Pastoral letter from Rev. Dr. Samuel B. Reeves, Jr. Senior Pastor, Historic Providence Baptist Church. To both President George M. Weah and heads of the four collaborating political parties on the current wave of violence in the country.
Today, as we reflect on our most recent past, we as a nation and people cannot afford to return to such an unforgettable nightmare, the ensuing violent clashes should claim our utmost attention, whether members of the ruling party, the government of Liberia or the opposition community.
With these growing waves of sponsored violence across the country, especially the recent one in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County in the wake of the 8th December 2020 Senatorial elections; I call on the President, His Excellency; Dr. George M. Weah to address these fearful and tragic acts that have the potential to derail this nation’s hard-earned peace.
Mr. President, as Head of State and of Government, the Constitution gives you the power to protect the peace of the Nation and that burden rest solely upon you to instill peace in the minds of the citizens, including your officials of government and members of the opposition.
As pastor of the First Church, it saddens me to see Liberians engaging in all forms of violence include physical and verbal attacks. This, we believe, Mr. President, must be brought to check.
Mr. President, the recent utterances from some officials in government, on the radio, the media, on Facebook, are beginning to send discomfort and fears in the hearts of the people; as our President, these officials are directly accountable to you and as such you are clothed with the responsibility to bring them to check when their utterances undermine you personally, your government and our peace.
Mr. President, I would love reminding you about the recent utterances from some officials of the government, namely Monrovia City Major, Jefferson Koijee, who announced the setting up of a citizen unit to effect the arrest of citizens who disturb the city, the recent statement from the Superintendent of Maryland county, George Pratt who boasted of the government having under it’s control the security of the state and Deputy Minister Eugene Fahngon who took to his Facebook page to justify the incident in Grand Gedeh. As president, these officials are directly accountable to you and as such you are clothed with the responsibility to bring them to check when their utterances undermine our peace.
To all members of the opposition community, especially heads of the four collaborating political parties, Hon. Joseph Boakai, Mr. Alexander Cummings, Mr. Benoni Urey and Mrs. Nyonblee Karnga Lawrence, as I called on President Weah to take the lead in protecting the peace, today, I also besiege your conscience to prevail on your supporters to keep calm and avoid utterances that would also affect the peace. The responsibility to protect the peace does not only rest with the President but with you and all of us as well. As heads of these political institutions, it’s important that you condemn all forms of violence perpetrated by your Supporters.
As a Minister of the Gospel and the gatekeeper of the Cornerstone of the Nation, I condemn all forms of violence; I especially condemn the recent utterances of Senator Darius Dillon and Rep. Yekeh Kulobah, such utterances could lead to unnecessary violence, the destruction of lives and property. As heads of political parties, you cannot sit on the fence and allow your supporters to threaten our peace.
For the record, I haven’t heard from any of you condemning Rep. Kolubah who is in the constant habit of raining insults on the President of Liberia. This must stop because this is the very office you all are seeking and it must be respected at all times despite who is our President.
Senator Dillon as well, recently, on a local radio show openly threatened the peace by declaring the end of the Weah led government if he is cheated in the election. This also must be categorically condemned. The rule of law is our only alternative to addressing our grievances and let us not result to violence in whatever we do and say.
As I conclude, I encourage all of us, be it the ordinary citizens or eminent citizens, to remain calm and stay away from violence. It’s time in the history of our nation that the young people put on their thinking caps and resist any form of manipulation from politicians who are selfishly seeking their interest. Stay away from violence and let peace reign.
I call on everyone in every county and community and all tribal leaders to promote and uphold the peace. Without peace-loving and peace reinforcing values, we all wither and perish in pain and darkness. The future prosperity of Liberia depends on our resolve for human flourishing!
Rev., Dr. Samuel Broomfield Reeves, Jr.
Rev. Joseph J. Roberts