House ‘Not Ruling Out Another Attempt to Meet with Council of Patriots’

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House Speaker Bhofal Chambers says he is not ruling out another attempt to meet with the Council of Patriots.

The ‘love for country’ of the main organizer of the June 7 protest, the Council of Patriots (CoP), has been questioned by the leadership of the House of Representatives after the CoP a planned meeting with the Lower House to discuss the protest, which the House claimed is reaching alarming proportions that could threaten the peace and stability of the country.

Friday’s planned discussion with the COP was supposed to be witnessed by the Peace Building Executive Director Edward Mulbah and Acting Peace Ambassador Eric Quaqua of the Liberia Peace Building and Peace Ambassador offices (respectively) of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Over the weekend, in the House’s first floor conference room, Speaker Bhofal Chambers told journalists that the Leadership’s meeting with the CoP was intended to exhaustively engage the organizer of the protest to allay fears and that Liberians should continue to live in harmony, in peace and stability, contrary to the fear of the protest which is likely frightening the peace and stability Liberians are enjoying.

“For us, we are thankful for this day and we will exhaustively engage and bring some degree of reasoning in this entire exercise so as to mitigate whatever people may think or would occur, because we feel that living in harmony, living in peace and living in stability is a good thing,” Speaker Chambers said.

“We are not here to carry any act of repudiation, neither are we here to state anything that would resemble denunciation. We are only here to tell our colleagues from the other side that Liberia is first and Liberia should be always. So we, patriots, we should constructively support our people and the state.”

He added: “We were able to write members of the Council of Patriots through our secretariat as was mandated in the Plenary of the House of Representatives and the communication was written and sent on the 28th of May and was received on the 29th and at the hour of 1:50pm.  Before then, discussion was held by our secretariat with the one who is supposed to be the spokesperson for the Council of Patriots, in person of Hon. Darius Dillon. He directed where the communication should have gone and it was sent exactly as he described, and was sent at the head office of the Liberty Party and was received by one Andrew Zuo .”

“So, we did our part and they were expected to be here at this time and we have not seen any sign, so we want to say we will not relent. Our effort remains unrelenting and we want to ensure as the preamble depicts in our constitution that all live in harmony, and so we also want for people to be law abiding.”

Speaker Chambers indicated that the House is not ruling out another attempt to meet with the CoP.

It maybe recalled, prior to the CoP ditching the Lower House on Friday, the COP walked out of a Thursday planned dialogue with Senate after members of the CoP’s request for an open meeting was rejected by the Senate.

The CoP team, headed by Abraham Darius Dillon including political commentator Henry P. Costa, told Legislative reporters that a discussion [with the Senate] in open will give the public sufficient reason why the “Save the State” June protest was necessary. They promised to return to Capitol Hill whenever the senate accepts their 22-count demand.

Some lawmakers, who were part of the Leadership meeting to meet the CoP said a patriot should be one who loves, supports, and defends one’s country. That said, they described the action of the CoP as “unpatriotic”.

Some lawmakers were appalled that the CoP would turn down their invitation. Other lawmakers, including Rep. Dorwohn T. Gleekia, the chairman on Peace, Religion and National Reconciliation, the proponent of the decision to invite the COP, couched their criticism in cautious terms to avoid confrontation with the CoP.

5 COMMENTS

  1. First of all, there are many political reform bills from the constitutional review committee, governance commission and proposals concerning the wishes to the citizens to reduce the term of their elected officials. Work on those bills and help eased the political tension in the country. Get that silliness out of your mindset about trying to see if the House of Representatives can control the people’s actions. Help reform the system for the betterment of the country. Every time protest of this kind is about to take place against the political direction of where the country is heading, the rice riot comes to every politician minds, and citizens alike. Every time, then the talks of war that the nation went through and so on . Yet , there is a need to reform the system that is responsible for the political uncertainty that is driving the citizens to protest for change, and that usually takes a backseat from the lawmakers. The citizens can not reform the system without protest or through the ballot box. Which ever possible. But a Peaceful Political Reform of the system is up to the lawmakers . And that is what the citizens have been looking for and wanting. Get those bills into committees and start working on them. Eased the political tension by reforming the system peacefully through legislations for the citizens to see . They want to be part of the country. They want to feel the ownership of the country. But that can only take place through the ballot box or through protest or through a peaceful political reform of the political system. Ownership of the country can not be only in the hands of the 1 percent, and leave out the 99 percent to continue to fight and protest for their political share of the Liberian dream or pie. Reform the political system as lawmakers with peace in mind.

    • James – You made some very good points. Just couple of years ago, the government spent millions of dollars through the GRC, travelling across the country holding town hall meetings with citizens to get their input on reforms needed for their government but those recommendations have never been legislated. What type of democracy is it if elected officials refuse to do what the people want? That’s ridiculous. I think this protest is very good if it’s peaceful, because it will spur action by the executive and legislative branches of government. It’s time for Liberians to stand up for their rights. The CoP is doing a very good job, and by refusing to have backdoor meetings with officials of government sends a message that they will not allow the government to manipulate them and control the message. They want the Liberian people to know every detail of their plans. These guys are good political strategists.

  2. Compatriot Phil George

    Regarding the rhetorical question which you have asked, “What type of democracy is it if elected officials refuse to do what the people want?”

    I would say it outright that it is a totalitarian government imposed on the Liberian people under the guise of a democracy. I say so because a true democracy operates within certain parameters that offer safeguards and protection for the rights of its citizens, that guarantees social protection and programs that ensure the equitable distribution of the nation’s wealth, and reflect the wishes and aspirations of the people.

    If a Presidential Misery Index (PMI) existed, President Weah’s PMI rating would have been one of the highest in the Guinness Book of Records. Why? In spite of his struggles to portray to the world and Liberians at home, that he is a leader who embraces democracy, the rule of law, accountability and transparency, good governance, and so forth, it is just not working.

    His democratic showcase is Potemkin and nothing but a charade; and the fact that he has realized that the world sees the hypocrisy through his double standards, is a major source of his misery.

    • Patrick – The Legislature which is supposed to provide oversight of the Executive branch of government has totally abdicated its constitutional responsibility. How in hell will democracy work if there is no checks and balance? It can’t work. The ruling class, it seems have no interest in good governance at all. Mr. Weah violates the laws and constitution willy-nilly. Obviously, something has to change and I think the protest is justified.

  3. Compatriot Phil George

    I always read your comments because of your truthfulness, sharpness, and witticism.

    I cannot concur with you even more; and, finally I am beginning to see why Liberians were expressing such a high degree of deep cynicism over the unjustifiable impeachment of the former Associate Justice Ja’neh.

    They foresaw that the impeachment of him was the beginning of efforts by the Weah administration to weaken all the institutions which strengthen the Liberian democracy and consequently, epoch in a George Weah’s reign of imperialism.

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