The violent attack over the weekend on District#15 lead candidate Telia Urey by hooligans and thugs widely believed to be supporters of CDC candidate Abu Kamara which left several of her supporters wounded and the lady herself bruised and badly shaken and properties destroyed has left the nation wondering just where the country seems to be headed under the leadership of President George Manneh Weah.
This is not the first, second or third of such incidents of violence perpetrated by supporters of the CDC which have been reported to the Police but to which Police response has either been withheld or has been at best lukewarm or feeble. The Liberia National Police display of bias and partisanship is serving to dangerously undermine public trust and confidence in the Police under its current leadership.
In all of these reported incidents of violence perpetrated by thugs and hooligans including the weekend violence in District #15 perpetrated by elements believed to be acting at the behest of the CDC leadership, there have been no Police arrests thus leaving the public with a distinct impression that the Police cannot be trusted to protect their lives and properties.
As the events in Logan Town District#15 amply demonstrate, the growing wave of violence especially political violence is having a destabilizing effect with communities unsure and uncertain of the future given what appears to be a gradual slide into renewed civil conflict. That such developments are occurring under the watch of the most popularly elected president in the nation’s history is what most Liberians find unfathomable.
And, the fact that such negative developments are occurring in less than two years into his six-year term of office strongly suggests, as some are inclined to believe, that these are but attempts to sanitize the political environment through the use of force and violence in order to ensure uncontested CDC dominance of the country’s political landscape. Whatever the case, this newspaper holds the view that violence is absolutely unacceptable as a means to enhance the achievement of political ends.
The CDC leadership has to come to terms with the fact that times have since changed and that the CDC, by its own making, is fast losing the relevance it once had. And it must indeed be a frightening reality that the recent losses at the polls show that power appears to be slipping away so fast from their grasp and that sooner or later the “choo-choo gravy run” will be all over.
Apparently, the CDC leadership is caught, trapped between a joyful and glorious yesterday that is no longer and a highly uncertain tomorrow bereft of the promise and glory of yesterday. Fighting tooth and nail to forestall the advent of a tomorrow removed from the seat of power, the use of unprovoked and unbridled violence has now become a viable option and resort to its use to ensure political dominance is being tested with the political opposition serving as guinea pigs in what appears to be a ECO experiment gone awry.
Thus, against the background of the weekend political violence in Logan Town, the public is left wondering just what the disposition of the US Ambassador on these developments is given her reticence or stony silence quite unlike earlier in July led when she threw herself into the fray and openly chided the opposition for selecting last July 26 as a protest date.
This newspaper is also concerned about the disposition of ECOWAS with its early warning crisis prevention mechanism, who have not said a word about the unprovoked violence unleashed by the CDC in the just ended Montserrado County by-elections. In the opinion of the Daily Observer, these developments should be of utmost concern to ECOWAS, especially troop contributing countries, given contribution in lives and material resources over the years to restore peace to Liberia.
As can be discerned, the violence in Logan Town over the weekend has served to escalate tensions and all sides must do all they can to prevent any further escalation in tension. The Daily Observer, in this regard commends Ms. Telia Urey for exercising restraint and calling on her supporters to stay calm and refrain from any form of retaliatory violence.
The Daily Observer, having learnt that CDC Chairman Morlu has since extended and apology to Ms. Urey, commends him but calls on him to not only tone down the rhetoric but urges him to also seek to engage the opposition in meaningful and constructive dialogue aimed at de-escalating rising tension in the country. Violence and its use, he should know, is not the exclusive preserve of any political party let alone any Liberian and any thinking in such direction should be strongly discouraged.
But granted Morlu, on behalf of his party, apologized to Ms. Urey, the question now is what follows in the wake of the violence that resulted in many injuries and damage sustained to property. Who, for example, is going to shoulder the costs for the damages sustained to property and underwrite the medical bills of those who got injured during the fracas?
On a final note, the Daily Observer reiterates its call to President Weah to break his silence and speak to the issues as the Liberian people have indicated onvarious radio talk shows and other media. He can no longer afford to lead from the back. He should lead from the front and take charge because from all indications, he is being led to an untimely and a very unkind fate by others.
Enough, there is no more to be said!