Opposition CDC Executives Spotted in Tears at National Convention In Margibi County, As Football Legend George Weah ‘Sacrifices’ Party to Winston Tubman as Standard Bearer, while he Becomes Vice Standard Bearer
Kakata, Margibi County -
Elevated from “government bone” to standard bearer of the self-proclaimed party with the numerical edge, Winston Tubman finally saw a communiqué signed between him and Weah become a reality Saturday as the grassroots Congress for Democratic Change unveiled Tubman as its standard bearer with Weah officially relegating his status as his vice presidential candidate.
The mood following the official pronouncement drew tears from senior party stalwarts, Chairwoman Geraldine Doe-Sheriff and Secretary General Acarous Gray. Even Weah himself could not hold back his emotions as he made what Gray would later tell FrontPageAfrica was the “Greatest personal sacrifice” ever made by a Liberian politician in recent memory.
Asked later whether he was crying out of joy or frustration that Weah was abandoning his presidential quest to Tubman, Gray said: “Those were tears of a true patriot.”
For Gray, Weah’s sacrifice was a bitter pill to swallow but something which was necessary for the sake of Liberia. The CDC Kakata convention ended with Ambassador Winston Tubman wining 118 votes, while Ambassador Weah won 111 of the total votes cast, thereby making Tubman the winner of the position of standard bearer.
Absent CDC Lawmakers
The convention though colorful, conspicuously saw the absence of many Members of the 52nd National Legislature who were elected on the party’s ticket 2005, a situation that has even made Weah to express some frustration, warning that there will be no free ride for anyone on the party’s ticket. The CDC following the last elections was the single opposition party with the highest number in Liberian Legislature.
The Former UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador began his address with a quote from Psalm 27:1-3: “The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear; the Lord is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid, if the wicked even my enemies and foes come up to eat up my flesh they’ll stumble and fall. Though the enemies will encamp round about me, in this will I be confident, because the Lord is my strength.”
Weah was apparently declaring an appreciation for God for allowing him to head a Party whose officials including some Lawmakers that came to Politics for the first time had betrayed the cause for which the CDC was established five years ago. Only a few out of the 14 Representatives and the two Senators elected back in 2011 were seen at the Party’s convention six months to this year’s polls.
Tarnue Cooper of Bomi County, Alomiza Ennos of Montserrado district #1, Kai Failey of Grand Gedeh, Victoria Lynch of Montserrado district 13, Regina Sokan Teah of District #10 and Dave Koomey also of Montserrado. Senator Doe-Sheriff who still maintains her post as Chairman of the Party, Deputy Speaker Togba Mulbah were in attendance. Representative Thomas Fallah of District #7 and Moses Tandapolie graced their second postwar convention. These Lawmakers attending the convention constitute the last batch of opposition members in the Legislature that have not openly given their support to the incumbent leadership; yet, party officials at the Executive level have expressed skepticism about their loyalty to their party.
Acknowledging this, Weah said: “the evolution of our relationship and party is crucial if we must lead this country! It compels us to look at ourselves objectively; it puts us in the realm of realism and above all it increases our desire and resolve to push to achieve great things.”
For Rufus Neufville, whom party officials have hinted is on his way to the ruling party; there wasn’t any trace of him at the convention. Titus Barclay of Montserrado and Kollie Sorsor Jallah of Margibi County in whose Town the convention was held never attended the convention.
For Jallah, he only surfaced at night when the convention had ended. According to Rufus Neufville, he could not attend the Party’s convention, because according to him the current leadership of the Party Geraldine Doe Sheriff and Acarous Gray would never have his blessing.
Others rather think, the lawmaker is afraid of Mr. Gray who thinks he Neufville has not done enough over the last five years in the interest of the party and the district he represents, declaring that he will be contesting against Neufville in District two.
The need to embrace Tubman
Again Ambassador Weah in his message acknowledging the multiple problems the party is faced with in terms of leadership struggle and why there are more than enough reasons why the party needed to embrace the coming of Cllr. Winston Tubman said “We must all claim the responsibility for the direction of our party, and we must all sacrifice to make CDC victorious in 2011.”
Weah said his action of putting to the grave his personal ambitions; for the survival of the party by accepting to run second to Cllr. Tubman who is an experienced Politician, Diplomat and with similar vision as his, demonstrates his resolve to invoke the spirit of change in the Liberian body polity.
Continued Weah “My ambition to wipe every tear from every eye may be beyond me, but as long as there are tears in the eyes of my people, my work is not over! We must give reality to our dreams, because those dreams are for Liberians, ‘CDCians’, and our nation in general. The struggle of the people is a national one. It is a struggle of the Liberian people. To the people of Liberia, whose representatives we are; we make an appeal to join us with faith and confidence in this great struggle, because it is no time for petty and destructive criticisms, no time for ill-will or blaming others, but instead a noble palace of a free Liberia where all her children may dwell!”
Weah’s History Making
Tubman in response to the call by the CDC to lead the party to this year’s general and Presidential elections after the results of the elections of a standard bearer was announced in Kakata Saturday said: “Therefore with such blessed assurance, I accept the nomination of the CDC as its 2011 Candidate for President of Liberia.”
Ambassador Winston Tubman, the man who is now in charge of the grass rooters and those many say are the neglected class of the country’s population, he believes Weah has made another enviable history in his political sojourn, such history; the Liberian Lawyer said has never been made for more than six decades since 1944.
“Today, not for the first time, thinking not of himself but Liberia, Ambassador George Weah, said Yes when almost everyone predicted that he would say no. he didn’t have the to do it, but he did! By so doing, Weah fosters national unity and brings Liberians together more meaningfully than at any time since the national unification policy began in 1944.” Amb. Tubman said of Weah.
Tubman believes Liberia’s transformation cannot be achieved unless Liberians are ready to emulate George Weah by sacrificing something they value, for the greater good of Liberia. “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country!’ By responding to Kennedy’s immortal words today, George Weah and CDCians have started the fire that will transform Africa’s oldest Republic and the illumination from that light will shortly light the world,” he said.
Continued Cllr. Tubman: “Come and see what the Lord has done! Because George Weah has done well for Liberia again and because I believe that together we shall transform our country and lead it into true and lasting peace, development and national unity; it is now my honor, pleasure and patriotic duty to offer this globally loved Liberian icon, the Vice Presidential Candidacy of the CDC for the 2011 Presidential election” The former UN envoy to Somalia said.
Weah would not have done it
It may be recalled that the former political leader of the CDC now a running-mate to Ambassador Tubman had forsaken a previous negotiation with Cllr. Charles Brumskine and his now cherished running-mate Winston Tubman. Weah had said he was not ready to sacrifice his presidential bid for anyone.
CDCians believe that there is little need to talk about political or leadership experience when discussing Winston Tubman. They claimed he is an embodiment of experience, education and great character, triune qualities that qualifies him a running-mate to the man who conquered everything there is in his profession, and has just moved up to politics creating incessant waves dashing against the hurdles of impunity.
Anyone who is familiar with the tasks of Tubman, they accentuated, in Somalia , where there were more than fourteen warring factions in Mogadishu alone will understand how thick-skinned the man has evolved out of that once volatile republic.
In the final analysis, the growing constituent electorates of the CDC and some independent political observers appear very supportive of a collaborative framework bringing Ambassador Weah and Counselor Tubman to contest as single slate of candidates in the resultant democratic challenge for the upcoming elections.