Could G. Milton Findley Be Liberia’s Political “Maverick?”

There is a narrow understanding that politics is about interest. Even if this is true, not all interests are rewarding, measurable and energizing. This is precisely why politics is both an ethical and unethical game, one in which “trust” is vague and interpreted mundanely.

Like him or hate him, the Honorable Gbehsohngar Milton Findley is a political heavyweight, sort of a “maverick” in Liberian politics, especially the politics of one of Liberia’s populated and vote-seeking belt, Grand Bassa County.

A graduate level electronics engineer by profession, and businessman by alternate craft, Findley understands that politics is like a “House of Cards,” do your part and I do my part, and together, we can all be happy.

By all accounts, the former Grand Bassa County lawmaker and former president of the Liberian senate is a distinguished and astute personality, smart and gentlemanly. He is undoubtedly humbled but frequently comes across as ‘aloof’ by people who don’t understand and know him closely.  With all these prowess, his support in any camp is vital and commanding in Liberia’s 2017 presidential race scheduled for October 10.

Breaking news in and from Liberia has it that Findley is parting ways with the Unity Party, and that negotiations are ongoing to see the former Grand Bassa lawmaker become the kingmaker.

According to reliable sources, the former senator has reneged on supporting his one-time senior brother and good friend, Vice President Joseph Boakai for reasons unclear. However, political observers point to the fact that Findley, who some people thought of as a strong contender for the vice standard-bearer slot for the Unity Party did not get it.

Many expected veteran and globally accomplished and known human rights activist Samuel Kofi Woods to have been the Unity Party’s preferred choice and Findley the alternate in the instance Woods didn’t get it. Like Woods, Findley is internationally exposed, has foreign and recognizable credentials, experience and the political and civil maturity to lead a nation should a president becomes unable to lead.

Since President Sirleaf, out of alleged fear of Woods’ quest for justice and the application of the rule of law, especially with regards to incidences that have taken place in Liberia over the past decades, Findley was basically the natural heir to the throne of becoming the Unity Party’s vice presidential running-mate.

Surprisingly, a dynamic young man who, before his selection, was basically unknown, emerged as the victor in the field of candidates that sought the UP’s number two slot. For the former Senator Findley this is an insult; and not only an insult but a disgrace and a fundamental disconnect of trust and confidence.   Realistically though, sources say the chaos in the Unity Party leading up the election is the making of the president who tries to micro-managed the selection process.

Findley’s support is crucial in deciding who the next president of Liberia will be. Easy going and calm, Findley is a serial planner and doer. He understands the “ins” and “outs’ of Liberian politics.

Therefore, his departure from the Unity Party is a “homicide” for the ruling party.

The choices for Findley going forward are many, but sources say he is eyeing the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) headed by soccer legend Senator George Manneh Weah and Senator Jewel Taylor, the ex-wife of warlord President Charles Taylor. The complication with the Weah’s ticket is that diplomats within international circle have started consultation regarding the indirect re-emergence of Taylor in Liberian affairs through his wife’s candidacy, which credible sources say he (Taylor) is indirectly financing through his former business partners.

On the other hand, the preferred home for Findley appears to be with his kinsman, Liberty Party’s Charles Walker Brumskine. Both Brumskine, a well-regarded corporate lawyer, and Findley are from Grand Bassa County; both enjoyed cordial relationship not frequently reported.

Though over the years and because of the level of self-consciousness and personal intellectual independence they possess, each took a different political route that had been misunderstood differently by some Liberian political commentators. Despite that, there has always been a maximum degree of unity and fraternity between the two men.  Hence, most political observers of Liberian politics are betting that Findley will support and lead the overall strategies for the Liberty Party.  Internal sources say, the Liberty Party’s leader is fully prepared to reach out to his kinsman and see if they can work together.  Brumskine , according to sources believes Findley has contributed immensely to Liberia.

Thomas Freeman, a citizen of Grand Bassa County resident in Florida says Findley is very important to the people of Liberia and Grand Bassa County. His support for the Liberty Party is like coming home.  Freeman believes Findley is a natural heir and leader within the Liberty Party because, according to him, “Liberty Party belongs to brother Findley. That is his party.”

Margaret Weah from Sinoe County believes Findley should join forces with Dr. Mills Jones. She said Findley and Mills Jones are two people that can do better for Liberia.  She added that even though she at first disliked him because of his closeness to President Sirleaf, she still believes he is peaceful and nice man.

About two months from now for the country to go to the poll, the Liberian political climate is in chaos and former Senator Findley could decide who the next president of Liberia will be, because no one has distinguished themselves more than Findley throughout the 12 years of the Sirleaf’s administration. Though he sided with President Sirleaf on many things, most of which were not that good, the fact is Findley is a man of integrity and peace.  His support is crucial for any candidate and party.  This is why Daniel Gaye on Staten Island, New York believes that Vice President Boakai should do all he can to keep Findley. More development on Findley’s move to come.

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Paul Stevens

Paul Stevens is a researcher, media issues analyst and senior contributor with Globe Afrique.
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