In the wake of the alleged “missing” L$16 billion saga, thousands of Liberians are expected to stage a protest today in demand of the alleged “missing” money, Martin Kollie, one of the organizers, has revealed.
While today’s protest is pending, President George Weah and entourage yesterday, September 23, arrived in the United States to attend the 73rd General Assembly of the United Nations (UNGA), a dispatch has said.
But Kollie said the protesters have concluded discussion with the United Nations representatives in Monrovia as well as the Liberian government, through Justice Minister Frank Musa Dean, to proceed with their action.
The 73rd gathering is President Weah’s first UNGA as Head of State of Liberia.
According to the dispatch, the President will address the UNGA on Wednesday, September 26, to proffer the agenda of Liberia.
Shortly after the address, President Weah is expected to participate in several high-level meetings, including the World Drug Problem High-Level Meeting to be chaired by U.S. President, Donald Trump, and High-level Plenary Meeting on Global Peace in honor of the Centenary of the birth of Nelson Mandela, and with UN Secretary Antonio Guterres as well as a High-Level Meeting on Action for Peacekeeping.
In the midst of a pronouncement about the protest, the Daily Observer yesterday gathered that the government, at a meeting with representatives of the protesters, agreed to provide full protection for them, while the UN will monitor to ensure that the demonstrators are protected.
According to reported elaborate plans, protesters from Bushrod Island and Somalia Drive will assemble at the Centennial Pavilion in central Monrovia and march to the United States Embassy on Benson Street.
The leaders of the protesters have also agreed to submit about 30 names of monitors to the government that will go along with them to identify people that may be considered as “troublemakers.”
Protesters from Sinkor and Paynesville areas will assemble at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium in central Monrovia and march to the US Embassy, while protesters from central Monrovia will gather at the Ducor Hotel on Snapper Hill and march to the US Embassy as well.
Concerned Citizens United to Bring Our Money Back, one of today’s protest organizers, said the action comes as a result of the nation’s painful mourning of the mysterious disappearance of L$16 billion (US$106 million) of the people’s money by a “coalition of crooks”.
The leadership of group however, called on all patriotic Liberians to turn out en masse at the US Embassy near Monrovia.
In a statement issued yesterday, the leadership further called on all protesters to gather on Benson Street as earlier as 7:a.m. prompt, which is in accordance with Article 17 of the 1986 Constitution of Liberia.
The protesters are expected to officially present a petition to the international community through the U.S. Embassy and the European Union.
“Whether rain or shine, we are calling on all students, marketers, Yana boys, slum-dwellers, motorcyclists, taxi-drivers, civil society actors, members of the disabled community, teachers, civil servants, nurses, doctors, other professionals, religious bodies, traditional groups, journalists, unionists, rural dwellers, entertainers, and all well-meaning Liberians to come out as we demand the full restitution of the missing L$16 billion,” the statement declared.
The group has therefore called for the prosecution of all those linked to this corruption scandal that has injured the country’s image just in a few weeks.
They however, reassured Liberian people, International Partners, and the Liberia National Police of the peaceful nature of the today’s protest in accordance with the rule of law.
Meanwhile, President Weah is also expected to meet with U.S. investors, Congressman Brian Kevin Fitzpatrick of the State of Pennsylvania; Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, former Ambassador of the United States to Liberia, now Assistant U.S. Secretary of State for African Affairs, and Mr. Terje Rod-Larsen President of the International Peace Institute.
He will also visit the U.S. Military Academy at West Point (Orange County) New York as well as the Michigan National Guard.
In a related development, the Ministry of Justice, a press statement yesterday, September 23, has assured all citizens and residents within its borders to go about their normal activities today in the wake of the planned protest.
According to the statement, “President Weah is committed upholding the rule of law protecting the rights and liberties of all Liberians and safeguarding national security.”
Meanwhile, all citizens are being advised to remain calm and comport themselves within confine of the law.