The Independent National Commission on Human Rights (INCHR) has urged authorities of the Liberia National Police (LNP) and the National Elections Commission (NEC) to launch an immediate investigation into the incident that erupted between the opposition Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and the Liberty Party (LP) that led to two persons allegedly being injured.
In a release issued yesterday in Monrovia, Reverend Bartholomew B. Colley, acting chairperson of the commission, said it was unfortunate and bewildering for supporters of institutions and individuals seeking to sit at the helm of authority to engage in ‘hooliganism and barbarism.’
Rev. Colley said Liberia is less than three weeks away from making a historic decision by telling the world that the oldest independent republic on the African continent has come of age democratically.
“This feat is only possible if we allow the democratic pendulum to swing in its current path without any force, whether internal or external, that will alter its direction. The actors in these elections have so far given us reasons to believe that the pendulum will not change its course. Though there have been minor skirmishes that look threatening, the entire electoral process seems to be peaceful and civil,” Colley said.
Unfortunately, he said, Liberians have been greeted with a rude awakening by the scenes of violence just when there were thoughts that the upcoming elections would be conducted without any semblance of violence.
Colley added: “We have reliably leaned that supporters of representative candidates of the opposition CDC and those from the ruling Unity Party (UP) over the weekend (caused) several persons to sustain various degrees of wounds, and properties were damaged. We want to call on the NEC and the LNP to immediately launch a speedy investigation into the matter, ensure their findings are made public and that appropriate actions against violations as deterrence are also instituted.”
He called on Liberians, in spite of their political affiliations, to refrain from engaging in any violence, stating that the pending elections should be about the issues and not the individuals. He noted that the contrary will do Liberians no good, but take the country to the bitter and ugly past.
“Liberia, with a population fewer than five million citizens and little over two million registered voters, is too small to be divided with hatred and violence. It is time to prove to the outside world that we are ‘A glorious land of liberty by God’s command,” he cautioned.
Meanwhile, Colley has called on authorities of the Ministry of Internal Affairs to ensure equal access to public facilities, “because those facilities were made possible through taxpayers’ money, and so it cannot be used selectively by anyone.”