‘No Room For Dialogue’

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Telia Urey: "How can we dialogue when you almost caused our deaths?"

Says Telia Urey, as she blames police for neglecting her in District #15 violence

Amid frantic efforts by the Government of Liberia to tone down the tension from the near-murderous attack on Telia Urey and her supporters in Logan town on August 17, 2019, President George Manneh Weah has called for an investigation in the violence.

Meanwhile, almost all video footage clearly showing the Liberia National Police at the scene on August 17, in riot gear, but doing nothing to stop the attack against Telia Urey and her supporters, have been taken down (or hidden) from Facebook.

There have also been frantic efforts by the CDC to reframe its rhetoric by condemning the violence against the opposition candidate. The governing council of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) has condemned the attack, though without explicitly taking responsibility for any damage done.

In a statement issued Monday, August 19, the CDC praised its chairman, Mulbah Morlu, for “reaching out to Telia Urey to express condemnation” of the attack on her and her supporters in District #15.

However, Telia Urey told the Daily Observer that Morlu’s gesture was purely coincidental.

“We coincidentally bumped into each other and he asked to speak privately. He came to meet someone at my Fish Market complex and saw me sitting outside… He did apologize and condemn [the attack].”

However, Urey believes that, for the magnitude of the attack against her life and those of others that were with her, any apology from the CDC, its chairman Morlu or President Weah, should be contained in a public statement. This has not yet been done.

In addition to the investigation, President Weah has called for a dialogue with both sides following the attack.

However, the four collaborating political parties — the Liberty Party, All Liberian Party, Alternative National Congress and the Unity Party — through Senator Darius Dillon, have advised that Urey decline the invitation to dialogue.

Dillon, in his first press conference since being seated as Montserrado County Senator, said “… until President George Weah retracts openly that childish, reckless and unthoughtful statement that he made against Telia that, as long as he is President and his name is George Weah, that she would never be elected in this country. He should retract it. He put the lady’s life at harm’s way and her happiness and safety and danger with his people.”

Telia Urey, in her own words, says there is no room for dialogue.

“How can we dialogue when you almost caused our deaths?” she wrote on her Facebook page. “How can we dialogue when you’re trying to steal this election from us? How can we dialogue when you cannot acknowledge your wrongdoings? There’s no room for dialogue.”

“I turned it down,” Urey told the Daily Observer yesterday. “I will not be lured into any surface meeting which will be a PR stunt for his gain. If he’s serious about making peace, he can take action on his own.”

Apart from blame cast by the National Chairman of the Liberty Party, Lofa County Senator Steve Zargo, on President George Weah for allegedly orchestrating violence in District #15, Teila Urey says the Liberia National Police has proven itself unreliable to rely on for protection.

In a press conference on the day after her near-death experience in Logan Town, Ms. Urey called out her political rival, CDC candidate Abu Kamara, whose supporters, she said, carried out the attack on her and her supporters.

According to Urey, when the attack began with throwing of stones against her and the rest of those who had gone to consult with Kelvin Bayoh, one of the contestants in the district, the police was contacted. According to her, it took about twenty minutes for the police to reach the scene.

The Liberia National Police is a law enforcement arm of government under the Ministry of Justice, and it is responsible to save and protect all citizens without discrimination.

Ms. Urey said when the police in their riot gear arrived; they did nothing to stop the violence or protect her from the attackers, but stood supinely watching the violence as it took place. “The police stood there for about an hour and a half, while we were under attack,” Urey said.

“Are we protected? If we are protected, by whom are we protected?” she asked.

According to Ms Urey, a senior officer of the Liberia National Police with a code “105” was on the scene. She narrated that, when she asked the officer to assist her by using his government-issued vehicle to evacuate her and the others who were trapped in the building, which the attackers were threatening to set ablaze, the officer deliberately refused.

Live Facebook video footage from the incident captured Liberia National Police officers, clad in riot gear with batons and teargas guns, standing about fifty meters away, making absolutely no attempt to stop the violence.

A clearly embarrassing scene for the LNP, all but one of these footages have been taken off of Facebook.

Urey recalled that there had been previous attacks against her headquarters and her supporters since June, with a recent attack occurring at the National Elections Commission (NEC) wherein a pickup truck belonging to the Unity Party was vandalized. And even though one of the perpetrators was identified from Facebook Live video, the LNP have made no arrests.

This, Urey and other members of the four collaborating political parties believe is the partisan posture of the LNP, which disqualifies them to serve.

Ultimately, Urey believes that the attacks on her and supporters are direct results of a statement made by President George Weah at his CDC Headquarters that, “I am not speaking as President, but head of the Congress for Democratic Change. As long as I remain President, no Urey or Dillon will win an election here in Montserrado; we will flog this little girl.”

Some political commentators believe that the President’s promise to “flog this little girl”, as received by his die-hard supporters, could be more literal than figurative. In another view, some suggest that the President’s preface, “As long as I remain President…”, suggests that Weah plans to use his presidential power to do anything possible that would prevent Teila Urey from winning an elected post, even if it meant breaking the law or allowing the law to be broken with impunity.

Ms Urey in her statement during a press conference on Sunday, August 18, said, “Nobody owns District#15.  We will stand firm against the President, Justice Minister, and the Police; nobody will intimidate us, we are bigger than the President and the Justice Minister because we are the people they serve.  If they have forgotten, it is their job to protect us because now we are not protected.”

At the press conference, Benoni Urey, father of Ms. Urey, who once supported of the Congress for Democratic Change during administration of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, expressed the emotional stress he came under upon hearing that his daughter was being attacked at the point of death.

In his expression, Mr. Urey described President Weah as like a son to him and, Telia being like a sister to Weah, it was bad that Weah was seen to be condoning the perpetration of violence against his sister.

The opposition community has called on the United Nations Commission on Human Rights and other members of the international community to investigate the issue, promising not to engage into violence but to protect and keep the peace.

11 COMMENTS

  1. Benoni Urey, shut up your roguish, and corrupt mouth which went out of its way to justify on BBC and the local print media such identical violence inflicted on the then presidential candidate Alhaji Kromah upon instructions from your then benefactor Charles Taylor!!

    Have you forgotten when in July 1997 when you , Charles Taylor, and other supporters including this now ailing Charles Brumskine of your murderous NPP ranting all over the place how “Alhaji Kromah, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and other opposition candidates should know which areas or constituencies to enter or go and where not to go, since you yourselves would n9t go to certain areas”??

    What goes around, comes aroud, Benoni. You are lucky, your daughter did not get killed as other political activists got killed upon the instructions of especially you Benoni Urey Charles Brumskine, and Charles Taylor in July 1997 during campaign and elections. What goes around comes around, Mr. Hypocrite. Your daughter’s life is not better than the lives of others who were killed upond your indtructions during past campaigns and elections – all for your Benoni Urey ‘s then god Charles Taylor to be president.

  2. Benoni Urey, cut that BULLCRAP! You were born in 1956; while President Weah was born just a decade later in 1966; so, there is absolutely no way or means he George Weah can pass as a son of yours. As a matter of fact considering the little age of your daughter, it is your little daughter who could be a sister of one of George Weah’s sons or daughters.

    You Urey you are a BORN LIAR. Just “yesterday ” you were supporting ELECTION VIOLENCE; and now today, you are pretendinv to be someone against election violence, BECAUSE yesterday you were the perpetrator , but today, your daughter is pretending to be the victim, when the reality is that you have clandestinely planned all such violence.

  3. Telia Urey’s position is understood. She is upset because she was attacked by a bunch of loons. To make matters worse, the national police did not get to the scene of the attack quickly. Frankly, Telia Urey is a rising star on the Liberian political scene. It shows. She will not be brushed aside easily. But one thing is clear. Urey has to prove that she is astute. In order for that to happen, Urey must rise above everything and agree for a dialogue to be held.

  4. Hney, this little inconsequentiality without any real social intelligence or mass public political knowledge is no “rising star.” Had this government not inherit the current weak economy, the daughter of a notorious criminal as Benoni Urey would have not gotten 5 percent of the votes.

    In times like these Liberia needs real legislative politicians on Capitol Hill and not some semi illiterate little girl who has been solely able to become a candidate because of money her father is on domestic and public international records to have stolen.

  5. Matilda Witherspoon is very stupid in her reasoning; she should be confined to mental institution. She is accusing Benoni Urey for associating with Charles Taylor. Why not Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf? She too associated with Charles Taylor. What about Prince Johnson who is now senator?

    It seems she has personal beefs with Benoni and perhaps she should settle that with him privately, but stop using this forum to vent her anger which is nothing but stupidity to highest order. Go after everyone who associated with Taylor and I know the ball will come right back landing on her own lap.

  6. Kandajaba Zoebohn Zoedjallah like Matilda Whitherspoon, you too are sick in your head. You are suffering from a brain disease.You guys are misusing social media. You are so purblind to the extent of not being able to tell who is the real criminal. Your true criminals are the ones in power now. Weah is the born criminal who is stealing the nation resources and buying homes all over the place, MR FOOL!

  7. The so-called attempted apology by Mulbah Morlu was a publicity stunt purely intended to play to the international community. Mr. Morlu did not mean well.The fact is, the damage has already been done. After all, Mulbah Morlu, Jefferson Koijee, Eugene Fargohn and Geore Weah were very instrumental in orchestrating elections violence against Miss Urey, in an attempt to physically harm or eliminated her. This clearly demonstrates that Liberia under Weah and the CDC is unsafe. No wonder why genuine international investors are staying away from Liberia under the ruler-ship of these inept and criminal-minded hooligans.

    The fear of George Weah and members of his criminal regime is the image of the CDC Government been portrayed out there. Adding salt to injury is the partisan behavior of the Liberia National Police which is supposed to protect lives and properties. This is exactly what happens when the LNP takes instructions from the President and officials of CDC. The critical question now is, will the so-called “Dis-Honorable” members of both Houses call in the Police Director for questioning, especially given their partisan roles in elections violence in the Nation? We are watching wit eagle eyes!

  8. Attention To All Peace Loving Liberian

    Liberia can only violence when punishment
    and fines or even imprisonment are put in place.

    Police should be train to look at crime not personality or position

    People should be held accountable for their actions and what they do
    Law enforcement officers should be neutral in politics
    Liberians you have to stand against violence
    Or this Country will never see peace
    The violence you show the foreign people living in Liberia is the same way they see Liberian Living abroad
    That’s why in Libya they slaughtered Liberians animals
    Because Liberian don’t value their Citizens
    They value cars better human beings
    Stoopid Liberian leader can kill for money or do any stupid thing for money
    There should be some limited powers to our Liberian Leader and. this power should given to our Law enforcement officers
    With a check and balance of the law
    Liberia you really need a root of Law
    to proceed to the next level
    Or you are stuck for ever in the 1970s way of life.
    Life is about change
    Education means change
    Review the past and make changes ever blessed day

    Some body please make that change

  9. People in Liberia walked from what ever crime they committe
    Crime is defined in Liberia as a mistake
    Stealing is being powerful and smart
    Grave breaking is not a crime even if you are caught
    Arm Robbery is ignored by government
    I sometimes wonder if our leader are really
    Leaders with brain
    You guys I see you as Repeators No plan
    No principles no agendas
    I don’t see what you guys do in your offices
    If you walk into any office in Liberia and ask the the person in charge to give a week summary of what they during the the week will be very hard to GE a feel back
    Office managers thinks they are bond to their seat and nothing
    Would you guys try and put on your thinking cap
    Creat jobs
    Clean your environment creat rules for the centuries
    Go with time
    Stop logging our country behind

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