Benoni Urey must have been feeling good about his political prospects. In recent weeks, Liberia’s political scene has been almost entirely dominated by the ongoing politically motivated trial of Alexander Cummings for which Urey is largely responsible for bringing about.
The ongoing trial of Cummings is clearly an attempt to prop up Joseph Boakai’s candidacy for president, and Urey has been among the most vocal supporters of Boakai’s bid for the presidency in 2023.
But it appears that Urey’s full-throated support for the Unity Party leader is a one-way street. Boakai and his team have consistently failed to show the same degree of respect and support to the leader of the All-Liberia Party (ALP).
It is understandable why Boakai would prefer to maintain his distance from Urey, having reportedly been warned repeatedly by his closest advisors, and even the US Embassy in Monrovia, that Urey’s presence in Boakai’s inner circle would present serious reputational and legal risks.
Nevertheless, it came as a surprise to many observers when Front Page Africa reported last week on the details of a secret December 22 “reconciliation meeting” in Accra, Ghana between Boakai and Cummings, organized with the help of the mysterious Liberia Renaissance Office (LIRO) and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. According to reporting, Boakai’s “closest supporter of late, Benoni Urey, was said to have been deeply upset about the former Vice President’s decision to have kept him in the dark about the failed Accra meeting with Cummings.”
Given the support that Urey has thrown to Boakai – from using his ill-gotten wealth to prop up the former Vice-President’s campaign, to playing a leading role in breaking up the CPP, and even launching a lawsuit against Boakai’s political rival Alexander Cummings – it must have come as a great shock to Urey that Boakai and his team failed to even extend the courtesy of informing him of this Ghana reconciliation meeting in advance.
Benoni Urey has demonstrated that he is willing to go to nearly any length to serve his political master while furthering his own political goals, swatting away any ethical or legal concerns in the process. It is for this reason that Urey found himself in a starring role as a sanctions-busting financier during the Liberian civil war on behalf of his master Charles Taylor. And now, Urey is spearheading politically-motivated and baseless legal claims, even teaming up with the ruling party in the process in his latest effort to enter Joseph Boakai’s inner circle.
Unfortunately for Urey, even these desperate measures have not brought him in from the cold. He remains a man lost in the political wilderness, no matter how much noise and chaos he provokes on the Liberian political scene.