The Council of Patriots (COP) has distanced itself from the Thursday, June 25th violent incident in Monrovia that led to burning tires and setting road blocks on the main Tubman Boulevard. The group has also said that it has no connection with Orange Liberia, which the government claims to be behind the violent protest.
Earlier, the government had claimed that the incident was carried out by the COP and that it will not tolerate any form of violence that will undermine Liberia’s hard earned peace. In the wake of this, Monrovia City Mayor, Jefferson Koijee, has publicly stated that he will form “Anti-citizen Protest force” to counter any protest staged against the government by any group.
The COP in a rebuttal statement to allegation levied by the government said: “The history of violence in Liberia is one that has caused our country enormous problems. Whether it was the years of civil carnage and, until recently, the violent incidents in Logan Town and Gardnersville during two by-elections, the Council of Patriots believes that no form of violence must be tolerated, especially in our nascent democracy. While the COP encourages Liberians to speak out and protest against the wanton looting and abuse currently taking place, it believes and, as it has shown, that any protest must be done in a manner and fashion which is representative of the values of the organization. The June 7th and January 6th protests are classic examples of how the organization carries itself even in the midst of provocations by state security forces.”
The COP, which has staged two big successful protests — June 7, 2019 and January 6, 2020 without accusation of violence, “wishes to remind Liberians and the general public that it remains committed to the fight for societal reforms within the confines of the law and can assure our many supporters that we will continue to do so until Liberia becomes a better place for us, our children, and our children’s children. The COP will not compromise the collective interest of the suffering masses of our people.”
“Meanwhile, the COP will like to make it categorically clear that it has absolutely no connections whatsoever with Orange Liberia and that news circulating in many quarters, especially by the government, is completely unfounded,” said the pressure group.