Unity Party Refutes and Condemns Allegations

(A Press Statement issued on May 8, 2002)

The Perspective
Monrovia, Liberia

Posted May 9, 2002

The Unity Party refutes and condemns in the strongest terms possible the erroneous Statements, Press Releases and Reports regarding events at Roberts International Airport on the arrival of Unity Party Standard Bearer, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Monday 6 May.

The Unity Party wishes to state that contrary to press releases by the ruling National Patriotic party and the management of the Roberts International Airport, they are not aware of any arrangement or request for the Embassy of the United States to receive the UP Standard Bearer on the tarmac of the RIA or anywhere else in US Embassy vehicle. It was by coincidence that the US Ambassador flew on the same flight with the Standard Bearer after her trip was postponed.

The Unity Party wishes to note that thousands of Unity partisans were prepared to meet and welcome the Standard Bearer along the route upon her scheduled arrival at the Airport on Saturday 4 May.

That arrival was postponed to Monday 6 May as a result of the ban on public gatherings which was imposed by the Ministry of Justice on the afternoon of Friday 3 May. The ban was followed by request to the Party Executives that only Executive Committee members should meet the Standard Bearer at the airport.

The Party conformed to the demand of the Ministry of Justice and the Chairman, along with four members of the Executive Committee including Senator Beatrice Sherman, received the Standard Bearer. Senator Sherman met her at the post immigration point and accompanied her to collect her baggage and clear customs.

While awaiting Senator Sherman and the Standard Bearer, the American Ambassador exited the terminal, spoke briefly to the Unity Party Executives and proceeded in his official car with escort. The Standard Bearer exited a good while later and headed to Monrovia in Senator Sherman's jeep whose occupants included Executive Committee member Frank Teah. The Chairman followed the Senator's jeep with other Executive members, all of whom headed to the Party Headquarters on Broad Street.

The Unity Party releases this truth regarding the Standard Bearer's arrival and calls upon the Chairman of the National Patriotic Party to desist from spreading false information that create tension and confusion in the society.

The Unity Party further calls upon all peace loving and patriotic members of the National Patriotic Party to rein in its Chairman who is promoting disunity among Liberians and poor relations between the Government and Liberia's traditional friend, the United States of America.

The Unity Party hereby reconfirms its commitment to help bring relief to the suffering people of Liberia and to work for peace, stability and development in our beloved country.

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