Members of the Press;
Partisans and Supporters of the Unity Party;
Members and supporters of the Collaborating Political Parties;
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen:
I thank the ALMIGHTY God for my safe return home and for HIS bountiful blessings and guidance. I travelled to the United States where I attended the Convention of the Unity Party Chapters in the Americas and held extensive consultations with friends and supporters of the party on ways and means by which we could collectively rejuvenate the Party. One theme that was a constant thread in all our discussions was the need to heal the very deep wounds in the party, which have led to costly divisions within the Party with devastating consequences for our nation.
Partisans, supporters and sympathizers expressed their burning desire and undying commitment to pool their human, financial, and other resources together to ensure that the Party regains its towering stature and protect its legacy built on the foundation, values and principles of the founding fathers’ erstwhile Grand Coalition of 1985, most notably, Jackson F. Doe, Gabriel Gbolleh and Edward Kesseley. Coincidentally, these sentiments echo similar passionate expressions by a broad segment of Partisans back here in Liberia.
My fellow Partisans, as a demonstration of their sincerity and commitment, the Unity Partisans in the Americas decided to put behind them bitter divisions which kept them apart and undermined their effectiveness. They held a very successful Convention which brought together stakeholders and elected a new corps of Officers to begin the process of rebuilding and rebranding the Party. They crafted a cohesive strategy to move the Party forward. Let me on behalf of the Unity Party once again commend them for their selflessness in putting the interest of the institution above parochial proclivities.
My dear Partisans, we all recognize that the 2017 elections were bruising and contentious inducing serious cleavages within our party and leaving the country divided. Some important members of the party who were perceived as contributing to its defeat were expelled immediately after the announcement of the elections results.
Ladies and Gentlemen, brothers and sisters, the time has come when we must bite the bullet, bury the hatchet, and reach out to those whom we feel have hurt us. We must do so not because we are weak, nor because they are indispensable to our progress, but because we must, as people of faith- in God and in nation- be willing to give each other a second chance for redemption. As a Christian and a devout Baptist, I have learned to trust in God and allow Him to fight my battles.
In my public life, I have always strive to be a man of peace and a servant dedicated to working assiduously and selflessly to making our beloved Country, Liberia, great. This I intend to do as long as God continues to give me the strength and wisdom. No sacrifice for me is too great a price to pay for peace and reconciliation. In this connection, I wish to announce that I have personally forgiven all who, by design or omission have offended me and ask them to do the same. I hold no malice toward any Partisan. I also appeal to all Partisans, home and abroad, to do the same and initiate true reconciliation at all levels of the Party. To the rank and file of the Party, I further ask that you accept the ruling of the National Elections Commission regarding the expelled members and I direct the legal team of the Party to resolve any and all outstanding legal issues.
Fellow partisans, these are extraordinary times that require extraordinary actions and measures. In this connection, I propose the convening very soon of an Extra-ordinary Convention of the Party to deliberate urgent matters and take appropriate actions to set an irreversible path of reconciliation and rejuvenation of the Party. We must turn a new page and initiate meaningful and pragmatic reforms in the Party to become more robust, effective, and efficient in responding to our new political reality and the needs and aspirations of the Liberian People.
With respect to the Collaborating Political Parties, I wish to remind my colleagues and all members of the CPP, that the outpouring of support and embrace of the public clearly demonstrates that Liberians need and yearn for true, genuine, selfless and patriotic leadership. By pledging to work together, we have given hope to our people and have reassured Liberia’s international partners that we are prepared to place Liberia above all else. We have promised that our mission is to rescue and preserve the Republic. We must therefore continue to demonstrate that there is strength in unity. The CPP must remain a formidable force and a responsible and loyal opposition. We must remain committed to our objectives, lest we suffer the people’s collective punishment. We must not let our people down. ]
Let me iterate the Unity Party’s commitment to the Collaboration and our determination to subordinate our individual ambitions in the interest of Liberia. As a Party, we stand ready to place our experience and expertise at the disposal of the CPP as well as provide critical leadership whenever the need avails itself.
We therefore call on all members of CPP to desist from acts and utterances inimical to the survival and credibility of the CPP, including unwarranted attacks on leaders of the CPP, wild and unsubstantiated allegations, and dangerous speculations. While in every human undertaking there are bound to be bottlenecks and hic-ups along the way, as a responsible opposition we have the capacity and mechanism to resolve our differences whenever and wherever they show up. We urge our supporters, sympathizers, and well-wishers to be calm as we work to resolve any differences, real or perceived.
Fellow Partisans and members of the CPP and fellow Liberians: Let us remain resolute and press forward to save the state.