— Says attacks are detrimental to Liberia’s peace and stability, and the rule of law
The Association of Liberian Journalists in the Americas (ALJA) has expressed dismay over the current wave of targeted physical attacks on opposition politicians by alleged supporters of the Coalition of Democratic Change (CDC)—noting that these attacks are detrimental to Liberia’s peace and stability, and the rule of law.
In a statement signed by its President, Joe S. Mayson, ALJA noted that the repeated orchestration and the execution of physical attacks on opposition Liberian politicians; and the disruption of their political rallies by individuals believed to be supporters of the CDC and the President, run contrary to the principle of peaceful coexistence as well as the tenets of democracy.
“These attacks are polarizing Liberians; and they have the proclivity of plunging Liberia into another civil war,” the group said in its statement on Tuesday.
Furthermore, ALJA further expressed disappointment that too often the perpetrators of these attacks are not held accountable, creating the impression that they are state sanctioned.
The journalism fraternity further condemned individuals that are involved in those acts of violence, noting that those actions have no place in a civilized and democratic society like Liberia.
“We also want to condemn people believed to be supporters of the CDC for the September 13, 2020 threat on the life of Montserrado County Senator, Abraham Darius Dillon, and his supporters in District-16 based in Montserrado County.”
It may be recalled that Senator Dillon was speaking at a political rally organized by his supporters in the St. Paul Bridge Community in Montserrado County when a man reportedly armed with a tear gas canister and a knife tried to bulldoze his way on the podium.
It took the swift intervention of the Senator’s bodyguards and supporters to ensure that the ‘attacker’ did not reach the popular lawmaker. “We maintained that this action endangered the life of the Senator and those of his supporters that attended the rally,” ALJA stated.
The Senator was faced with a similar situation while he and his supporters were at a rally in Clara Town.
ALJA also cited the violent attacks on the Chairman of the Collaborating Political Parties, Alexander Cummings, and members of his entourage including Representative Yekeh Kolubah of Montserrado County in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County while on a political mission.
Last year, former Montserrado County District #16 Representative candidate, Telia Urey, and her supporters also experienced violent attacks reportedly perpetrated by proponents of the regime.
“It is troubling that despite all of these brazen acts of violence reportedly committed against opposition politicians, the President and the Liberian government are yet to take any concrete actions in punishing the perpetrators and curtailing a recurrence.”
Meanwhile, the Association says it welcomes Montserrado County Senator, Abraham Darius Dillion, retraction of the threat he made against President Weah. On September 13, 2020, Senator Dillion in the wake of the reported foiled attack on him and his supporters in District-16, threatened that he and his supporters would stone the President’s convoy and his residence should the attack perpetrated against him and his supporters be repeated.
ALJA condemned the Senator’s threats against the President and called on politicians of all stripes to act responsibly in spite of the provocation as threats of violence is counterproductive to the peace and stability prevailing in the country. The Association says it rejects violence or threats of violence from the CDC and their supporters as well as leaders and members of the opposition.