of officers.The pending convention which followed months of controversies and leadership struggle according to Interim Chairman Randolph Cooper will finally be held before July 26.
Mr. Cooper who was recently named Interim Chairman by the party’s county chairpersons and other executive Committee members to remove the institution from the leadership crisis by the holding of a National Convention said the party has proposed a budget of US$50,000 for the convention.
The NPP Interim Chairman said the NPP’s convention which should have been held last December could not go ahead because of some level of disagreements among some officials and members of the party which unanimously brought former President Charles Taylor to power in 1997.
Mr. Cooper told the INQUIRER in an interview at the NPP headquarters yesterday afternoon that delegates from the 73 Electoral Districts of the country and various party officials from the political sub-divisions of the country will attend the convention expected in Montserrado County.
The NPP Interim chairman who chose not to dwell on the leadership crisis that has engulfed the party in recent time said the NPP is welcoming back to the party all of its members that had left as a result of the crisis and noted that it is time to move the party forward as Liberia approaches the 2017 legislative and Presidential Elections.
Mr. Cooper said, “We are calling back all of our members at home and abroad to join forces and attend the convention because the NPP cannot afford to be left behind as the political season closes in”.
He told the INQUIRER that his interim leadership has the blessing of NPP legislators and noted that it is about time that the party extends an olive branch to all of its members.
The NPP stalwart who expressed optimism that the convention will be successful also appealed to the party’s Standard Bearer, Senator Jewel Howard Taylor, former Chairmen Theophilus Gould and all other partisans to come back home and resurrect the NPP.
Mr. Cooper said a political party and its activities is about numbers thus it will be prudent for all to return and take the party to noble destiny, saying “anybody can now become Standard bearer of the NPP thus all must come. In fact we will also launch a membership drive soon”.
IN recent time there has been a leadership crisis in the party with all of those elected along with former Chairman Cllr. T. C. Gould resigning their posts excerpt the Chairman who to date is still claiming the Chairmanship of the party.
Mr. Cooper, when quizzed about this situation said members of the interim administration he heads, including himself will not contest for any post during the convention but were passionate to have the party move forward for prompt participation in the 2017 election.
Since the departure from the country of the NPP first Standard Bearer, former President Charles G. Taylor, the political institution has been engulfed with internal wrangling but the institution managed to keep on track its activities until recently when the T.C. Administration was asked to hold convention in last December but to avail.
As a result, some partisans have been trying to vandalize the headquarters as counter attacks on the various faction was the order of the day.
However to keep the peace the Liberian National Police(LNP) has been stationed at the party’s headquarters for a protracted period and during the visit of the INQUIRER yesterday members of the Police Support Unit (PSU) were seen keeping the headquarters and its vicinity safe.