Popular songwriter and singer Emma Smith is calling on Liberians to exercise restraint during and after the October elections, which analysts say will be the most tightly contested election in the history of Africa’s oldest republic.
Emma added: “Liberia is the only country we have and no matter our political affiliation, no Liberian should engage in violence or the shedding of the blood of our people.
“I’m appealing to all Liberians, no matter where they are, not to think of violence before or after the October 10 poll.
“I know right after the poll politicians will start talking about foul-play, therefore encouraging their supporters to take to the streets to demonstrate. Don’t do this, if they ask you. If they feel cheated, let them use the law. Please, my fellow Liberians, let us continue to remain peaceful and enjoy this country.
“Don’t joint these politicians to create chaos; they have the resources to leave the country anytime. So think about your children and their future,” the ‘Hold Ground’ singer said.
Emma noted that this election year is very critical to the future survival of Liberia, since it will be the first time in over 40 years the nation will witness the possibility of a democratic transfer of power through the ballot box.
“And for this reason” she said, “I want Liberia to remain peaceful so we can set this record. Why should anyone want to die for politicians that they only care about themselves.”
Emma went on to say: “I hope what happened right after the announcement of the first round of results in 2011 will not repeat itself. We were fooled, but this time around we shouldn’t be. Since them, we have lived in harmony as a people; so let’s continue.
“After the elections, let’s accept and congratulate the winner, no matter who he or she is. The world is watching us. I understand how everybody want their candidate to win, but if your candidate does not win, there is no need to get on the streets just because he comes out saying he was cheated.
“I urge all Liberians from all religions, ethnic groups and regions to come together and keep Liberia peaceful.”
Meanwhile, Emma is calling on political parties to stop preaching hate and ethnic politics, which has the ability to tear the country apart. “Preach what you can do to transform the lives of the people you represent. Please let the campaign be about the issues.
“Liberia is the only country we have. Today, I’m challenging politicians not to use the youth to commit acts of violence or political hooliganism before, during and after the elections,” she concluded.