Flirting With Chaos: Recurring Lawlessness Trending In Liberia
SEVERAL INCIDENTS IN THE PAST week appear to be making it more and more difficult for investors to have confidence in Liberia’s economic and political recovery.
THE STILL-FRAGILE nation, tinkering with a post-war label despite two successive democratic transitions, the last, the transfer of power from one democratically-elected government to the next, continues to self-destruct as those appointed to positions of power misuse their job descriptions over petty differences while bringing unnecessary embarrassment to the President and government.
THE FIRST incident involved a glaring attack on the second in command of the Liberia National Police who was simply doing his job.
MARVIN SACKOR, the Deputy Inspector General of Police for Operations, was trying to prevent partisans of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change from marching on a victory celebration of opposition candidate Abraham Darius Dillon at the headquarters of the Liberty Party.
THE ATTACK ON SACKOR came shortly after a riling speech by the party’s youth chair and Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson Koijee, who threatened that his party will trade fire for fire with anyone staging protest against the government.
SAID MR. KOIJEE: “The youth league will protect our democracy, we will be on the front burner, we will lead our people like we led them before. Any day that would be announced here by anyone, we want to say to you that similar day would be announced by us. And wheresoever they are, we would also be there and we would meet in flesh and blood.”
MR. KOIJEE EXPLAINED that the decision has met the consensus of the party’s youth league. “Make no mistake to think that because we bear certain titles or bear certain space in government, that position has taken from us our true identity. What we fought for, we will not sit here as spectators and watch it come under attack. Those who believed that nothing good could ever come under our watch, we want to say moving forward when there is any called demonstration – as lawmakers lead, we want to say in our official capacity, whether you call me mayor or you call me youth chair person, we want to assure the public and the international community that we will be protectors of our democracy, we would lead such forces also.”
SIMILARLY, LAST WEEK, the Director General of the National Bureau of Concessions, Mr. Gregory O.W. Coleman, came under physical attack from two of his deputies who had to be restrained.
THE NBC BOSS had to be smuggled out of his office through the backdoor by way of a rarely-used gate of the compound of the Bureau as the main entrance and exit had been blocked to avoid the attack from his two deputies — Daddy Gibson, Deputy Director General for Administration (DDGA) and Nathaniel Bracewell, Deputy Director General for Concession (DDGC) on the bureau’s 19th street office.
WHILE WE WELCOME A STATEMENT from the Ministry of Justice, directing the Liberia National Police to investigate the incident and report its findings, we find it disturbing that appointed officials continue to toe partisan lines with their own interest at play to the detriment of the government and the president who appointed them.
WE ALSO WELCOME the President’s decision to suspend the pair – Daddy Gibson, Deputy Director General for Administration and Nathaniel Bracewell, Deputy Director General for Concession at the NBC for Administrative misconduct. However, we have seen and heard such actions before which have failed to discourage officials from treading such line.
BOTH THE PRESIDENT and the MOJ have so far failed to act on a purported black list making the rounds on Facebook, Whazzap and in inboxes amongst Liberians both at home and abroad, targeting those deemed not in the ruling party, but serving in government.
SUSPENDING A PAIR of obviously inept and ego-centered individuals with their own agenda is clearly a slap on the wrist and does very little to address the crux of the problem.
LIBERIANS ARE YET to see the results of the investigation into last year’s incident in the District No. 13 representative by-elections after clashes led to several being wounded when supporters of Cornelia Kruah-Togba, representing the tripartite arrangement between Unity Party, Liberty Party and the Alternative National Congress in the District No. 13 By-Elections came under attack from supporters of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change led by Koijee. Kruah was contesting the District 13 electoral seat on the Liberty Party ticket. She’s the daughter of Liberia’s Post and Telecommunication Minister, Cooper Kruah.
DURING THAT MELEE, Koijee, Representative Solomon George and a team of militants who were to launch the campaign of the CDC candidate, John J. Weah, in Iron Factory, reportedly invaded the camp of Cornelia in Gardnersville where she was also having her campaign activities ongoing, thereby causing commotion. Ms. Kruah filed a complaint to the LNP and an investigation was reportedly ordered but nothing has been heard of since.
PRESIDENT WEAH IS paving the way for a disturbing trend in his presidency if he fails to take these repeated incidents seriously.
SUCH THUGGISH BEHAVIOURS do not belong in any government serious about good governance. Those officials should not only be dismissed, but made to face prosecution and the full weight of the law.
IF SUCH TOUGH action is not taken, the next so-called person deemed not fit to serve in government because they do not belong to the ruling party could find themselves on the receiving end of a much worse fate than what Mr. Coleman and Deputy Inspector General Sackor had to endure.
THE BALL IS IN President Weah’s court to do the right thing and make the right decisions – not just for his own good, but for Liberia’s political and economic survival.