LPUSA Reponds to Unity Party’s Wilmot Paye
Liberty Party-USA’s attention has been drawn to recent comments attributed to Mr. Wilmot Paye, Secretary General of Unity Party, in a FrontPage Africa story titled Could He Have Done That Under Taylor? UP Slams Brumskine. Mr. Paye made certain assertions in that story in an attempt to respond to Cllr. Brumskine’s critique of Senator Findley for his failure to adequately advocate for and represent the people of Grand Bassa County, home to both the Cllr. and the Senator.
Firstly, the comments made by Cllr. Charles W. Brumskine, a private citizen, critical of a Senator from his County, have no remote semblance to political campaigning. Not only does Mr. Paye and his party misunderstand the Cllr.’s request to “Give me a Senator to work with…” as campaigning, they also sadly and dangerously don’t seem to understand and appreciate the true meaning of representative democracy wherein citizens work with their elected representatives to bring about progress and development. Is Mr. Paye (and Unity Party) suggesting that private citizens cannot criticize their elected representatives outside of a campaign environment? Can one not express frustration and disagreement with the direction one’s elected representative is taking? Of course one can and should under our system of government.
Each citizen of Grand Bassa County (or any other county for that matter) wants a public official with whom he/she can work to address needs in their community. And that desire should be no different for Cllr. Brumskine, who demonstrated character and courage when he worked for his people as a Senator and continues to do so as a concerned, private citizen. Mr. Paye and Unity Party must be reminded that it was Cllr. Brumskine, for example, who opened senate deliberations to the public for the first time in Liberia’s history. He believed then (and still does today) that transparency, accountability and integrity were important tools to ensuring maximum benefits accrue to Liberia from the political process. Today, that model is still being used, thus continuing to allow the public to peek behind what was once an iron curtain through which only the elite were granted passage.
It was Cllr. Brumskine who risked his life by taking a stand against Mr. Charles Taylor when everyone was afraid to do so. For those decisions, he was forced to flee Liberia and to seek refuge in a foreign land. He came back to Liberia a few years later, with no international protection or guarantee of his safety, to challenge Mr. Taylor. How then could Mr. Paye and Unity Party question Charles Walker Brumskine’ s resolve to take a stand against Mr. Taylor or any other individual or system?
Mr. Paye suggests that Cllr. Brumskine’s statement was an attempt to “impugn” President Sirleaf. Unity Party is already doing such a good job at such that it really needs no help. Mr. Paye only needs to reread or replay the 2013 July 26 oration which was delivered by the Chairman of his Party to refresh his memory. After listing the President’s international awards and accolades, Unity Party’s Chairman stated that “…I submit that all of these achievements and accomplishments, including the many others that I have mentioned, are not enough as a foundation to transform our country. He further critiqued the Sirleaf administration for not doing enough to reconcile Liberia, saying “I believe that some of those things which made it possible for us to go to war against one another are still simmering…” At that occasion, it took a foreign leader in the person of former President Obassanjo of Nigeria to offer differing opinion from the Unity Party Chairman.
Additionally, Mr. Paye must be reminded that it was Unity Party Youth Congress which voted no confidence in Madam Sirleaf. Mr. Harry Yanquoi, Secretary General of the UP Youth Congress, stated that “This government is no longer a UP-led government; we believe it is an Ellen-led government because she is doing her own thing outside the party platform…We are encouraging the President to attach sincerity and commitment to jobs creation…” We don’t disagree with such assessments given the current socio-economic status of Liberia and the hardships of the average Liberia. But let’s be clear that we can no longer afford the trappings of a lack of political character or cheap propaganda. We ask Mr. Paye and Unity Party leaders to use such press conferences to offer ideas that can resolve the current nightmare of unrestrained inflation, poverty, unemployment, and corruption in Liberia instead.
Philip B. Suah, Jr.
Chairman, Liberty Party USA