IRCL, Catholic Diocese of Cape Palmas Condemn Grand Gedeh Violence

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The Inter-religious Council of Liberia (IRCL) has called on the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and the Collaborating Political Parties to work on modalities to cool down the rising political tension ahead of the December 8 Special Mid-Term Senatorial Election.

In its recent statement condemning the Zwedru attack against the Alternative National Congress (ANC) delegation, mainly Representative Yekeh Kolubah of Montserrado County Electoral District #10, the IRCL said Liberia has come a long way in the realization of the peace enjoyed today, and as such it is now no time for chaos.

“The Council admonishes all Liberians to respect human rights and dignity. No Liberian should be disallowed free movement within Liberia, irrespective of their political affiliation or utterances unless they are within the breach of the law,” the IRCL said.

It can recalled that on the early morning of Thursday, July 30, a group of zealots said to be partisans of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), the lead member of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), stormed the guest house in which Representative Kolubah lodged and demanded his immediate departure from Zwedru.

According to reports, the CDC partisans claimed that their action was based on Representative Kolubah’s repeated insults waged on President George Weah.

Representative Kolubah, who traveled with ANC standard-bearer and chairman of the Collaborating Political Party (CPP), Alexander Benedict Cummings, including the All Liberian Party (ALP), the former ruling Unity Party (UP), the Liberty Party (LP), is on record for constantly insulting President Weah for what he terms as Weah’s mismanagement of the country’s affairs and resources.

The IRCL comprises the Liberia Council of Churches (LCC) and the National Muslim Council of Liberia (NMCL).

The Council has at the same time called on individual politicians and all others to desist from using words or profane language to express their distrust or dissatisfaction on or about things.

“There is a need to stop endangering our peace! We need to watch our utterances no matter what side of the political divide we may find ourselves,” the IRCL cautioned.

The body said it will continue its consultation with all relevant stakeholders, including the opposition political block, the National Elections Commission (NEC) and the government, mainly the office of President Weah in order to sustain the peace and calm down the increasing political tension that has the potency to degenerate into national chaos on or before December 8.

“No Liberian should be denied free movement regardless of tribe, gender, association or county of origin,” the Council emphasized.

The Catholic Diocese of Cape Palmas has also buttressed the IRCL’s call for calm in the country ahead of the December 8 Senate election.

“We have seen that when we become politically intolerant, we invite ourselves to breakdown and destroy, and undermine the foundation of Liberia’s peace, stability, and development,” the Diocese’s statement signed by Bishop Andrew Karnley said.

The Catholic Diocese said its response was necessary due to Liberia’s tragic history that is democratically unhealthy and presents a danger to the peace and stability of the country.

“In the face of these presenting threats to our collective peace and security, silence, including from the Church or state, offers the wrong signal to the perpetrators that their actions are acceptable, and makes us collectively complicit.

“Henceforth, we feel compelled to speak out against this danger and urge the political leaders of the country and those blessed with authority to uphold, protect and preserve the law, and to do so without fear or favor,” the Diocese added.

Rep. Kolubah’s vehicle is said to have been damaged by stone throws from the angry crowd full of young people, and his safety and those of others including Cummings was realized only by the intervention of the joint security forces headed by officers of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL).

Chapter 3, Article 17 of the 1986 Constitution guarantees the right to peaceful assembly, and the Cape Palmas Diocese quoted it as follows:

“All persons, at all times, in an orderly and peaceful manner, shall have the right to assemble and consult upon the common good, to instruct, to instruct their representatives, to petition the government, or other functionaries for a redress of grievances and to associate fully with others or refuse to associate in political parties, trade unions, and other organizations.”

The Diocese termed the act against Kolubah, Cummings, and all other CPP delegates as a war against political tolerance and association.

Chapter 3; Article 13(a) says every person lawfully within the Republic shall have the right to move freely throughout Liberia, to reside in any part thereof and to leave therefrom subject however to the safeguarding of public security, public order, public health or morals or the rights and freedoms of others and as such, the Christian denomination said the attack on Kolubah and others was a gross violation of their fundamental rights.

In the same tone, the head clergy of the Providence Baptist Church, Rev. Dr. Samuel B. Reeves, Jr., has stressed that “As we reflect on our most recent past, we as a nation and people cannot afford to return to such an unforgettable nightmare, the ensuing violent clashes should claim our utmost attention, whether members of the ruling party, the government of Liberia or the opposition community.”

He added that with these growing waves of sponsored violence across the country, especially the recent one in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County in the wake of the 8th December 2020 Senatorial elections; President George M. Weah should address these fearful and tragic acts that have the potential to derail this nation’s hard-earned peace.

“Mr. President, as Head of State and of Government, the Constitution gives you the power to protect the peace of the Nation and that burden rest solely upon you to instill peace in the minds of the citizens, including your officials of government and members of the opposition,” said Rev. Dr. Reeves.

Author

  • David S. Menjor is a Liberian journalist whose work, mainly in the print media has given so much meaning to the world of balanced and credible mass communication. David is married and interestingly he is also knowledgeable in the area of education since he has received some primary teacher training from the Kakata Rural Teacher Training Institute (KRTTI). David, after leaving Radio Five, a broadcast media outlet, in 2016, he took on the challenge to venture into the print media affairs with the Dailly Observer Newspaper. Since then he has created his own enviable space. He is a student at the University of Liberia.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Alexander Benedict Cummings is a chairman of two political parties:
    (1). Collaborating Political Party (CPP) and
    (2). Alternative National Congress, (ANC).

    It’s unusual for any political individual, (irrespective of his or her clout, wealth or popularity) to be named or appointed to the chairmanship of two political parties. Since we are dealing with Liberia, I think it is fair to say that a lot of unusual things occur there.

    As election time looms around in approximately four months, violence tries to raise its ugly head. Church organizations and members of various church denominations are sounding alarm bells about what could happen if nothing is done to calm things down. For instance, the Catholic Diocese of Maryland county and the IRCL have made a concerted effort to cool things off.

    What is the role of Alexander Benedict Cummings in the prevention of political violence in Liberia?

    Since he is a chairman of two political parties, Cummings should not be a politician “missing in action”. Cummings has a moral responsibility to step forward to address the rising tide of violence. But strangely, Cummings is nowhere to be heard from as matters relate to violence.

    Question: Where’s violence coming from?
    Answer: Not exclusively from his camp, but partly from Cummings’s camp.

    Example, within his caucuses, (meaning the CPP and the ANC), there’s a noted firebrand named Yeke Kolubah. Kolubah is an outspoken individual. Nine times out of ten, Rep. Kolubah spews poisonous venom on president George Weah for all kinds of frivolous reasons. But although Rep. Kolubah’s negative attacks are provocative, Alexander Benedict Cummings has never come forward to calm the bad nerves of his follower, Rep. Kolubah.

    Violence is unacceptable! Violence has got to stop. The GOL is always blamed for violence in Liberia. The blame game has got to stop. Church organizations have an obligation to seek a common ground between ty warring factions while staying away from the blame game. Since he presides over two political parties (something that’s very strange in democratic nations) Cummings should learn how to address violence within his own camp.

  2. A point of correction:
    Alexander B. Cummings does not chair 2 political parties in Liberia. In fact, such scenario is not foreseeable under the constitution of Liberia.
    It is of public knowledge that Mr. Cummings is the standard bearer and political leader of ANC, a single political party.

    However, in every country, there can be political alliances to unseat a dictatorial or mundane rulership like what we currently have in Liberia. It is against this background the Collaborating Political Parties (not Party) was established.

    I like to avoid this other subject but against my principles, I will briefly comment:
    Why is the CDC always at loggerheads with Rep. KOLUBAH? Are you afraid of the guy because he’s vocal against your ills in the Liberian society? What has he done so much to you? Do CDCians sometimes recollect memories of how Weah and thugs used to attack Ellen, a mother? Do you recollect the abusive words and expressions you unleashed upon her and family?
    Stop having short memories and recollect your words and deeds. Rep. KOLUBAH has never been abusive, but just vocal and reverberant on your ineptitude, ignorance and mundanity.

    What goes around comes around!

  3. In the sixth paragraph of the above article, the author states unequivocally that Alexander Cummings is the chairman of the Collaborating Political Party, not parties. My argument is based on what the author wrote. If the author is wrong, attack, challenge or do whatever you want. Don’t attack me because of what the wrote.

    Second, it is wrong to say that “in every country, there can be political alliances to unseat a dictatorial or mundane rulership…..”. In some countries, alliances could be formed in order to unseat an unpopular leader. Political alliances do not form in the US in order to dethrone a dictator. Political alliances do not form “in every country” in order to unseat dictator. In “some” countries, maybe, although I know of none!

    Third, you want to know why the “CDC is always at loggerheads with Kolubah”? The truth of the matter is that Rep. Kolubah is the main character who usually blasts and labels Weah as a criminal. The recent attack in Grand Gedeh county is still being probed. Sadly before the investigation began, Mr. Kolubah waisted no time to wait for the conclusion of the investigation. Rather, Rep. Kolubah burst out in flames of diatribe against Weah……..accusing the CDC standard bearer of being the perpetrator of the attack. The bottom line is this…..Attacks on anyone or a political organization is wrong. Again, the Grand Gedeh county attacks were wrong. But an investigation is ongoing. No one knows for sure who ordered the attacks or whether the attacks were ordered. Given that scenario, it makes no sense for Weah to have been accused by Rep. Kolubah without a valid proof.

    Fourth, Weah and his supporters may have shouted at Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf disrespectfully or they may have shouted obscenities at her. But whatever the situation was, it is worth knowing that “two wrongs” do not make something right. Example, to say because Weah and his supporters mistreated Johnson-Sirleaf during her presidency and so Weah needs to be mistreated and falsely accused amounts to being uncivilized.

    Fifth, to say that Rep. Kolubah “has never been abusive but just vocal”, is once again erroneous. It’s been acknowledged by me and others that Rep. Kolubah is outspoken. The reality is that the gentleman, Rep. Kolubah shouts profane words at Weah profusely. No one says it is devious to express oneself. What’s being said is that a valid proof is needed in order to make accusations.

    Finally, some of Weah’s acolytes may be ignorant of the facts. I cannot blindly defend all of them. I am personally not a CDCian, but rather a fair-minded whistleblower. For the record, if Rep. Kolubah is accused falsely by anyone falsely, you bet I will stick my neck out for him. I am not an ignoramus! That should resonate with you.

  4. A definition of anagnorisis says, “a moment in a plot or story, specifically a tragedy, wherein the main character either recognizes or identifies his/her true nature, recognizes the other character’s true identity, discovers the true nature of his situation, or that of the others – leading to the resolution of the story.” How come all of a sudden CDCians are finally realizing that even though the constitution advocates free speech, but it does not advocate unequivocal and uncivil discourses as the situation was under Ellen’s administration? Are they coming to grip with a genuine anagnorisis, or is it just another ploy to instill fear within the citizens by carrying out wide-scale violence, deaths, and mayhem and shifting the blame on the opposition. This is CDC’s signature style of democracy at its best anyway.

    However, the pesky ghost of Ellen’s administration has come to haunt Weah’s. During Ellen’s administration, Weah’s followers hurled insane languages at her and wore crimson panties as usual during their marches as a symbol of hats-off for the wanton disregard of the Liberian womanhood. Didn’t Weah himself understand at that time the golden rule of doing to others as one would have them do to him/her lives with every humankind and that a violation of this deep, spiritual truth will eventually haunt the violator one day?

    Now, let us be real. The outright insults, vehement disapproval of Ellen, and glaring billingsgate instigated by Weah and brought on Ellen on a day-to-day basis would not have happened under Charles Taylor’s watch neither Samuel Doe’s watch, but the CDC capitalized on the fact she was a female leader and had sworn under constitutional oath to enforce the laws and foster peace.

    The NSA compiled a report with evidentiary facts pointing to a plan concocted by Weah with the diabolical aim of assassinating Ellen and overthrowing her government. Could this have happened under Taylor or Doe and the plotter survived? I was not a UP supporter, but this does not blind me from speaking with objectivity.

    True be told, the heaps of criticisms, which Weah is facing today, come nowhere near what Ellen faced. The way forward is reconciliation to avoid another ethnic catastrophe and not justifying one’s wrongdoings by blaming past administrations.

  5. Blamah Zoebohn Price, what about this: “Now, let us be real. The outright insults, vehement disapproval of President Weah, and glaring billingsgate instigated by Joseph Boakai, Alex Cummings and Benoni Urey and brought on Dr. Weah on a day-to-day basis by Yekeh Koluba and Henry Costa, and others would not have happened under Charles Taylor’s watch neither Samuel Doe’s watch, but these bastards- Yekeh Koluba, Henry Costa, etc. are capitalizing on the fact that President Weah is an Ambassador of Peace and has sworn under constitutional oath to enforce the laws and foster peace.” LOOK AT YOURSELF IN YOUR OWN MIRROR! WHAT ABOUT THAT???

  6. Blamah Zoebohn Price, DROP THAT DISINFORMATION ABOUT “supporters of President Weah or members of CDC!!!

    As a matter of fact those critics who carried out the public uprising and protest against that hooligan and hoodlum Yekeh Kolubah and one of his financiers the sodomite/homosexual Alex Cummings in Zwedru are citizens and partisans from various political parties in the country.

    Criticism and protest of a population against such lawless hoodlum and hooligan Yekeh Kolubah ARE IN NO WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM, “a mob attack against opposition politicians.” Rescind that silly propaganda and ignoramus disinformation immediately!

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