Liberty Party National Chairman Fonati Koffa Speaks about Liberty Party and Media Award
Over the last four years, Liberty Party has evolved as the party most prepared to govern after the current administration. Within a few years, the party has changed perceptions of even its harshest critics, many of whom had written the party off after the 2011 elections. Much of that evolution occurred under the Chairmanship of Cllr. Fonati Koffa, one of the original members of Liberty Party. Cllr. Koffa seems to have done the difficult task of managing his private law practice while engineering the momentum that is now pushing Liberty Party in an upward trajectory. In recent communication with the Liberty Party Public Relations Team (LPPRT), Cllr Koffa opens up about the current transformation of the party and his outlook for the future.
LPPRT: Chairman Koffa, thanks for speaking with us. With all that has been going on in the world of Liberian politics, how are you?
Chairman Koffa: I am doing very well. More so since our party is positioned in the minds of our people as a viable alternative. Our party is continually evolving as we speak with the average Liberian. We are receiving feedback daily from a cross section of Liberians that we need to continue to work on behalf of the people and stay away from negative politics.
LPPRT: This evolution of the party, where did it begin?
Chairman Koffa: We have always been evolving, trying to make the party a party for the people. Over the last few years, we have been able to make inroads in various communities. I am grateful for the leadership of our Executive Committee, all of whom have worked very hard to get us to this place. The work of our Senior Partisan Charles Brumskine has also been phenomenal. He has been spending a lot of time in rural Liberia with our people. Liberty Party is focused on community engagement, listening carefully to what our people have to say about our activities and helping the community as best as possible. A while ago, we acquired a 3 bedroom home in New Kru town that we are trying to renovate in July as a social development and community Youth center. During one of many visits to rural Liberia, we reached out to the people of Hindi, Bong County, and provided finances to build five canoes which were needed by the community to cross the river. These are the activities that people see and recognize that Liberty Party is impacting the average Liberian. Our recent victories in the Senatorial elections in Lofa and Grand Bassa counties show that our people have embraced our philosophy and our Party. We defeated the Senate Pro Temp in Bassa and we picked up the Senatorial seat in Lofa, the home of the current Vice President. Those are almost impossible to accomplish in politics and to do so in the same election speaks volume. So many of our people worked very hard. I can’t mention names for fear of leaving some out but I am grateful for both of our candidates who won. Senators Zargo and Kaipay were hard campaigners, they canvass their communities with the help of the Liberty Party stalwarts.
LPPRT: You were honored by the Liberian Media earlier this year as one who has worked well with them. What does that say about you.
Chairman Koffa: I was very happy to receive that award, not only as Chairman of Liberty Party but also as an individual. Leaders in our history have not been too friendly with the media. The relationship has been adversarial at best. We have to change that. Liberty Party will work with the media, even during difficult times. They represent the best interest of the people; and in those cases where we disagree about the people’s best interest, we dialogue with them a little more. We don’t fight with the media. That is one thing even our harshest critics cannot not attribute to us. Our party has always been professional in our interaction with the media and the public. That is one of many things that set us apart in the minds of our people. As I received that award, I did so for all our Liberty Party leaders and members who follow our mantra that “Together We Can Do better.” We have truly worked well with everyone, including other opposition parties and leaders.
LPPRT: Liberty Party recently obtained the support of Daniel Chea, who is a major political figure in Grand Bassa County. That seems to be a gold nugget for the Party.
Chairman Koffa: Oh yeah, that was very important to us. Daniel Chea is an asset to the Party now that he is onboard. He is working very hard for us and will do so even more as we build our institution for the road to 2017. His efforts and those of Senator Lawrence (Nyonblee), Cllr. Brumskine, Rep Barwon, Senator Kaipay and many others will help us solidify our presence in Bassa.
LPPRT: In January this year, you hosted the Executive Committee at your beautiful home in Browerville. What did you all discuss?
Chairman Koffa: Every time the Executive Committee meets, we are discussing strategy, building relationship, and finding ways to bring more people to the party. That gesture to organize at my home was intended to change things a little bit, make everyone a little more relaxed. Politics aside, we need to bond with each other. It is such bonding that can take us through difficult times when things don’t go according to plan. We still got our work done, but is was in a more relaxed setting than the office.
LPPRT: Speaking about the office, you recently donated a brand new executive conference room set for Liberty Party’s conference room. I guess change starts from within right?
Chairman Koffa: Definitely, we have to start change from within. You can’t promise change and refuse to change yourself. At least you shouldn’t. Liberty Party is not perfect, so we need to keep changing to get better, learn from our mistakes, learn from our critics, and learn from our partisans. We are changing everything we can feasibly change. As you know opposition politics does not have a lot of money. We give what we can from our practice, our business, and for some people their employment income. I donated the conference set so we can have a professional setting to do the work of the people, and to have a place our partisans can be proud of. And when we have visitors or foreign guests, the conference room should accommodate them in a way similar to other professional conference rooms around the world. At least to some degree. Other partisans are donating other assets to the party. We are all trying to do what we can to help the party. And we call on our supporters to continue this effort. Liberty Party is for everyone. We should all shoulder the responsibility of the party. Don’t wait until elections to help your party. We need the help now so Liberty Party can help the average Liberian better.
LPPRT: A Cuban envoy recently paid you a visit at the Party Headquarters. Can you speak to that visit?
Chairman Koffa: Oh yeah, it was a nice visit from the Cuban Diplomat. I can’t go into all the details but we discussed Liberia in general and relations with Cuba. Liberty Party will work with all of Liberia’s friends to ensure we maximize value added to Liberia.
LPPRT: Thanks for the time, any last words?
Chairman Koffa: I am grateful for this time in our party. We have a chance to bring all stakeholders together to find ways to bridge our differences. This election in 2017 is all about reconciliation and unity. We must find ways to work together with other political parties and opinion leaders. That is how we can move Liberia forward. And to my Liberty partisans, you are in good hands in this Party. We are on our way to doing something new. Please be more active and visible in your support. We need all hands on deck now, more than ever before. And to those who disagree with us, we are will willing to talk, we are willing to work cordially. This country belongs to us all. God bless you and God bless Liberia.
LPPRT: Thank you Mr, Chairman.