Stop Playing With Fire

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The recent violence in Zwedru was without question politically motivated and according to informed sources, the violence was carefully orchestrated by top officials in government and of the Coalition for Democratic Change(CDC) in order to intimidate the political opposition. This is clearly a very dangerous act of provocation that should not be allowed to repeat itself.

The Superintendent of Grand Gedeh County, Kai Farley, a top-ranked general in the former rebel Movement for Democracy and Elections (MODEL) and Representative Zoe Pennue have similarly been accused by Representative Kolubah of being the masterminds behind the violence. Pennue, who is reported to have now joined the ranks of the CDC, is allegedly being supported by a very powerful cabinet minister.

And it appears that violence may plague the December elections if things are allowed to get out of hand. And it appears rather odd also that President Weah who touts himself as a man of peace would remain silent or take no action to bring to book authorities of that county, particularly Superintendent Kai Farley whose credentials as a former MODEL rebel commander under whose watch egregious crimes were committed against ordinary Liberians.

President Weah should also chastise CDC Chairman Mulbah Morlu and officials of that party for wearing military uniforms and sporting sidearms (pistols) openly in the full glare of the public during a recent tour of the Southeast. Just to what purposes such display was intended remains unclear. However, judging from the look of things, it can be safely assumed that the sporting of military style wear and the open display of sidearms were all meant to intimidate the opposition.

The Daily Observer recalls that never ever since President Weah launched his initial bid for the Presidency in 2005 have people been coerced to turn out in their massive numbers in show of support and solidarity with him. It appears strange therefore, but not unusual that CDC officials have to now resort to the display and show of force, naked violence in order to intimidate the public into voting for CDC candidates.

Had it not been for the Armed Forces of Liberia whose intervention saved the day by preventing the situation from morphing into full blown violence, the situation would have most probably escalated and resulted into deaths.

Sources in Zwedru, say the Police response to the violence was weak and ineffectual in similar fashion to recorded instances of the violence that characterized the District 15 elections in 2019. Just what can explain the feeble Police response to a life threatening situation is difficult to come by. Public accusations of partisanship have dogged the Police since the ascendancy of its current Inspector-General, Patrick Sudue.

In view of this latest episode of politically motivated violence, the Daily Observer is
constrained to warn that those CDC officials espousing and promoting and reintroducing violence into national politics are playing with fire. It is a situation akin to a child playing with matches around a drum of gasoline with adults intently watching to see what will happen. And they are usually the first on the scene to offer help after having failed to take the box of matches from the child.

President Weah has to become seized of the situation and prevent any further escalation. Too many individuals are doing too many bad things in his name and are apparently getting away with it, failing to realize that they will not always forever get away with impunity. As unpalatable and unthinkable as it may appear, President Weah must part company with a lot many in his trusted fold of advisors and ministers if he intends to be more than a one-term President.

In light of this the situation in Zwedru and the response measures taken to bring it under control should be considered instructive. A scenario which should be studiously avoided by CDC chairman Morlu, is action which could provoke and propel the military to intervene. This is particularly important in view of the pending December elections during which tensions are expected to be very high in Monrovia.

If those CDC officials espousing violence are allowed to have their way to unleash violence against political opponents, then as sure as night follows day, pushback will be certain and resistance may come from some very unexpected sources. T

The likelihood that such elections related violence could degenerate into a free for all cannot be ruled out given reports that ruling party officials and some officials of this government have not only been courting the likes of ex rebel generals and local gang leaders but have ben providing them with cash and material support.

President Weah must, if he can, act with a sense of urgency to ensure that a repeat of the violence in Zwedru is studiously avoided in Monrovia later in December. The December senatorial elections promise to be very controversial as it will be handled by an electoral body that lacks credibility and the confidence of the public.

This means that transparency will be of critical concern. The involvement of NEC data officer Floyd Sayor in the manipulation of vote-count figures in the District 15 elections should not be repeated, now that he has been appointed as Commissioner. And officials of this government should know, except if they are pretending, that any attempt to cheat or rig the elections results could provoke violence.

And should that violence spin out of control to the point where it warrants the intervention of the country’s military, this government should consider itself virtually “gone with the wind” because getting the military to return to barracks would prove to be another up-hill challenge replete with so many unknowns.

President Weah is advised to caution his officials to stop playing with fire. The display of arms or the threat of their use is courting danger of the highest order. It must never be forgotten that, unlike previous times, most Liberian youths today have had prolonged exposure to violence and the threat of its use may just not prove sufficient to deter them from mounting open challenges to what they see as unfair and unjust.

He must therefore order his war mongers to STOP PLAYING WITH FIRE. He should take control and lead from the front, else he may unwittingly allow others to lead him to a very unkind and untimely fate.

This is an often repeated piece of advice!

7 COMMENTS

  1. Remember how that CDC goon, Rep. Acarous Ganja Gray, dressed up in military uniform to intimidate voters and incite elections violence during the By-elections in 2012?? Was he ever interrogated or arrested by the Sirleaf Administration? Please. Now that these CDC goons are in power, do you expect anything different when you see another CDC goon (Chairman Mulbah Morlu,doing the same thing Gray did???

  2. Dear Web Master,
    It is clear from all indications that this article is the work of a paid pen. How dare you attempt to paint a people who acted peacefully to defend themselves against the psychological torture and the vent of an infamous rebel who lived by violence and is being used by violent orientated people like, Ali, Dillon, Costa, CPP, Urey and other lab dogs of the Liberian finger full of “elites”? If yours is not paid work, then you are part of them.
    Just read and reflect on your article, editorial, or whatever you may call it and see how bias and manipulative you were with the write-up.
    For instance, you wrote, “Had it not been for the Armed Forces of Liberia whose intervention saved the day by preventing the situation from morphing into full-blown violence, the situation would have most probably escalated and resulted in deaths”. Who is the Commander in chief of the Armed Forces of Liberia? Could the army had acted without the knowledge of its CIC?
    You also wrote, “Sources in Zwedru, say the Police response to the violence was weak and ineffectual in a similar fashion to recorded instances of the violence that characterized the District 15 elections in 2019. Just what can explain the feeble Police response to a life-threatening situation is difficult to come by. Public accusations of partisanship have dogged the Police since the ascendancy of its current Inspector-General, Patrick Sudue.”
    Was the Police action in Zwedru any different from their activities in a chain of violent demonstrations ranging from June 6 and others? Most of which were adjudged to be professional by international organizations.
    Remember that there is now social media, that has overtaken the print and other traditional media, and that anything written by the print media will be verified by recordings on social media. This is the case with this writeup of yours, Facebook and LPR pop casts have proven otherwise. Your attempt to invent realities to further ignite you and your sponsors’ hate and xenophobic perception against the peace-loving people of Grand Gedeh County will go nowhere. A proof of the sinister plan to put the ordinary citizens/or ethnic groups against each other has been unmasked by the occurrence in Zwedru. only objective minds will phaeton it. What was Yekeh Kolubah doing with ANC Cummings in Zwedru, are they not strange bedfellows in a strange place(Yekeh out of his district during an important independence celebration)?

  3. Things that will carry us backward or to the ugly past when they are surfacing, we should arrest it devoid of political or ethnic sentiments.

  4. Dull Weah will do anything to stop violence this coming election? The man likes it as it is in his favor. Fear to be kicked out of power by the masses’ vote is an oppressive torment in the man’s soul. So, he’ll do anything, just anything to allay his fears and moderate his anxiety.

  5. James Yonley,
    Your callous and ignoramus disregard for the rights of free movements of all citizens of this Nation, irrespective of their origin, and unity of our people, which beclouded your narrow-mind to asked the question, “what was Yekeh Kolubah doing with ANC Cummings in Zwedru,” summed up your delusional, divisive tribal bigotry and your political naivety. The fact that you even phantom such ignoramus question explains everything about you. Liberia and all of its political subdivisions belongs to all of its citizens and residents alike, and have the constitutional rights to travel or live in any part without any form of harassment and intimidation. Read your constitution and laws governing the Nation, Liberia before penning stupidity in public space. Please note that I’m not a supporter of ANC or Mr. Kolubah. However, I’m a patriotic citizen who believes in the rule of laws and the Constitution of our Nation.

  6. Don’t blame CDC, don’t blame civilian authorities in Grand Gedeh – this was an intelligence failure. The incident exposed a lack of effective security information-gathering mechanism at county level which could’ve officially warned of the coming of an ANC delegation (including controversial Rep Yekeh Kolubah) in order for adequate protection to be provided. Let us stop attributing a conspiracy theory to unprofessional policing.

    For example, whenever controversial figures like PLO leader Yasser Arafat, Cuban leader Fidel Castro, or Israeli Menachin Begin were going to New York for UN meetings, the NYPD’s Intelligence gathering units went into full alert, and extra security details assigned. So too, we shouldn’t be surprised that there is a visceral dislike by some citizens for a Rep. Kolubah who has been endlessly threatening violence and talking of how President Weah could be eliminated. Let’s stop the political blame game and correct security unpreparedness.

  7. For 14 years, we saw the limits of violence; strongmen men exhibited their strengths beyond comparison, the most mystical /mythical or best juju women and men came to realize there is no power that surpasses the Divine power, the most don have seen that you can fool some people sometimes but you cannot fool all the people all the time, etc.
    I believe there is NOTHING TO PROVE AGAIN in Liberia. So, stop your vacarme and give peace a chance.

    Drink all your alcohol, smoke all your weeds and inhale all your narcotics but be mindful that the war is over for good!
    Indulge in intellectualism to persuade the population to vote you, CDC. We have traveled a long and painful road, and we will NEVER retravel or revisit those painful days, BEWARE!

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