With barely 21 days to the planned June 7 “peaceful protest” organized by the Council of Patriots (CoP), the leadership of the Federation of Liberian Youth (FLY) in collaboration with the Liberian National Students Union (LINSU), and the Mano River Union Youth Parliament-Liberia Chapter, has called on the organizers to annul the protest, describing it as a “setback for the country.”
At a news conference in Monrovia on May 15, 2019, the President of FLY, Amos Williams, said taking a historical look at protests and its repercussions on the country and Africa at large, FLY patriotically cautions the organizers and all concerned to avoid said process, as “our peace remains fragile and our national economy unfavorable.”
“In Liberia, our turbulent political history cannot be complete or written without mentioning the infamous April 14, 1979 Rice Riot. A protest, which was supposed to be peaceful, turned violent and claimed the lives of several Liberians. It subsequently resulted to the eventual toppling of the Tolbert regime on April 12, 1980,” Williams said.
Based on his historical analysis, he called on Liberians to dissociate themselves from “this questionable peaceful protest, and to endure the patience as we pressurize the government to respond to national economic needs of the citizenry with particular emphasis on the youth,” he said.
According to him, Liberians confidently remember the past, which everyone regretted, and promised never to repeat those mistakes. “Our past that may resuscitate with the June 7 event [and], if care is not taken, will reinvent the country’s ugly past.”
Mr. Williams described key organizers of the protest as supporters of former President Charles Ghankay Taylor, who brought mayhem to the country.
He said these individuals have no moral rectitude and national patriotism to demand a protest in the so-called name of Saving the State. “This is the very reason why they are always associated with non-nationalistic, unpatriotic and counterproductive undertakings to cause chaos at the detriment of ordinary people.”
Williams said individuals behind the planned protest are not enemies to the state, “because their being in opposition was entertained, but they must emulate the mature and patriotic example of our former Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai; a man whose life as an opposition is void of constant insults and deliberate falsehoods.”
“They have no space in our current generation, and we as youth leaders call on all Liberians never to give them relevance, especially at the expense of this government headed by Mr. Weah, who has an impeccable character free from national chaos,” Mr. Williams said.
“Let us send this caveat that anyone who jeopardizes our peace by precipitating chaos, while their wives and children are peacefully living in the US and other countries, shall not go with impunity,” he cautioned.