The attention of the Daily Observer is drawn to statements made by Deputy Presidential Press Secretary, Smith Toby, warning planners of the June 7 protest demonstration that they would be held liable for any outbreak of violence during the protest of June 7, 2019.
Further, Mr. Toby has disclosed that the Government of Liberia is aware that an amount of US$350,000 has been set aside to pay US$5.00 (five U.S. dollars) to each demonstrator for his/her participation. This is indeed a serious accusation which, if true, warrants a criminal investigation with charges brought against the accused.
This newspaper recalls that in last February, at the United Methodist Church convention held in Gbarnga, President Weah requested the body to pray for him and, he disclosed to a startled audience that plans were being hatched to assassinate him.
Although the President stopped short of disclosing who were those involved in the assassination plans, however previous utterances by CDC Chairman Mulbah Morlu had left no doubt in the mind of the public just who the President was referring to when he finally broke his silence.
Mulbah Morlu in one of his usual rants had specifically named opposition figures including Charles Brumskine, Alexander Cummings, former Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai and others as those plotting the assassination of President Weah.
In the wake of Morlu’s wild allegations, Representative Yekeh Kolubah on February 7, 2019 wrote House Speaker Bhofal Chambers a letter drawing the attention of plenary to what Representative Kolubah described as a very disturbing statement coming from Morlu.
He wrote, “I am taking this allegation very serious, because it has the propensity to destabilize the country’s peace. Mr. Morlu’s remarks are a complete instigation of attack on the lives of opposition political party leaders, and politicians in the country, which contravenes the tenet of democracy.
“This is the same Mr. Morlu who said he saw pickups (vehicles) loaded with tons of Liberian dollars departing from the National Housing Bank; (and) today, we have a serious situation of missing L$16 billion untold story faced by the government.
“Notwithstanding, Mr. Morlu is again insinuating that opposition politicians want to assassinate the President. I therefore crave for my colleagues to invite him to justify his assertion to this august body”. There is no evidence, however that Speaker Chambers never invited Morlu.
But the Daily Observer, finding the President’s remarks very troubling, questioned in its February 8, 2019 editorial headlined, “Where Does President Weah Stand on Morlu’s Assassination Allegations”. There was no official reaction to the question although reaction from the public suggested that Morlu’s claims were unfounded.
The Daily Observer in yet another editorial on February 14, 2019 headlined, “Dissecting President Weah’s Troubling Assassination Claims”, argued that the accusation was troubling and warranted a criminal investigation to lay bare the facts, although it noted that Morlu had not offered a single shred of evidence to substantiate his claim.
Up to present, Mr. Morlu has not presented an iota of evidence to support his allegations. Now, another government official is spinning new allegations claiming that President Weah is aware that organizers of the planned June 7 protest have amassed a sum of US$350,000 to pay each participant in the protest an amount of US$5.00.
Once again, the Presidential Deputy Press Secretary has not provided a single iota of evidence to convince a doubting public that his claims are indeed true. This raises the question whether the Justice Minister, who is chief legal advisor to the President and who chairs the Joint Security, passed such information on to the President and advised him accordingly?
If indeed he did do so, then why has he (Justice Minister Musa Dean) not pressed charges to have the accused arraigned before a court of competent jurisdiction? The Daily Observer notes with dismay that such provocative statements would come from a highly placed official in the President’s office when there is no evidence to substantiate such outrageous claims.
The Daily Observer also notes that it appears the statement by Press Secretary Toby, coming as it did in the wake of what should have been a reconciliatory meeting between President Weah and Representative Yekeh Kolubah, was carefully timed to put paid any notion of sustained and genuine reconciliatory initiatives by both individuals.
Once again, this newspaper must warn of the dangers inherent to the pursuit of Janus-faced peace initiatives designed to lull rising public concerns about insecurity and instability. Presidential Deputy Press Secretary Toby’s warning of dire consequences, should the June 7 protest turn violent, suggests that, given information available to this newspaper, government sponsored agent provocateurs will indeed be on the standby to run riot on June 7 and then blame the protesters for the violence.
Reports suggest that the recent ultimatum issued to Representative Yekeh Kolubah by a crop of ex-rebel generals to turn himself over to their custody is all part and parcel of a grand scheme to instigate violence and then blame it on the protesters.
The Daily Observer’s April 19, 2019, editorial headlined “Is Another April 6,1996 Unfolding Before Our Eyes” was meant to warn President Weah of the danger inherent to the pursuits individuals around him appears to be goaded into. Recalling April 14, 1979, it appears from all indications that the June 7 protesters will not back-pedal on their plans to stage a peaceful protest akin to the “Bring Back Our Money” demonstration last year.
It also appears, judging from Presidential Deputy Press Secretary Toby’s statement, that government intends to crush the demonstration at all costs even if it means the use of force or violence.
The omen has already appeared, reminding us of the wizard’s warning to Sir Donald Cameron of Lochiel:
“Lochiel, Lochiel! beware of the day;
For, dark and despairing, my sight I may seal,
But man cannot cover what God will reveal.
‘Tis the sunset of life gives my mystical lore,
And coming events cast their shadows before.
I tell thee Culloden’s dread echoes shall ring
For the bloodhounds that bark for thy fugitive king”.
Beware King George!