A Dangerous Development Which Must Be Checked With Great Urgency

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The reported violent attack by thugs on peaceful children attending a party hosted by Representative Yekeh Kolubah, is a dangerous development which must be checked with great urgency. Also, reports linking Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson Koijee to the violence and the lukewarm response of the Police to the situation warrants a public inquiry into these developments with the view to clamping a lid on any future occurrence of similar nature.

This is particularly so because this is the second of such violent incidents involving thuggish attacks on individuals perceived to be in opposition or critical of the President or officials of his Government. It can be recalled that Senator Nyonblee Karnga Lawrence and Cornelia Kruah Togba, then aspirant for the District 13 seat, had reported that they were attacked by thugs during a political rally in District 13, November 17, 2018.

Sen. Lawrence: “They surrounded my vehicle, but fortunately, residents of the community came to my rescue and took me to a secure location. Distinguished colleagues, I panicked for myself and the crowd especially the children who were escaping the chaotic scene caused by the mayor of the City of Monrovia,” Senator Karnga Lawrence explained in a letter to the Senate.

“I was a hostage for about two hours before being escorted by the community dwellers to my vehicle,” she continued. “As a result of the pandemonium and mayhem, we had to use the back road to escape the scene. Pro-Temp and distinguished colleagues, I wish to request an inquiry into this matter which has the propensity to undermine the peace and stability of the country.”

Since then then there has been no arrest by the Police and, up to present, it is not known what has become of the promised Police investigation into the November 17, 2018 matter. However, the principal figure named in the fracas, Jefferson Koijee, is reported to have since filed a defamation suit against Senator Karnga Lawrence and Cornelia Kruah Togba. Not much has been heard of the case since. The Senate had declared it was going to launch an investigation into their colleague’s complaint but it is not known whether any progress has been made in this direction.

But the recent development on the Old Road, where a children’s party was attacked by thugs and where gunshots are reported to have been fired, is indeed troubling and strongly reminiscent of the days of the Samuel K. Doe National Democratic Party of Liberia (NDPL), when armed thugs of that party were routinely unleashed on peaceful citizens during political rallies. This newspaper recalls the burning of the Daily Observer and FootPrints newspapers. This newspaper also recalls the burning of the home and library of eminent statesman and former Secretary of State, J. Rudolph Grimes by NDPL thugs.

This newspaper is constrained to warn that these developments portend danger for this country and if such is left unchecked, the country runs the risk of a relapse into violent conflict because what the country is now bearing witness to appears indistinguishable from those acts which precipitated the nation’s slide into violent conflict.

And judging from hindsight, unleashing armed thugs on peaceful citizens and attempting to smother free speech, are certainly more likely than not to engender resistance. And such resistance as experience from other countries have shown, has great potential to easily snowball into something much beyond the control of the government. We recall for instance the developments in Burkina Faso which ignited a peoples uprising that sent dictator Blaise Compaore fleeing into exile.

Coming back to home, this newspaper is constrained to ask just what do officials of this government led by President Weah hope to achieve by attempting to stifle dissent through violent means. As the economic situation continues to worsen by the day, government officials would do well not to arouse the frustration and ire of the people by its failure to address worsening economic conditions but yet at the same time chasing perceived political enemies.

This newspaper recalls that during the 12 years of President Sirleaf’s rule, members of the Congress for Democratic Change were her most vociferous opponents. They mounted street demonstrations toting caskets and calling for her to step down. Current House Speaker Bhofal Chambers was perhaps her most vocal opponent. He castigated her unceasingly and even refused to shake her hand when she extended it. Why then and from where is all such displayed intolerance coming from?

But again what can one say in defense of President Sirleaf, except for the singular fact that she tolerated free speech and never ever did she unleash or caused to be unleashed, armed thugs on peaceful citizens for expressing divergent opinion. But she may have grossly erred in judgment on generational change. And she did all within her power to ensure that she transitioned power to this new generation of leaders who appear to be conveying the distinct impression that theirs was all about self and not the nation.

In the final analysis, this newspaper cannot help but remind President Weah of the dangerous path on which his advisors are taking him. Liberians have suffered so much instability and endured so much and therefore any further signs by this government pointing to a return to the ugly past will more likely than not engender resistance.  Further, the last thing any well-meaning Liberian would wish to see is another intervention by the military in national political life, judging from the experience of the past. Accordingly, it behooves President Weah to stop allowing people to use his hands to draw their roasted palm nuts  from the fire because it is his hands that may get burned instead.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Well, we remember that “Daily Observer” and “FPA” – without verifying from LNP officers at the scene on November 17, 2018 – frivolously fanned falsehood of Candidate Cornelia Kruah Togba that “militants” led by Mayor Kojee “invaded” their camp and stabbed her female supporter to death with a knife. Both newspapers didn’t even bother to recant the misleading reporting. Since they are a law unto themselves, one has an impression that the uncorroborated account of a Representative might morph into a just cause for a people’s uprising.

    Unsurprisingly, the video threats of “going militant to the Capitol” by this psycho rebel killer doesn’t matter in this editorial. The last time we watched the talkshow on which he made more incendiary remarks, FPA’s Rodney Sieh was closing a litany of unsupported allegations with “The people should do something”. In other words, a journalist was seen and heard by thousands at home and abroad arrogantly inciting mob justice, because nobody can question him.

    It suggests the question, where is the Chief Law Enforcement Officer Justice Minister Musa Dean in these chaotic developments? We ask because the ECOWAS sub-Region seems to be experiencing some spasms that ought to be contained. Rwandan authorities are talking about appealing a verdict of not guilty in the case of “insurrection charges” against Dune Rwigara; President Bio reportedly said if the oppostion wants war, then war they would have; and in Ghana unknown assailants shot a journalist to death. We should stop stoking confusion, commotion and chaos, in fragile Liberia, folks.

  2. Most of our elites preach rule of law, but some are fond of fomenting or encouraging foolhardy cascading crises as long as they aren’t direct or indirect financial beneficiaries of government.

    In the ECOWAS sub-Region, it would seem that only in our country a Representative would make wild accusations against a Police Director and the President, and the Press, without confirming such allegations or asking whether he had reported to the Minister of Justice, would spread his venting as if they were true. Additionally, it is only in Liberia a Justice Minister would hear threats by a former rebel to go “militant” to the House of Representatives, yet never invited him to find out what’s going on.

    Since February 2018 when a supposedly BBC stringer Jonathan Payelayleh was goaded to confront a recently-inaugurated President Weah about when he would set up a war crime court, a matter the Press didn’t bring up seriously in the dozen years of his predecessor, an anti-government pivotal suddenly surpassed the historical adversarial relationships between the two. Journalism ethics even went out of the window when a Press backlash followed Paylayleh’s antics that his life was in danger and left the country. (Of course, he quietly returned an indication that the joker was acting).

    Most likely, to confirm Paylayleh’s allegation of a hostile press environment, the murder of young journalist Tryone Browne was quickly blamed on government by his boss Kailondo, a man once suspected of the drowning death of a banker when “drowning” was a popular cause of mysterious deaths. The point I’m making here is that there has never been a government in the world loved by every citizen in a country, and that was never a purpose of governance. But the deliberate and malicious attempts to incite strife in Liberia – under the pretext of holding government accountable – must stop this year. They say, “Be careful what you wish for, lest it come true “.

    • My father detested sylvester moses because he sat there at NSA and has bloody hands. the torture and murders that occurred during those times were overseen by this jerk. he has the nerve to write articles. i hate sylvester moses he has blood on his hands i dont want to hear any shit from him. My dad said that so many people lost their lives when he was the NSA director.

  3. “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”
    ― Desmond Tutu

  4. Absolutely, not only is Sylvester G. Moses so fake and naive, but certainly, Sylvester G. Moses is a dangerous creature and a pure and useless job seeker. Since the George Manneh Weah-led Government came to power, everything and anything Sylvester G. Moses has written and published is an indication of how fake, spineless and totally dangerous Sylvester G. Moses is and has been to the Liberian people and our society.

    Sylvester G. Moses, headed the NSA during the SAMUEL K. Doe years when countless unarmed Liberians were targeted, disappeared and murdered. What more is Sylvester G. Moses looking for from Liberia and the people of Liberia?

    Director of NSA in the Weah-led Government, I suppose. So unfortunate and sad!

    Is he thinking that Liberians have forgotten him and his role? Leave Liberia and our people alone!

    Liberia is not Freetown and Freetown is not Liberia.

    • My father detested sylvester moses because he sat there at NSA and has bloody hands. the torture and murders that occurred during those times were overseen by this jerk. he has the nerve to write articles. i hate sylvester moses he has blood on his hands i dont want to hear any shit from him. My dad said that so many people lost their lives when he was the NSA director.

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