“Meelee Kiamue was deported from the United States and is not capable of running the NUDP,”National Union for Democratic Progress (NUDP’s) political leader, Senator Prince Y. Johnson, commonly called ‘PYJ’ says Meelee Kiamue, the party’s campaign manager, cannot chair the party because he (Kiamue) is a deportee.
“Meelee Kiamue was deported from the United States and is not capable of running the NUDP,” PYJ protested when he angrily walked out of the NUDP’s convention held Saturday in Ganta, Nimba County. “Deportee can’t chair my party,” he contended.
The convention began with confusion when PYJ walked away having noticed that Kiamue was one of the candidates for the national chairmanship. “Meelee Kiamue cannot travel to the US and as such, many people who are willing to support the party will be scare,” he indicated.
According to our correspondent in Nimba County, the Nimba County Senior Senator also alleged that Kiamue misappropriated funds intended for the recent mini convention amounting to US one thousand dollars. He noted that such a man should not be given the chance to take over the NUDP as chairman. Senator Johnson in an open forum told some members and delegates to elect Senator Thomas Grupee as chairman for the smooth running of the party; threatening to breakaway if Kiamue was elected chairman.
The entire process of the convention almost came to a complete halt because PYJ’s statement did not go down well with the youth congress, thus sparking uproar among them.
Despite the absence of PYJ and as God could have it, convention went ahead, and delegates elected Cornelius Porte as national chairman, Meelee Kiamue, vice chairman for administration; Michael Zeh, vice chairman for mobilization and recruitment and Garrison Yealue, secretary-general. Wilfred Bagura was elected as assistant secretary-general for press and propaganda.
The NUDP’s gathering was particularly called to replace some expelled executives of the party including Gbawou Kowou, Madam Mary Teah, Benedict Bartuah and Metrix Gontee. The above mentioned individuals who faced the expulsion were not at the convention and could not be reached for comment. These former party’s executives were expelled based on a resolution read and adopted at the convention.
According to the resolution, the aggrieved officials, despite numerous negotiations, have continued to bring NUDP to public disrepute, and as such, the party has no other alternative, but to throw them out. In the resolution, the NUDP said it was constrained to take the decision because of the fragrant non-compliant posture of those it referred to as so-called aggrieved members.
At the same time, another contentious issue that came up at the convention was the adoption of a new constitution of the NUDP. Many of the members and delegates had serious reservation about Article 13 section 2 of the party constitution which states that the Standard Bearer shall serve for six years and shall seek to rerun as many times the party’s convention may allow. This portion of the constitution was objected to by many delegates including Rep. Ricks Toweh of Nimba County. According to Rep. Toweh, it is a recipe for dictatorship and ‘one-man rule’ in Liberia. He contended that others in the party should be given the chance through the democratic process to contest for higher position in the party. He recommended there should be an amendment to this section which was rejected on the floor by majority of the delegates.
At certain point of the argument, Rep. Toweh and Sen. Grupee went to the extent of pointing fingers at each other and struggling over microphone.
Effort by our reporter to get the reaction of Mr. Meelee Kiamue on Sen. Johnson’s allegation was not possible because according to him he was not prepared to comment on the matter.
It was not clear whether Kiamue bowed to pressure to abandon the chairmanship candidacy based on the allegation and warning by PYJ.