‘LNP Will Not Tolerate Any Election Violence,’ Says IG Coleman

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The Inspector General (IG) of the Liberia National Police (LNP), Gregory Coleman, has warned that police officers will not tolerate any form of violence during and after the 2017 presidential and representatives elections. “The LNP will drastically deal with anyone or group of individuals that will attempt to undermine the country’s peace,” Coleman said.

He said signs of pre-electoral violence in some quarters, as in the case of the recent Clara Town saga where the convoy of Vice President Joseph Boakai was reportedly attacked by thugs, are troubling and promised that an investigation has been launched into the incident, as well as another incident that was reported in Margibi County.

Coleman said the upcoming elections is pivotal to the country’s emerging democracy and called for citizens’ support to the police during the election period. IG Coleman said violence is not the way forward in handling issues that may arise during the electoral process. He  encouraged those with grievances to seek the rule of law rather than resulting to violence.

Coleman gave the warning last Tuesday in Margibi County when the LNP, The Carter Center, the Swedish Embassy and other partners launched the “Don’t Bribe the Police’’ and “Yes to Peace, No to Violence’’ campaign. The IG called on Liberians to collaborate with the LNP by exposing those who have allegedly committed crimes, but were evading justice.

The LNP administration is concerned about allegations of bribery from the public against the police, stating that the campaign will help the public to understand their role in keeping the police clean from such allegations, he said. Coleman called on the public to desist from acts that will corrupt the police, and also admonished police officers to be professional in their day-to-day activities. He lauded the Carter Center, Swedish Embassy, USAID, the Justice and Peace Commission, and the government for supporting the initiative.

Pewee Flomoku, the Carter Center chief of party, pledged his organization’s commitment to working with the LNP to build its capacity. Flomoku said the role of the police is critical in the Liberian society. He said the “Don’t Bride the Police” campaign is supported by partners, including his organization, to build citizens’ trust in the police.

Author

  • Anthony Kokoi is a young Liberian sports writer who has an ever-growing passion for the development of the game of football (soccer) and other sports. For the past few years, he has been passionately engaged in reporting the developments of the game in the country. He is an associate member of the Sports Writers Association of Liberia (SWAL). He is a promoter of young talents. He also writes match reports and makes an analysis of Liberian Football.

8 COMMENTS

  1. We say thanks Hon. IG Coleman for a resonating warning. The idiom, “Those who have ears to hear, let them hear”, is an apt rejoinder, if you ask me.

    Of course, as peace officers first, law enforcement officers second, and emergency response units (ERU) third, LNP is tasked with maintaining law & order in Liberia’s hopefully 2017 free, fair, and ethically conducted general and presidential elections. Cognizant too that elections results disputes are drivers of violence partly because of public distrust in the integrity and impartiality of electoral commissions, policing agencies, or the courts, it is the prayer of all peace loving observers and foreign partners that we have it in us to do the right thing: oversee credible elections.

    Meanwhile, we must remember few facts of our fatherland vis – a – vis elections to not ever repeat the mistakes of the past.

    First, our country was cited in the Guinness Book of Record for the most – rigged elections ever. Second, the Emmett Harmon – conducted elections under Doe supposedly caused the genocidal Civil War though the assumed winner, LAP candidate Jackson Doe, was reportedly murdered by the same warlords who claimed to have been fighting to right a wrong done to him. And, third, presidential candidate Senator Prince Y. Johnson confessed (re: FPA) seeking and getting the help of Mrs. Jennie Bernard in order for a member of the Nimba caucus in the House who lost his seat to be declared winner.

    Put another way, there are trust issues with our electoral system that need to be addressed and resolved as we face these defining elections. In the cause of genuine concord in Liberia, May God protect our police officers, our people, and save the nation.

  2. We say thanks Hon. IG Coleman for a resonating warning. The idiom, “Those who have ears to hear, let them hear”, is an apt rejoinder, if you ask me.

    Of course, as peace officers first, law enforcement officers second, and emergency response units (ERU) third, LNP is tasked with maintaining law & order in Liberia’s hopefully 2017 free, fair, and ethically conducted general and presidential elections. Cognizant too that elections results disputes are drivers of violence partly because of public distrust in the integrity and impartiality of electoral commissions, policing agencies, or the courts, it is the prayer of all peace loving observers and foreign partners that we have it in us to do the right thing: oversee credible elections.

    Meanwhile, we must remember few facts of our fatherland vis – a – vis elections to not ever repeat the mistakes of the past.

    First, our country was cited in the Guinness Book of Record for the most – rigged elections ever. Second, the Emmett Harmon – conducted elections under Doe supposedly caused the genocidal Civil War though the assumed winner, LAP candidate Jackson Doe, was reportedly murdered by the same warlords who claimed to have been fighting to right a wrong done to him. And, third, presidential candidate Senator Prince Y. Johnson confessed (re: FPA) of seeking and getting the help of Mrs. Jennie Bernard in order for a member of the Nimba caucus in the House who lost his seat to be declared winner.

    Put another way, there are trust issues with our electoral system that need to be addressed and resolved as we face these defining elections. In the cause of genuine concord in Liberia, May God protect our police officers, our people, and save the nation.

  3. Mr. Inspector General of Police, is this how your administration will handle antipicated violence by issuing warning that “The LNP will drastically deal with anyone or group of individuals that will attempt to undermine the country’s peace,”? This is traditonal or reactive policing Mr. IGP. I suggest that you be more proactive by adopting the community and Intelligence-led policing model that will involve the community crime watch, community members, civil society leaders, local political leaders,our internationa partners and the interfaith leaders to help LNP prevent crime, maintain law, peace and order throughout this elections. Mr. IGP, you know fully well that the Police alone cannot fight crime and maintain law and order without public support. Please adopt community and intelligence-led policing techinques; that is the way forward.

  4. Mr. Inspector General of the Liberia National Police (LNP), Gregory Coleman, again I want to emphasize that instead of issuing warning, please adopt the community policing model. And what is community poliicing? Community policing is collaboration between the police and the community that identifies and solves community problems. Police are no longer the sole guardians of law and order, as members of the community become active allies in the effort to enhance the safety and quality of neighborhoods. Community policing has far-reaching implications; an expanded out look on crime control and prevention, a new emphasis on making community members active participants in the process of problem solving, and law enforcement personnel’s pivotal role in community policing require profound changes within the police organization. The Community Policing Forum(CPF) now the Community Crime Watch (WCC) backed by LNP and other members of the Security Sector of Liberia need to mobilze support and resources to solve problems and enchance qualiity of life during and beyond the elections. Meanwhile, community members can voice their concerns, contribute advice, and take action to address these concern; creating a constructive partnership between law enforcement officers and the community. This new method of policing where by police officers get to know the people, listen to them and work with them to prevent crimes.
    What difference does community policing make? Community policing will make the LNP focus their attention from responding to crime incidents to preventing them whatever possible. Community policing stresses that officers need to build relationships with all member of the community so that they can work together to look beyond crime incidents and identify underlying problems in the community. If the police and community members work together to identify the problems and try to understand why they are happening, then the police and community members can work together to prevent crime and to solve those that do occur and will help to prevent crimes occurring. I know it won’t happen overnight..it will take some time to build some trust and to learn how to work together.

    When community policing works, both the community and police benefit from the improved relationship. There are two ideas that frame community policing, first community partnership. This means that the LNP will need to develop a trusting working relationship with the community members. Secondly, problem solving. This means that the LNP and community members work as a team so that real problems are identified, understood and resolved. The partnership is for the community members and LNP officers to work together to improve public safety in the community, that means LNP officers and the community members need to build trust between each other. By knowing each other, both the community members and LNP officers will have more trust and communicate better. If community members and LNP officers understand each other better, your task of protecting the community becomes easier. If you work together, Liberia will be safer for all of us. Not only safer, but a better place to live.

  5. Gregory Coleman, you better find a better strategy. If you think by arresting and jailing angry youth or decided voters is tactically effective in A COUNTRY WHERE NO ONE HAVE ANY RESPECT FOR THE JUSTICES OF THE SUPREME COURT FOR THEIR BEING NOTORIOUS LAW BREAKERS, AND THE VERY YOUTH’S AND VOTERS BEING VERY ANGRY WITH THE INCUMBENT PRESIDENT FOR APPOINTING AN ALIEN AS NEC CHAIRMAN TO RIG AND STEAL THE ELECTION, YOU ARE UNCONSCIOUSLY INCITING VIOLENCE.

    Prudence is the hallmark of both politics and diplomacy! Boakai should know better than going to Clara Town for endorsement! Did he not boast that “the endorsement he got from the Legislature is bound to make him win the race to the mansion”?

    You better think about a more civilized and post-modern professional police modus operandi and modus vivendi than your VERY SAVAGE AND COUNTERPRODUCTIVE ARREST AND JAIL STRATEGY WHICH IS BOUND TO INCITE VIOLENCE!

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