A Clandestine Hostile Take-over of the Apparatus of LUP
March 1, 2004
The reported confusion among the ranks and file of LUP seems not
to be confined to Monrovia only. A group in the USA claiming to be the
legitimate LUP-USA recently issued a statement saying that the “take-over
attempt initiated by Counselor Charles W. Brumskine stains the vision
of the Founder [Gabriel Kpolleh] and violates the party's protocol.”
Below is the press release:
A Clandestine Hostile Take-over of the Apparatus of LUP
We think that LUP is a structured political organization that has rules, which must apply to all members regardless of the deepness of any member's pocket or any other self aggrandizing characteristics. This take-over attempt initiated by Counselor Charles W. Brumskine stains the vision of the Founder and violates the party's protocol. As a consequence, recognizing that Counselor Brumskine has violated cardinal rules of the Party, we hereby recommend his immediate expulsion from LUP.
An expulsion is the only action necessary to remedy the ills that he has visited upon LUP and only his removal will remove the negative stain as well as the unwholesome precedent brought upon through his effort to sideline the Party's Constitution and protocol in his quest to become Standard Bearer.
We want to be unequivocally clear that we stand united in our conviction that genuine transformation of the Liberian society from the old stagnant path to a new progressive system of constitutional democracy and development rests upon orderly and ethically balanced behavioral transformation starting with the individual onto the organizational and societal levels. Those who tend to bend the rules in a micro setting may most probably find ways to bend larger rules on the macro-level. We shall remain vigilant in the interest of our people as we seek to uphold and to protect the vision of the Founding Father of LUP thereby fostering the democratic principles through which LUP was organized and by which LUP must be governed.
Before his untimely demise during the dark period in Liberia when the Charles Taylor led rebels of the National Patriotic Front (NPF) enveloped Bong and other leaf-ward counties, Hon. Kpolleh had weathered another equally dangerous storm. A plot concocted by the former Doe Regime charged Hon. Kpolleh with treason punishable by death if convicted. Our concern was whether or not he would receive a "fair" trial. The charge came for no apparent reason other than the fact that Hon. Kpolleh dared to challenge an incumbent for the position of President. Very few Liberians were willing, at the time, to affiliate with Hon. Kpolleh or with his political party -LUP.
It was during this time of personal and organizational adversities that Hon. Kpolleh reached out to us here in the U.S. and sought for moral and financial support to defend his life and the viability of LUP. Re asked us not to sit by and allow this false Treason charge' to destroy him and the party. Re requested us to form a branch of LUP to help create international awareness about his plight and to help in whatever way we could to finance his legal battles.
At that time, we were aware that a decision to stand with Hon. Kpolleh equaled a decision to stand against the Doe Regime and the consequences were plain. Despite the intrinsically clear present/future danger in standing with LUP and its marked Founder, we decided to stand with our conviction and we stood with Hon. Kpolleh. We backed our standing by organizing a Branch of LUP within the laws of the U.S. We raised the debate about political prosecutions in Liberia and we sent financial contribution to assist in his legal defense.
Faced with serious challenge from the Taylor-led rebels of the NPF, the Doe Regime crumbled in a barbaric episode of modern day human savagery. It was during this period when nearly all of the leaf-ward counties were controlled by Mr. Taylor and his forces that prominent Liberian icons including Hon. Kpolleh, Hon. Jackson F. Doe, etc. inexplicably lost their lives.
It was also at this time when Counselor Brumskine was not a member of LUP; rather, he and Mr. Taylor were inseparable political/military allies. As we wrestle with the unexplained death of the Founder of LUP, we call on all those who were involved with the Taylor rebel camp, including but not limited to Counselor Brumskine, to tell us what they know and to explain the circumstances of their involvement with the NPF group that controlled the territories within which Hon. Kpolleh lost his life. At the very minimum, truth and reconciliation demand this information.
Against this background, we, the members of this Branch of LUP, cognizant of our history, were quickly alarmed when news surfaced that this former associate of Mr. Taylor, Counselor Charles W. Brumskine, had joined LUP .We were aware then, as we are today, that the circumstances of his conversion from the ruling National Patriotic party (NPP) Government presented serious questions and the prevailing answers were wanting. We took the matter up with the leadership of LUP and we became even more puzzled by the trend of events surrounding his membership. We sent the Party a Resolution of Inquiry, yet to be released, and our inquiry raised more questions than answers.
Let us be quick to note that LUP is a legitimate political party, not a tribal or sectional organization. It is a national political organization and any Liberian citizen, who accepts the Party's ideology, has the right to affiliate himself/herself with LUP. Therefore, we are not against any particular person's intention to join the Party. This is not a personal attack. It is a general endeavor to highlight the rules of the Party and to remove unfair advantage.
Consequently, we take issue with the unexplained, apparently clandestine path Counselor Brumskine took from joining LUP to becoming the apparent voice of the Party and the apparent Standard Bearer in waiting. There is information that he has listed himself in some quarters as the Standard Bearer of LUP without having been elected to that position at a Party Convention.
When we last visited the Constitution of LUP, we found that the Standard Bearer must be elected at the National Convention of the Party scheduled in straight adherence to the Constitution. Article VII, Section A: states "The National Convention shall consist of representatives of all counties and oversea organizations, all nationally elected officers, representatives of all Standing Committees, Representatives of the Women and Youth Wings as well as other Representatives Groups that may be established from time to time." Also, Article VII, Section D: states "The National Convention shall discuss and establish general party legislations and policies as well as pass upon names of candidates for national offices to include presidential candidates. The national Convention is the highest policy and decision-making body of the Party." Therefore, to become the Standard Bearer of LUP or to profess to be the Standard Bearer without observing Party protocol is unhealthy, dangerous and scandalous.
We are aware that some of our positions have reached Counselor Brumskine. In an attempt to circumvent the critical issue of relinquishing his speedily questionable pre-eminence over LUP, and recognizing, as a legal scholar, that he sees an obstacle imposed by the Constitution of LUP relative to new members in quest of the Standard Bear position, Counselor Brumskine engineered a quick organization of a Branch of LUP in the U.S. disregarding the fact that a branch already existed in the United States. Professional courtesies should have been exercised.
Our sources inform us that he transformed apart, if not all, of his Friends of Brumskine (FOB) Organization into a Branch of LUP. The FOB was originally organized to support Counselor Brumskine to become President of Liberia.
Now, therefore, we have information that this "new" U.S. Branch of LUP had a meeting in Providence Rhode Island on January 18,2004 and one of the alleged strategies emerging from that meeting was to sponsor a group of their members to travel to Liberia on reduced airfare, through a given travel agency, if Counselor Brumskine's name is mentioned. One of the purposes of this trip, we are told, is to flood LUP Headquarters with newly arrived members from America and to set the stage to force a party convention dominated by this group of FOB/LUP members so as to elect new leadership of LUP -a leadership apparently friendly to Counselor Brumskine. The Constitution of LUP (Article VII, Section D quoted above) is plain with respect to the protocol of electing candidates for national offices such as Standard Bearer, Vice Standard Bearer, National Party Chair, etc.
We roundly condemn any and all attempts by any person(s) and/or group of persons to circumvent the Constitution and protocol of LUP in an effort to promote personal goals. The circumstances of Counselor Brumskine's enrollment in LUP, after active participation in the NPP-led Government, remains unresolved and now, allegedly, he attempts to conduct a kangaroo convention to wrestle the leadership of LUP from those in charge. Let us be clear that we vehemently oppose a kangaroo convention. We advocate a constitutional democratic convention envisioned by the Constitution of LUP wherein delegates from all of the political Subdivisions are cited. These delegates form the party convention and they listen to debates and decide, through election, who becomes party and other national leaders.
Any attempt to call a party convention now is an effort that borders on political lunacy .It is very clear that this is not the right time for a convention because only Monrovia is marginally secured. All the counties from which delegates are constitutionally expected have no security guarantee and the citizens cannot be expected freely to engage in political craft. Article I, Section A-l of the By-Laws states: "The Local Convention shall be held within the various administrative areas sixty (60) days before the hosting of the National Convention. All candidates shall be selected through the primary system by simple majority votes cast. In the event there is a tie, the Local Chairman or Coordinator shall break the tie by means of vote".
Therefore, any effort to flood the Headquarters of LUP with newly signed members (whether or not their new memberships meet constitutional test is another issue) and to advocate forcing a convention or mini-convention or whatever for the purposes of changing the party leadership to the liking of Counselor Brumskine or anyone, is clandestine, shadowy and backwater politics. Meanwhile, Article I, Section A-2 addressed the Convention timetable. It states, "The venue of the National Convention shall be rotational and it shall be held not later than ninety (90) days prior to general elections. In case there is a tie between the Presidential Candidate, the National Chairman, the National Vice Chairman for Operations and the Chairman of the National Advisory Council shall cast votes to break the tie". On the basis of this timetable, there should be no talk about local convention until around June 2005 and around August 2005 for National Convention.
To have these early maneuverings undertaken by a seasoned political figure who should know better and one whose new membership to LUP demands a lot of explanations as well as his relationship with the failed Taylor NPP Government is an attempt to make mockery of the Party process because, we think, he sees himself above the rules. These and other reasons demand that Counselor Charles W. Brumskine be expelled from LUP to cleanse the Party and to restore it to the level of respectability envisioned by the Founder.
Our country has suffered too much agony, death, destruction and division to allow wrong-headed effort to take root at a time when the dust appears to be settling.
In conclusion, members of this Branch of LUP affirm jointly to work together with LUP-Liberia toward promoting a more democratic LUP and Liberia.
Issued for Immediate release this 9th Day of February AD 2004 in the City of Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
J. Baitee Tubah
General Secretary, U.S. Branch
J. Mamadee Woah-tee, Sr. PhD
Chairman, U.S. Branch
Liberia Unification Party (LUP)
P .0. Box 3272
Baltimore, MD 21228