There is no doubt that that the power of the majority is the driving force to every major decision, including elective, in our democracy. This idea is not only backed by physical display demonstrated in elections or discussions, but also the Liberian Constitution that grants power to a leader to rule on the basis of majority votes. On the other hand, in order to take a major decision in our country, we use referendum, wherein eligible voters cast their ballots in support of an idea, among other ideas.
The fact that our democratic government is a government by the people, for the people and of the people, compelled the framers of our Constitution to begin in Article 1 by giving power to the people.
As President George Weah may be aware, it was the will of the majority that led him to power in 2017 despite the many challenges that characterized the election that year. In this regard, it is therefore an indisputable fact that the power of the people lifts one up and brings the same down.
The above premise is meant to register to President Weah that the tolerance of the people cannot be used to downplay their quest for what they think is good for them.
One of the cases in point that Liberians are demanding is accountability for which Campaigners for Justice staged a peaceful march on April 3, calling on the international community to embark on the government to listen to their cries to allow the establishment of a war and economic crimes court in the country.
The quest for justice in Liberia has become paramount that various factors are aiding to substantiate, except that the government is yet to give attention to it. As a result of our lukewarm justice system, people are now taking the law into their own hands, whereby they do not care much to seek recourse through the court, but to carry out mob justice whenever they are offended.
In recent days, we saw a couple of such cases; one in Weala, Margibi County where aggrieved citizens in that town took to the street, set roadblock, burnt a police depot, a residential building and a courthouse.
Similar action was carried out in Nimba County where a huge number of citizens mobbed to death two individuals alleged of engaging in ritual killings. Additionally, three women of Sinoe County were in mid-December stripped naked, beaten and paraded in the street on allegation of involvement in witchcraft activities. One of them died from the brutal assaults meted against her.
The past week also ended with riots between two groups of gangsters in the Fiamah Community, leading residents in complete disarray and leaving a building said to belong to one of the adversaries set ablaze.
Considering these occurrences, the Campaigners for Justice tend to believe that failure to hold people accountable for human rights abuses committed during the war has developed the mindset of impunity — that victims of crimes can no longer withhold their emotions, but react to actions that threaten their existence.
Furthermore, perpetrators of mob violence have adopted the impression that their actions to commit human rights abuses are justifiable and therefore feel no guilt; something that may lead them sometimes to do anything without regard for the rule of law.
We know that the government is conscious of elevating Liberia through infrastructural development so that the country can gain a magnificent outlook comparable to its neighbors. But how can such welcoming development be sustained when the people who should care for it are bitter with the mindset to revert to violence? This is the critical question that comes to mind when accountability remains questionable as the desire rises for foreign investors to come to Liberia.
One thing we can recall of the majority of Liberians after the war is their resilience not to go back to their dark days, despite the social and economic hurdles confronting their survivability.
Nevertheless, we at the Daily Observer would like to call on the George Weah Administration to be mindful of being remiss to the point of agitating the people to do what they have so far restrained themselves from doing.
While you may be enjoying their “love” for you, Mr. President, it is about time to listen and find a way to address the issues confronting Liberians. Reflections from the past and present remind us to take note of the street protests in the Republic of Sudan, Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt.
We, therefore, urge that since Liberians are calm and want to adhere to the rule of law, Mr. President, please listen to their pleas and not to protect the interest of a few others to the detriment of the majority.