The political leader of the Movement for Progressive Change (MPC) Simeon Freeman says the Government of Liberia sees her critics as enemies and has therefore vowed to remain robust on ills in the society.
According to him, Liberia has assumed a new dimension; and he is tough on President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf government because Liberians are still living in abject poverty.
“Those of us who caution the government are those in the interest of the people of Liberia. We are there to remind the government of its obligations. And so, we are classified as enemies,” he said, though he did not name others that have been declared enemies by the government because of their critical stances against President Sirleaf.
He made the statement yesterday upon his arrival at the Roberts International Airport (RIA) following months away from the country.
He stated that the current government is not working in the interest of the Liberian people; therefore our leaders allow corruption and poverty to eat up the citizens while a certain segment of the population enjoys the wealth of the nation.
“When the government agency, the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) went down, the President took responsibility and this means that she is shielding criminals. And those of us who see these things and bring them to the attention of the state are seen as the greatest enemies that are undermining the development of the country,” he said.
Mr. Freeman called on old politicians to give way to the new breed of politicians to take over and transform the country.
“Come 2017, you people will be able to look at the politics in the country and let these old politicians get out of the process in order for Liberia to assume a new dimension,” Freeman said.
He called on Liberians to make a decision in 2017 that will benefit the country, saying the time has come for Liberians to give power to those who have the country at heart, including himself.
Freeman has been out of Liberia for more than nine months since he evaded arrest by the Liberia National Police (LNP) to answer questions for his allegations that the Liberian government had a ‘hit-list’ of vocal Liberians it wanted to eliminate. His failure to provide substantive proof for his allegations turned many people against him, considering him as someone who wanted attention and using the government to get recognition abroad.
The LNP ordered 15 armed Police Support Unit (PSU) and Emergency Response Unit (ERU) officers to Mr. Freeman’s residence, after he was invited but failed to come to the LNP headquarters to provide clarity and help the police sort out the confusion.
But Freeman claimed he made the statement based on widespread speculation in the media, following the mysterious death of Harry Greaves, who spent the last months of his life enlightening the public about the many ways people in power were exploiting and further corrupting the system to the chagrin of the masses. Mr. Greaves was found dead on the beach behind the Foreign Ministry in February 2016. International pathologists and forensics experts ruled his death as drowning, a conclusion many in the general public flatly rejected.
Freeman, who himself could not provide any proof on Greaves’ death or his hit-list allegation, realized the unnecessary tension he had caused and went into hiding. He managed to evade capture and snuck out of the country. Weeks later, seeing that it was pointless chasing a man who no one knew how he left the country, the Liberian government abandoned its pursuit and eventually threw out any charges that would have been pressed against him.
Freeman’s absence from the country has not helped his cause as a champion of those he claimed he has advocating for. Many called him a coward for not standing by his utterances like others who were invited by police for questioning around the same time. Whether his return to the scene singing the same song of “people living in abject poverty” will draw the masses to his side remains to be seen. For many of those living in “abject poverty,” the man who ran away from his own words is just history, but he now has a chance to prove them otherwise.