Protest Postponed: Can GoL, CoP Agree On A New Date?

12
1666
Council of Patriots chairman, Henry Costa (seated, far left): "The CoP did not call off the protest; the CoP is not calling off the protest..."

By Robin Dopoe and Simeon S. Wiakanty

The leadership of the Council of Patriots has complied with the suggestion from diplomatic missions in Monrovia to postpone its planned protest that was scheduled for December 30.  The CoP, headed by popular talk show host, Henry Costa, had gone to great lengths to organize a mass citizens’ protest, scheduled for December 30, to ask President George Weah to step down on accusations of bad governance, corruption and his “incapacity” to lead the country.

While the CoP was gearing up to begin the street protest amidst controversies, diplomats representing countries and international organizations resident in Monrovia issued a joint statement, expressing their concurrence with suggestion by the Government of Liberia that the protest be rescheduled to a later date.

“As representatives of the United Nations, ECOWAS, the European Union, and the United States,” the diplomatic joint statement said, “we are among the many international partners who have invested heavily in Liberia’s peace and development. We have watched with pride as the Liberian people have passed important democratic milestones of hosting peaceful elections, debates, dialogues, and demonstrations. These are all important elements that strengthen the country’s core institutions.”

The joint statement continued: “We note the Government of Liberia’s statements on December 28 and 29 regarding the exercise and protection of key constitutional rights of freedom of expression, assembly, and petition for the redress of grievances. We also note the Council of Patriots’ press conference December 29 that assured all Liberians of their commitment to peaceful assembly and conformity with Liberian law and the sharing of details for their assembly. In light of these recent communications, we strongly encourage the Council of Patriots to shift their demonstration to this Sunday, January 5, and various counter-protestors to shift their demonstrations to Sunday, January 12, at the large venues offered by the government, in order to ensure that the rights of all Liberia’s citizens are equally respected. We, your partners, strongly endorse this plan and look forward to those successful and peaceful gatherings, supported and protected by your government.”

At a press conference on Monday morning, December 30, CoP Chairman Henry Costa said “We are not canceling the protest and we are not the one postponing it either, but the international community including the US Embassy. We have to agree with them on issues of national security concern like this, and the fact that the international community can intervene in a matter concerning us is a victory by itself.”

On the issue of date for the protest as suggested by the international community, Mr. Costa said “We cannot protest on Sunday because our Christian brothers and sisters have to attend church on that day which is the first Sunday in the year, and we cannot also take Friday out of respect for our Muslim brothers and sisters. We will consider having our protest on January 6; that will be the first Monday in the new year.”

Costa reiterated further, “The COP did not call off the protest; the COP is not calling off the protest…” According to him, the move was solely an intervention by Liberia’s international partners on behalf of the Government of Liberia due to the government’s professed lack of capacity to protect citizens who plan to peacefully assemble.”

Another issue opposed and rejected by the COP is the restriction to assemble in a closed location designated by the government; which Costa said that CoP will not assemble in an enclosed space (such as a stadium).

Montserrado County Senator Darius Dillon in a statement during the press conference said the intervention of the international community was God’s own will because, according to him, counter-protesters had gone earlier to arm themselves with deadly weapons to harm citizens who would gather to exercise their constitutional rights.

“The economic hardship, the bad governance, all of the issues surrounding the reason why we decided to come and protest reasonably and peacefully, the suffering of the Liberian people, we lay it barely and squarely at the feet of our international partners on whose intrusion, positively though, we are yielding today,” said Dillon.

Like Dillon, other political pundits also said intervention by the ambassadors was intended to avoid an ugly situation, fearing that things could turn violent if the protest were held.

While the protest is postponed somewhat indefinitely, the attention of the public is fixed on whether the government and the CoP might agree on a new date and venue.  The Ministry of Justice had said earlier that protesting on a working day is out of the question—a situation that suggested that given COP’s requirements, negotiations could result in a deadlock.

In a statement issued on December 28, 2019, the Ministry of Justice said: “When the government ultimately issues its permits for the public gatherings at times alternate logistical arrangements that differ from the original request will be offered, for example when the duties of the state to balance the rights of all citizens take precedence over the preference of one group. For example, in general, mass demonstrations should not take place on weekdays on a capital city’s main roadway when to do so would cause the greatest disruption to educational, governmental and healthcare functions and commercial activities.”

In support of the ministry’s statement, President George Weah, during a worship service at the Georgia Patten United Methodist ChurchDecember 29, 2019 said his administration which was elected democratically, will stay on its course until he ends his constitutional term.

“The state will be protected by me,” the President emphasized. “Go about your normal activities. Our Constitution is clear about peaceful assembly. No protest is going to take place,” the President said.

Meanwhile, authorities of COP referred to the intervention of Liberia’s international partners at this 11th hour as “an intrusion” into the internal affairs of the state.

“We do not object to intervention or intrusion, as much as we feel they are getting too much involved in our domestic affairs — that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It is the intrusion of our foreign partners that makes us obliged,” Costa added. “I want to make it clear; we do not reject their intervention or intrusion – as much as we feel they are getting too much involved in our domestic affairs.”

“But we hope that same level of intrusion will be made when it comes to the US$25 million [infusion]; that same level of intrusion will be made when it comes to other bread-and-butter issues like the L$16 billion; that same level of intrusion will be made when it comes to the attacks on Honorable Yekeh Kolubah, Senator Dillon, or Henry Costa or Mo Ali,” he said.

Costa added that they were obliged to concede with the ambassadors’ demand to postpone the protest after they were told that in the absence of government protection, there would be chaos.

“We believe we have captured the attention of the International Community. Few senior diplomats will be up late at night, gathered in a room, going back and forth over our assembly. We think that, it is a singular accomplishment; that today Monrovia is quiet and peaceful… that nobody has been hurt and, God’s willing, nobody will be hurt,” Costa said.

Meanwhile, Henry Costa posted on his Facebook page that the Council of Patriots spent rest of Monday, December 30, donating the thousands of loaves of bread, which had been procured for the protesters, to orphanages.

Author

12 COMMENTS

  1. Fanning via FPA and Daily Observer the frivolous question,“”Protest Postponed: Can GoL, CoP Agree on A New Date?” as in for President Weah to “Step down” on Henry Costa’s say-so is the sort of oxymoronic juxtaposition of ideas one expects from agent provocateurs or rented scribblers. A rationale question reads thus: Did Henry Costa’s clarification of “inflammatory statements”, duly noted by an international community which rescued us from self-extermination and now relied on to help resuscitate a dying economy, persuasive enough to dispel perception of revenge as motive for protest?

    As for loyalty of faithful follower Senator Dillon, his escort to lobby President Trump on behalf of protest, that’s easy to fathom.

    He got catapulted into the Senate on the coattails of June 7 protest, therefore, continuing an advantageous trend is great for a 2020 re-election bid. Little wonder, then, he threatened to resign should in case those elections are postponed for lack of funding. In other words, diverting money to alleviate hardships of the poor, a supposedly impetus of protest, takes back seat to riding on public anger. God have mercy on Liberia when her fate hangs on the whims and self-interest calculations of public safety blackmailers: Rubbish!

  2. UNOWAS and powerful capitals HAVING SEEN THROUGH THE INTENDED ANARCHY,, SEDITION, AND TREASONOUS PLOY ON THE PART OF CoP have already ditched CoP, and have emitted the signal that they CoP and their accomplice blackmailers PROTEST MUST BE HELD AT THE ATS or they shall suffer the countermeasure and reprisal required for such criminal motive, intent, and act, on their part.

    What Boakai and his likes fail to acknowledge is that in terms of a President having the personal international political clout in the world history of Liberia, ONLY Ellen Johnson Sirleaf comes near Dr. Weah.
    And that is because she worked at the UN prior to becoming President of Liberia.

    And then worst, even the major international partners have discerned the duplicity of these losers at the ballot box who want to use the inherited economic hardship to reverse the will, choice, decision, and conscience, of the Liberian electorate.

  3. But, Kou, added to the myriad of ignorance, AND IMMATURITY, on the part of this so called CoP,, they do not even have the intellectual or political know how to comprehend that ..

    (1) the outcome of the behavior of any acting system ( the Liberian Government) depends to a considerable extent on the actions of other actors ( eg. UNOWAS, international partners) and to a larger system (UN) to which the given actor or government is obligated most directly for the protection of the majority as opposed to some unknown and minute group (eg. CoP, etc.), therefore,

    (2) under such circumstances as these where losers of elections are bent on abusing their rights to achieve power through the back door, both the government or acting system (GOL) and the larger system (UNOWAS) RELY LESS ON assurance (eg. CoPs hypocrisy and lie about a peaceful protest) AND MORE ON INSURANCE (precautionary measures, government and its police and military strength), hence government command that the ATS is the most secured place for CoP and its crocodile peaceful protest. Accordingly, with these exposed dishonest and dangerous hidden intents of this little boy and his CoP, he and his gang need to go back and,

    (3) learn that before a group embarks on such selfish journey, they must have a clear understanding of the SITUATION in which they are operating and arre challenging,

    (4) they must be fully aware of their real action capability,

    (5) their approach must be flexible, and,

    (6) must have a CLEAR, reasonable, and honest PRIORITY, something which CoP LACKS TO THE CORE!

    So, in such a scenario with the government and the larger system having detected the danger such a group poses to society and the region, all the government and the larger system can do and as they have done is define the perimeters! And should this gang make any false or illegal move, they have them crushed!

  4. Though this reporter fraudulently uses the word intervention, Dillon, Ali, and the thug Costa, have always and continue to be rude to the diplomatic community by using the word intrusion as seen in this statement here under..

    “The Council of Patriots wants to make it clear that it has not made any decision to call off the protest, it is the intrusion of our foreign friends which they say they do out of our interest for our safety because of the threat level in our country,”

    Kandajaba, as you have rightly stated above, these CoP people seem to be blind to international affairs, to the extent that they have no knowledge of THE INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL METHOD KNOWN AS INTERVENTION!

    CoP, INTERVENTION IS NOT INTRUSION!

    INTERVENTION in international relations or international law is THE LEGITIMATE INTERFERENCE by STATES and other international actors in the internal affairs of a given STATE to abort or put to an end such treasonous, seditious, or anarchical, conducts as is the intent of these bandits to destroy peace, order, and the democratic process. LEGITIMATE INTERVENTION may assume either defensive or offensive forms.

    The form used here by these powerful international actors is THE DEFENSIVE INTERVENTION which aims at the preservation of a particular government or administration, once it has become evidently and factually proven that CoP HAS A FOOLISH AND UNLAWFUL AGENDA.!

    The other for of LEGITIMATE INTERVENTION IS OFFENSIVE INTERVENTION directed at altering such a system or government. This type was used on Lybia, the Gagbo government, the past Sundanese government, Idi Ami Government, etc.

    Acordingly, make no mistake CoP AND YOUR SPONSORS BOAKAI, UREY, AND SOME LOSERS OF THE LAST ELECTION, YOU ARE FIGHTING AN ABSOLUTE LOSING BATTLE. A hint to the wise is sufficient!

  5. The very fact that these CoP bastards will insist having their so called protest on a business working day, and on places like Capitol Hill or through the streets and not at such ideal places as the ATS etc. tells both the government and the diplomatic community that CoP’s agenda is bastardly!

  6. By the way, who is the legal adviser for CoO? Or they do not have one, as it clearly seems regarding their blind, unexpecting, and at most times, their BIZARRE and extremely disappointing, public reactions and pronouncements? You check these kind of thugs out, they do not have any legal adviser, not to even mention a political consultant or political strategists. That is their legal adviser and political strategist or consultant is that kid Costa. And this is this POOR and drunking structure and character of their CoP which has caused that fool Costa to make such politically stupid, and legally SILLY public utterances.

  7. Right on Miss Witherspoon!

    If the planners of the march claim that they agreed to postpone the December 30th protest out of respect for the international community, it simply means that the opposition does not care to conduct future negotiations truthfully and sincerely with the government. So the best thing that should be done is to invite international mediators to sit around the table with the CoP and government officials for future talks. But such a strategy could give some kind of undeserved legitimacy to the CoP. What we have here is a can of worms, because no one knows exactly what the opposition wants. Some members demand Weah’s ouster, while some will accept bribes or government jobs. If the $200,000 bribery issue is correct, maybe the next planned protesters will settle for $400,000. We are in a mess.

    There’ll be no development in the country if the opposition does not slow down.

  8. What you have in Liberia is a MESSED -UP OPPOSITION with a notoriously corrupt 75 years old hiding behind an ignorant kid to oust a democratically elected president and government which humiliatingly defeated this 75 years old in the election two years ago. And thus, the international community has no respect for such a corrupt and politically stupid and selfish bunch of idiots.

  9. And then with all this, you have this Malian Abdoulaye Dukule who Amos Sawyer brought into our country spewing rubbish as…

    Liberians can’t blame the ‘international community” in the days to come for taking away their sovereignty, their government gave it away. What ECOWAS, UN and a certain number of diplomatic missions are doing is not what diplomats do traditionally. They are not to get involved in local affairs and their interlocutors is the state, not non-state-actors. Foreign diplomats are now turning into colonial governors.

    But this very IMPERSONATOR AS A LIBERIAN Abdoulaye Dukule and his boss Amos Sawyer depended on the very diplomats in the 1990s when they high jacked the presidency which was constitutionally the political entitlement of the then Vice President HARRY Fumba Moniba. It was this same Malian Abdoulaye Dukule who and Amos Sawyer connived with ECOMOG and slaughtered John Vambo..

    The fool as an opportunist and foreigner is now saying the very diplomats who ensured that Charles Taylor and his NPFL did not run him Dukule and his boss and interim government out of Monrovia is now spewing rubbish because he is not in government.

    You IMPERSONATOR AS A LIBERIAN Abdoulaye Dukule ,you are a fool to display such ignorance and hypocrisy here believing level headed people or Liberians in general would believe that their sovereignty is been taken away when even the man on the street knows that INTERVENTION is one of the seven techniques used by the international community in solving problems within the internal affairs of states!

    WHETHER YOU HYPOCRITES, YOUR FOOT SOLDIERS, AND POLITICAL FLUNKIES LIKE IT OR NOT,, PRESIDENT GEORGE MANNEH WEAH REMAINS IN POWER FOR TWELVE YEARS!

  10. When Christopher Smith THOUSANDS OF MILES AWAY FROM LIBERIA came ranting with his empty and SILLY Magnitsky threat after listening to that child molester Jerome Verdier, this same Abdoulaye Dukule never saw such utterances on the part of Chris Smith as meddling in the internal affairs of a sovereign country, or “fumbling with and taking away its sovereignty, or Liberia slipping into dependency”; but when diplomats of major powers and from UNOWAS AND THE UN “ON THE GROUND IN LIBERIA witnessing the threat to regional peace and SECURITY been posed by this diabolical “peaceful assembly protest” PLOY TO DESTABILISE THE COUNTRY, then this bastardly Dukule COME nuding his Malian backside.

  11. When Christopher Smith THOUSANDS OF MILES AWAY FROM LIBERIA came ranting with his empty and SILLY Magnitsky threat after listening to that child molester Jerome Verdier, this same Abdoulaye Dukule never saw such utterances on the part of Chris Smith as meddling in the internal affairs of a sovereign country, or “fumbling with and taking away its sovereignty, or Liberia slipping into dependency.

    But when diplomats of major powers and from UNOWAS AND THE UN “ON THE GROUND IN LIBERIA witnessing the threat to regional peace and SECURITY been posed by this diabolical “peaceful assembly protest” PLOY TO DESTABILISE THE COUNTRY, THERETO CHOSE TO USE THEIR GOOD OFFICES TO FINDING A PEACEFUL SETTLEMENT TO THIS NONSENSE BY THE LIKES OF Boakai and this menace call CoP, then this bastardly Dukule COME nuding his Malian backside.

Leave a Reply