Barely twenty-four hours following Information Minister, Ledgerhood Rennie’s rants aginst U.S. Congressman Chris Smith’s assertion that the Weah led government is kleptocratic and is responsible for the suffering of the Liberian people, Senator Edwin Melvin Snowe of Bomi County has said there is no need to politicize the ongoing debate.
Appearing on a local radio on Tuesday, April 6, 2021, called on fellow citizens to forget about the day to day politics and look at issues in the best interest of the country.
“It is not everything about diplomatic discussions we bring to the public. ECOWAS has heard Congressman Smith and the U.S. State Department’s human rights report. But to note, it has lots of similarities to the past reports that have been coming out, even when Weah was not President of Liberia,” Snowe said.
Information Minister Rennie in his assertions earlier described human rights records outlined against the Weah Administration as an “Old age” problem that was not unique to the George Weah Administration, a comment that has always diverted the shortcomings of the CDC-led government to the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Administration.
He said ECOWAS is in consultation with President Weah and his coworkers to work on some of the pressing concerns in the report.
“President Weah is now working closely with ECOWAS and the international partners to build a new central prison, maybe outside of Monrovia in order to address the over crowdedness of the prison cells. The report also highlighted over crowdedness of prison compound.
“And, to add to that, ECOWAS is also trying to help Liberia’s justice system with some support in order to fast track cases by conducting speedy trials. These things will happen but what is not right to run around with is the thought that Weah created these problems. We had them ever since and all we need are the necessary resources to fix these age-old problems,” Sen. Snowe noted.
About other concerns such as alleged arbitrary killings by police and alleged massive corruption, Snowe, who is the head of Liberia’s delegation to ECOWAS Parliament, said they are issues of concern but they should not be used by any politician to score any political point.
“This government is receptive and they are cooperating with all concerned to solve the existing problems. President was our head as delegation from Liberia to ECOWAS Parliament and he is a respecter of the rule of law. I am of the strongest conviction that he will do all that is necessary to correct most the wrongs,” he said.
Senator Snowe is the head of the committee responsible for political affairs, peace and security at ECOWAS Parliament and he spoke with confidence that Liberia is not as bad as many think and present it out there.
“As chairman for political affairs, peace and security committee for all ECOWAS delegations, I can safely say the ECOWAS countries, including Liberia, are doing pretty well when it comes to peace and security and even human rights. Things are no longer as they used to be.
“No government in our sub-region supports coup d’états or overthrowing of another elected government. We are no longer confronted with the then numerous hostilities as before,” he said.
Snowe added: “This is why the Mali delegation to our summit in Freetown recently was denied being a part our deliberations. The military there overthrew the sitting President and took over but they are yet to transfer power to a civilian. We don’t want to work with military leaders as heads of states or parliamentarian not duly elected as provided for by the constitution of any member state of ECOWAS.”
Senator Snowe, however, failed to acknowledge scores of human rights issues raised in the report. The issues of police brutality and killing and mysterious deaths of citizens were all raised as parts of activities marking the George Weah Administration.
Bomi politics and relationship with President Weah
Senator Edwin Melvin Snowe, on focusing on Bomi and his relationship with President Weah, said that his mission is to work for the people he represents, not individual or any political party in the country.
“No political party in this country owns me. My concern is to work, work and work for the people of Bomi who stood up in the sun or the rain to vote for me. Those who are complaining about what I do with my political life should know that I am not answerable to them, except the people whose interests I was elected to represent,” Snowe told his critics.
He said he has no enemy and as such President Weah cannot be one.
“Elections are over. I was not a candidate on the ticket of President Weah’s led Coalition. They campaigned against me, put up their own candidate as the CPP (Collaborating Political Parties) also had their own candidate against me and massively campaigned against my election to the Senate as it was done when I ran for the House of Representative in Bomi but I won all of them,” he boasted.
Snow said both Benoni Urey and Alexander Cummings, political leaders of All Liberian Party (ALP) and the Alternative National Congress (ANC), went to Bomi and campaigned against his election to the Senate, but he beat them all.