"The only constant in life is change," said Heraclitus, the Greek philosopher. So it came as no surprise after years of counterproductive bickering about a tool that was supposed to bound them together come rain or shine...
In a final communiqué at the end of the extraordinary central committee convened on Monday at the "Palais de la Culture", Laurent Gbagbo, founder of the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) made it clear that time had come to steer away from more storm in a teacup with former comrades. Mr Gbagbo wants a new political party in line with his doctrines and ambitions.
Given the "spat" with Pascal Affi N'Guessan over the presidency of the FPI, Laurent Gbagbo has suggested leaving the party and all its regalia in the hands of his former prime minister.
Mr Gbagbo refuses to engage in "a legal battle with Mr Affi who has decided to seize his only instrument of political struggle by clinging to its legality".
Thus, "the central committee urges FPI activists, sympathisers, all Gbagbo supporters and Ivorian democrats to work towards building a stable and prosperous Côte d'Ivoire in peace," the document said.
As part of the roadmap towards this new political party, Mr Gbagbo instructed the central committee to authorize the setting up of a preparatory committee for a constituent congress, the statement concluded.
1. The Central Committee of the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI), convened on Monday 9 August 2021, from 12:05 pm to 2:32 pm in its second extraordinary session of the year 2021, at the Palais de la Culture, located in Treichville, under the effective chairmanship of President Laurent GBAGBO, President of the Party;
2. The agenda of this extraordinary session included the following items:
- Tribute to our dear departed;
- Address by President Laurent Gbagbo.
3. The following members were invited to this extraordinary session of the Central Committee:
- Members of the "Comité Central"
• Members of the " Comité de Contrôle"
• Members of the " Conseil Politique Permanent"
- The founding members of Ensemble pour la Démocratie et la Souveraineté (EDS);
- EDS parliamentarians;
- The President's Cabinet members.
4. The session heard a communication from Comrade ASSOA Adou, General Secretary of the Ivorian Popular Front.
5. In his communication, Comrade ASSOA Adou welcomed the President of the Party and said "YAKO" for all the sufferings endured.
6.The General Secretary then thanked President Laurent Gbagbo for trusting in him on two occasions; Firstly, by appointing him Director of his campaign for the presidency of the Party Congress scheduled back in December 2014, while he was in exile in Ghana; then, President Laurent Gbagbo honoured him by appointing him General Secretary at the Mooussou Congress held on August 3rd and 4th 2018 while he was in prison.
7. The General Secretary indicated that after the Moossou Congress, the Party was hit by the sudden death of Vice President Abou Drahamane SANGRE, acting President. This loss was hard felt by the Party and was an opportunity for some comrades to openly challenge the authority of the Party President.
8. Despite these roadblocks, party members, sympathisers, Ivorians in the Diaspora and democrats all over the world mobilised to ensure that the right strategic policies of President Laurent GBAGBO triumphed;
9. Addressing the first item of the agenda, the "Comité Central" heard a second communication relating to a tribute paid to comrades and sympathisers who sadly died. This communication was made by Vice President Gnagne YADOU.
10. On behalf of the Party, comrade Gnagne YADOU expressed the eternal gratitude of the Ivorian Popular Front to the families of all our party members and sympathisers who died for our cause and the bright future of our country, Côte d'Ivoire.
11.Under the second item of the agenda, the "Comité Central" heard an important speech by President Laurent GBAGBO on the struggle of the Ivorian Popular Front and the prospects for Côte d'Ivoire today;
12. President Laurent GBAGBO saluted and honoured the memory of all the party members and sympathisers who died during his prolonged absence from the country. He saluted their commitment to freedom and democracy in Côte d'Ivoire. He particularly pointed out on the case of the most illustrious of them, including Bernard Blin DADIER, Abou Drahamane SANGARE, Sylvain Miaka OURETO, Désiré TAGRO, Bohoun BOUABRE, Sansan KOUAO, Basile Mahan GAHE, who committed themselves to our common cause at the cost of their lives.
13. President Laurent GBAGBO asked the Party to do whatever possible to perpetuate their memory.
14. Addressing members and sympathisers of the Ivorian Popular Front, President Laurent GBAGBO congratulated them for their courage and tenacity which enabled the Party to overcome adversity.
15. President Laurent GBAGBO then insisted on the eminently important role played by the FPI in the establishment of a multi-party system in Côte d'Ivoire as well as the beginning of the democratisation process of the country;
16. This is why hecannot comprehend the behaviour of some comrades who are now far removed from our ideology and have turned into adversaries.
17. Our only tool of political struggle is confiscated by Mr Affi N'GUESSAN and despite numerous initiatives to reason with him, he still clings to his so-called "legality".
18. President Laurent GBAGBO has taken note of the ill will and stubbornness of Mr Affi N'GUESSAN in holding the Ivorian Popular Front hostage, thus trampling on the years of sacrifice.
15. President Laurent GBAGBO does not intend to engage in a legal battle with Mr Affi N'GUESSAN.
16. From that moment on, he suggested to the "Comité Central" the creation of a "new tool of struggle following our ideology and our ambitions."
17. He asked the "Comité Central" to authorise the setting up of a committee to prepare for a Constituent Congress.
18. The "Comité Central" congratulates President Laurent GBAGBO for his brilliant presentation and his high level of political acumen which enables him to overcome the bitter struggle of the past and have his sight set on the future of our common tool of struggle.
19. The "Comité Central"therefore decides :
- To perpetuate the memory of our dead
- To the creation of a new politacal tool for our struggle
- To set up a committee to prepare the Constituent Congress.
20. The Central Committee urges militants and sympathisers of the Ivorian Popular Front, President Laurent GBAGBO's supporters and all Ivorian democrats to be inspired by his achievements and work towards building a peaceful, stable and prosperous Côte d'Ivoire.
21. The "Comité Central" wants to assure President Laurent GBAGBO, the man of peace, tolerance and forgiveness, of its unwavering support, whose return to Côte d'Ivoire is for all Ivorians, the catalyst of the process of true reconciliation and lasting peace.
22. The "Comité Central" calls from now, on all the structures of the Party, members, all sympathisers and all patriots to mobilize and commit themselves unequivocally around President Laurent GBAGBO to take up the challenge of building definitive peace and true reconciliation in Côte d'Ivoire.
Abidjan, 09 August 2021
The Central Committee (FPI)
Published on 09/08/2021 By Claude B. Djaquis - Editor-In-Chief