Reverend Samuel B. Reeves Jr., Senior Pastor of the Providence Baptist Church, has called on the leadership of the Liberia Council of Churches (LCC), Christians and Religious organizations to lead a campaign that would ease the current ‘political tension,’ which he said does not augur well for the country in the wake of the planned June 7 ‘peaceful protest.’
The Baptist Prelate said the dialogue, which should be held between the protest organizers and the government, will help calm the ongoing ‘political tension’ that is gradually degenerating with the use of threatening statements, specifically the emergence of ex-rebel generals from the country’s disbanded warring factions.
Rev. Reeves, who served as vice standard bearer in the 2017 presidential bid of former Central Bank governor, Joseph Mills Jones, said with the current wave of a volatile political environment between the opposition and the government, it would be necessary to hold a dialogue with all parties to ease the rising tension.
“Although it is the constitutional right all Liberians to protest whenever they feel hurt by certain government policy, they should remember the environment of the country’s recent past to avoid the re-occurrence, because those are things that have the propensity to revert the gains made over the years,” he warned.
Reeves said that the organizers of the planned protest may have a good intent, “but I fear that it would end up in a violent manner if the necessary mechanisms are not put into place.”
He said that the protest, if not implemented in an atmosphere of civility, will never solve Liberia’s problems.
“However, a dialogue is always the surest way to mitigating the needed challenges confronting the country with the involvement of both the government and the opposition,” Rev. Reeves said.
At the same time, Rev. Reeves commended the government for condemning recent statements attributed to ex-rebel generals. According to him, it was repulsive on the part of the ex-rebel fighters to have ordered the arrest of a sitting lawmaker when they have no constitutional authority whatsoever to do so.
“Gone are the days for rebels to intimidate peaceful citizens,” Rev. Reeves added, urging Liberians to condemn their actions in this new dispensation.