ALCOD’s Eminent Chairman Commends ULAA President for Accepting Court Order

ALCOD’s Eminent Chairman Commends ULAA President for Accepting Court Order

MONROVIA — The Eminent Chairman of the All-Liberian Conference on Dual Citizenship (ALCOD), Mr. Emmanuel S. Wettee, has commended Mr. J. Shiwoh Kamara for accepting the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas’ order recognizing Mr. Mohammed Keita as the court-appointed President of the Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas (ULAA). 

In his commendation of Mr. Kamara, who is the democratically-elected 28th President of ULAA, Eminent Wettee said, there are many other options that Kamara would have legally taken including filing an appeal, putting an injunction on the new ULAA Administration in the State of Minnesota, where ULAA is registered, and or creating a new ULAA. 

Eminent Wettee added: “In line with President Kamara’s policy of keeping ULAA as one body, united and peaceful, he decided on the option of accepting the court order.” 

There are reports that while some influential ULAA members were pressing on President Kamara to take one of the other options against accepting the court’s order, Eminent Wettee was heavily involved in influencing the ULAA outgoing President to accept the court’s order. But Mr. Wettee told this newspaper that while he had pleaded with his colleague, President Kamara made the final decision himself to accept the court order.

Mr. Kamara announced his decision to accept the court’s order at a well-attended Thanksgiving Service at Christ Assembly Lutheran Church in Philadelphia on June 9, 2024.

He told the congregation that ULAA has always stood as a pillar of unity, bringing together Liberians across the United States of America. “Since its inception, it has been an organization for promoting peace, advocacy, unity, and development within our community,” he added. 

“Since I was elected as the 28th president of ULAA in 2021, my administration has worked tirelessly to bring development, peace, unity, and advancement to the union. I stand before you to reflect on the incredible journey we have undertaken together and the unlimited potential that lies ahead. Over the past two years, my administration alongside the dedicated leadership of my Vice President, Hon. Minerva Grant has demonstrated tireless dedication and remarkable leadership that has transformed our Union. Under my guidance, we initiated and accomplished numerous programs, including the advancement of the Liberia Diaspora Initiative Fund (LDIF), we welcomed a new chapter in ULAA, which is the, Liberian Association of Arizona (LAA), and the successful resolution of conflicts within the Liberian Community Association of Central New Jersey and Metropolitan Areas (LCACNJM) and Liberian Association of Pennsylvania (LAP chapters).” 

Among other things, he further said, “In spite of my disagreements with the court’s decision for the certification of the March 2, 2024, election, I must respect the ruling. As law-abiding citizens who value peace and unity, I, along with my team, acknowledge the court’s ruling on April 30, 2024. However, we still believe there were inaccuracies in the court order, and all of the issues that led to the disruption of the ULAA 49 General Assembly were not resolved by the court.”

Throughout the Liberian diaspora group’s half-a-century existence, Mr. Mohammed Keita is the first President, who ascended to the post by a court order and not through a democratically elected process. 

Honest Ballot, the entity that provided the voting machines for ULAA on March 2nd, 2024, reported that only seventy-five persons voted in the half-baked election, which should have seen at least 899 registered voters participating. This is just eight percent of the total number of registered voters.

“Honest Ballot confirms seven[ty]-five (75) votes cast for the election of the ULAA 49th General Assembly on two Electronic Voting Machines on Saturday, March 2, 2024,” Linda Gibbs, President of Honest Ballot, who signed the report, said.

ULAA, the icon for advocating for democracy and democratic elections is now being led by a leadership that was not elected by the membership of ULAA but appointed by a court. There are reports that many member chapters of ULAA have yet to recognize Keita as the legitimate President of ULAA. The National Leadership Council of ULAA, a constitutional organ of ULAA that comprises of all the ULAA chapter leaders has not issued any statement of proclamation recognizing Mr. Keita as President. However, the National Board of Directors of which Mr. Mohammed Keita is the First Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors has recognized the new ULAA leadership and also The Liberian Association of Metro Atlantic (LAMA). The ULAA Persons of Eminent Council has yet to congratulate the new ULAA leadership.

The Liberian Community Association of Washington DC Metro Areas and the Liberian Community of Connecticut have openly said they do not recognize the new ULAA leadership. The Organization of Liberians in Minnesota (OLM) and other ULAA chapters are keeping their distance from the new ULAA administration. Diaspora organizations do not want to encourage this new wave of selecting leadership before this virus infiltrates their respective organizations. Counties diaspora organizations like Grand Gedeh and Nimba can relate to court related solutions that handicapped their organizations for many years. 

There are reports that Keita also became president of United Nimba Citizens Council (UNICCO) as a result of court-related issues and not being democratically elected by members. For many years UNICCO was divided between UNICCO-Keita and UNICCO-Wonge. UNICCO court cases are: United States District Court District of Minnesota Civil No. 09-1608 (DWF/JJK) and The United States District Court of The Eastern District of Pennsylvania Civil Action No. 07-3389-Case 2-07-CV-03389-JP.

Despite the conflict and its court resolution, Eminent Wettee is meanwhile appealing to all for a peaceful and united ULAA. “It is the responsibility of each and every one of us to prepare ULAA to provide leadership for the next EBOLA, COVID-19, and more,” the Eminent said.

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