Few days following Womenvoices newspapers’ publication of a story in which the paper quoted several Liberians, who took to Facebook expressing concerns over the conspicuous silence of the once vibrant and vocal pro-democracy pressure group, Economic Freedom Fighters of Liberia (EFFL), the group has justified its silence.

In a press released received by Womenvoices over the weekend, the EFFL attributes its silence on issues of national concern in recent times to the group’s Central Revolutionary Council (CRC’s) decision to have the EFFL focus more on completing its registration with the National Elections Commission as a full political party to avoid being called a pressure group or a propaganda machinery for other opposition political institutions and individual politicians.

The EFFL in its press release, said it was clarifying that the group’s desire to have fielded its “President” Emmanuel Gonquoi in the December 2020 senatorial elections was prematurely aborted simply because the EFFL did not obtain full political party status from the NEC..

Therefore, the EFFL stated that after becoming aware of certain situations that the group said hindered the implementation of its founding manifesto, the CRC, which is the highest decision-making body of EFFL, decided to focus more on completing EFFL’s registration as a full political party. 

The EFFL admitted that it has been working in silence for months now, but disclosed that the group is 97% closer to becoming a full-fledged political party in Liberia.

“In the next few days, we will complete the registration requirements with the NEC and, hopefully, in the next few weeks, it is expected that the NEC will certify EFFL as a full-fledged political party,” EFFL further disclosed.

“We also realized, in our collaborations with other political elements, that many of those who speak out so loudly; do so only for the sake of power and not because they believe in the Liberian people’s desire for reform and transformative leadership that will pave the way to prosperity,” the EFFL press release read.

The EFFL states that it believes that by becoming a political party, the group will have the opportunity to effectively pursue a progressive path that will change the course of history and re-establish Liberia as a globally respectable society.

Howbeit, the EFF intoned that it regrets its silence, indicating, “We regret that in the last few months we have not been aggressive towards President Weah and his group of gangsters who are looting our state; but when you want to achieve a particular goal, you have to stay focused, no matter what.”

“Fellow citizens, we want to reassure you that we will always remain steadfast, unchanged and uncompromising because the future we believe in is not with the George Weah administration or the CPP or any other political structures in Liberia. The future we believe in is one that assures you of a progressive path to manufacturing and job creation through agricultural development, tourism, a clear anti-corruption agenda, respect for the rule of law and pure democracy. This future is guaranteed only by EFFL and not by any political party. In order to pursue and achieve this future together, we need a radical political party, which we have now created,” the EFFL press release added. 

It can be recalled, this paper, on last Wednesday reported that one of Liberia’s most vocal pro-democracy groups modeled after the originally founded South African Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), the Economic Freedom Fighters of Liberia (EFFL), seems to have gone into oblivion few years after its formation predominantly by youthful Liberian politicians and civil society activists.

We reported among others that the EFFL, known for being proactive and very outspoken against ills in society, especially against bad governance and corruption, has been silent in recent times, with the group’s conspicuous silence over many burning issues of national concern itself now sparking a huge concern from several Liberians, who are wondering as to the whereabouts of the once vibrant Economical Freedom Fighters of Liberia.

According to the website of the EFFL, it prides itself into being an ideological Economic emancipation movement which brings together revolutionary, fearless, radical, and militant activists, workers’ movements, nongovernmental organizations, community based organizations, lobby-groups under the need to pursue the struggle for economic emancipation.

The group says it has a vision to create excellent society by combating impunity through the fight for equal access to justice, Economic empowerment of all citizens in Liberia and Africa in lifetime of members of the EFFL.

But several Liberians pondering over the whereabouts of the EFFL among other things recently wrote on Facebook, sarcastically suggesting that due to the group’s conspicuous silence over weighty national elections that require the input of any relevant political institution such as the EFFL portrayed itself in time past, the group might have been dissolved and its progenitors returned to South Africa, where the idea of founding such group was borrowed.

Zaia Raymond Flumo posted on his official Facebook page on 17 May, asking whether the EFFL was still around, or has gone back to South Africa, adding that much has not been heard of from the once politically charged EFFL.

Zaia wrote: “Good morning to the Economic Freedom Fighters of Liberia – EFFL Y’all still here or UR Na go back South Africa? We’re not hearing anything from your oh.”

In response to Zaia’s inquiry, another Liberian, Charles Garyezon, also wrote asking whether the EFFL was still in Liberia or had gone on sabbatical elsewhere. Without waiting for a response, Charles later slammed the group as a “Sidewalk group.”

Zaia Raymond Flumo seems to be in agreement with the latter assertion of Charles, as he (Zaia) referred to the predominatly youthful membership of the EFFL as “useless boys,” who “were hungry.”

As for Moses Lamie, he did not only refer to the EFFL’s members as boys, he also labeled them as sellouts, indicating that “they have compromised the people’s struggle.”

Patrick Woi, for his part, called EFFL members jokers, writing, “Those jokers who haven’t impacted any struggle.  Let them move from here mehn ( lazy three days free call fight they could not win).”

Chisom Anthony Bethel wrote asking the EFFL: “What happened to your economic freedom?” He added, “So we’re still here waiting to be free economically.”

In apparent response to Chisom, Aaron Kofa Chea, in sarcasm, wrote: “They are driving through Guinea. I’m told they are going back,” while Gbarpoluboy-Ambulah Mamey, for his part, just laughed out, writing: “Haha.”

Meanwhile, Womenvoices has gathered that prior to EFFL going mute on national issues, the group’s President Emmanuel Gonquoi announced his candidature for the 8 December 2020 midterm senatorial election, at the time eying the Margibi County senatotial seat.

Howbeit, Gonquoi withdrew from the race at the eleventh hour, a move many political pundits, who spoke to Womenvoices on condition of anonymity, claimed was Gonquoi’s way allegedly selling out to eventual winner Emmanuel Nuquay.

However, high-ranking members of the EFFL who spoke to Womenvoices on the issue, but begged to remain anonymous, refuted the assertions of the political pundits, and attributed Gonquoi’s withdrawal from the Senate race to the delay on the part of the National Elections Commission (NEC) to grant the EFFL a political party status, which they claimed the group had earlier applied for and met all requirements.

The EFFL stalwarts divulged that the group is not silent, but is recalibrating and at the same time awaiting signal from the NEC regarding its certification by the electoral body as a political party.

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