The resplendent looking Central Bank Complex, with its shimmering marine blue glass façade, bears testimony to Liberia’s quest to join the ranks of global financial clearing house systems. On the other hand, the squat and ugly looking E.J. Roye Building, epitomizing Liberia’s one-party political system through the truncated True Whig Party hegemony, remains one of the few showpieces of Liberia’s rather bloody civil war – a fight waged by the natives to break the backs of the settler class’ one party misrule. But ten years after the end of the civil war and the introduction of multiparty democracy, E.J. Roye Building continues to remain the last battlefront as stalwarts of the True Whig Party and the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf administration lock horns in a nasty legal wrangle over ownership of the historic landmark.
“President Sirleaf is using all kinds of undemocratic maneuverings to seize our party headquarter,” a very furious TWP Chairman Reginald Goodridge, Sr. tells Capitol Times.
Chairman Goodridge further disclosed that the government had tried other unconstitutional means to seize control of E.J. Roye Building through divide and rule tactics. “They brought a wedge into the party when they offered some of our stalwarts about US$225,000 through a dubious Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2013 to sell the E.J Roye Building. We sued the government and the courts placed a Restraining Order on all activities including survey. No one, absolutely no one has the authority to sell the TWP property without a two-third majority vote,” the TWP chairman said, disclosing further that despite the court’s restraining order, government has deployed EPS personnel to man the EJ Roye Building.
Government sources, speaking to Capitol Times on condition of anonymity, confirmed that indeed, the TWP and government entered into a legal arrangement in 2013 where payment was made to the TWP to vacate the EJ Roye premises. “We could have used the principle of Imminent Domain but opted to agree to the TWP terms to make some payment to resettle illegal occupants in the building and offset obligations TWP had with a company that they had already leased the building to,” one of our sources disclosed.
What remains to be seen in the months leading to the 2017 general and presidential elections, is how the cards will be decked across the table in this battle of wits and supremacy between the government and remnants of the TWP hegemony; and what impact this brouhaha could have on the consolidation of multiparty democracy in a country still reeling under the effects of a bloody civil war.
Capitol Times will bring you an in-depth coverage of the situation in our subsequent publication.