Liberia: CDC Secretary General Condemns Discrimination Against Muslims By NEC Workers; Wants Extension of Biometric Voter Registration
New York, USA – Jefferson T. Koijee, the Secretary General of the Coalition for Democratic Change and Mayor of the city of Monrovia, has frowned upon staff of the National Election Commission (NEC) for denying individuals with certain names, something he says is a sign of discrimination.
By J.H. Webster Clayeh (0886729972)[email protected]
Speaking from the United States, Koijee made the statement on Prime FM, a local radio in Monrovia.
His statement comes in the wake of many complaints from some individuals with names like Jalloh, Barry, Kamara, Fofana, and many others names with Islamic origin being denied from getting their voter ID cards.
“We are getting information that people are being denied registration by NEC because they carry names like Jalloh, Barry, Kamara, and Fofana. We want to say these people are Liberians and anyone found preventing them from registering is a form of discrimination and a violation of their rights. People shouldn’t be denied because of their last name when they are legitimate citizens,” Koijee said.
Mayor Koijee also called on NEC to extend the stipulated time given for voter registration.
He added: “We’re hopeful that the process will be extended for at least a week to see more people participate in the registration process.”
CDC Secretary-General Koijee Condemns Electoral Violence in Mont Co. District #10, Wants Police to Dispense Justice Impartially
Koijee, the Secretary-General of the Coalition for Democratic Change and Mayor of the city of Monrovia has condemned recent electoral violence in Montserrado County District #10 and at the same time called on the Liberia National Police to dispense justice without ‘fear or favor’.
Speaking to the electoral violence that took place on the Old Road, the heartbeat of Montserrado County District #10, CDC Secretary-General says it is ‘foolhardy’ for the Liberia National Police not to give the ruling CDC the same rights and privileges given to opposition parties.
The CDC Secretary-General’s assertion is regarding the incident where police used tear gas to disperse members of the CDC Youth League after its Chairman Emmanuel Mulbah Johnson and scores of other executives made their way to register at one of the National Election Commission (NEC) registration centers on the Old Road.
On Saturday, March 25, 2023, CDC Youth League chanted a voter registration-awareness slogan as they paraded from their party headquarters in Congo Town to the Old Road.
While parading through the main streets on the Old Road, around the Total Gas Station, the police ordered that the group be dissolved to avoid a clash with supporters of Yekeh Kolubah, a lawmaker of the district.
The CDC Youth League could not stop their march as they insisted that their parade was intended to have their chairman and scores of other party officials registered in Montserrado County District #10, something that caused the police to shoot tear gas to dissolve the group.
After the dissolution of members of the CDC Youth League, in no time hundreds of individuals that are members of the opposition led by Montserrado County Senator Darius Dillon paraded through the same street members of CDC used and was tear-gas by police.
Senator Dillon without police resistance paraded with hundreds of supporters through the main street of Old Road and spoke to some residents of Old Road before reaching out to the political headquarters of Representative Kolubah.
The police’s action to deny members of the CDC Youth League and allow members of the opposition to parade through Old Road is “awkward” for the democratic process of the state, the CDC Secretary-General said.
“On the national front, we condemn any act of violence perpetrated by anyone. The police should be impartial in their dealings. You can’t disallow one group of people, then allow people like Dillon, along with opposition members, to parade in the same place,” Koijee said.
The CDC Secretary-General added: “The police have the responsibility to protect our democracy. The act in District #10 is thereby condemned by us, and we hope an investigation is launched.”
Koijee is consulting lawyers in the US for a possible lawsuit against Cllr. Jerome Verdier.
Recently, Cllr. Jerome Verdier, without evidence, alleged that the CDC Secretary-General Koijee has been involved in the attempted assassination plot at the home of former Chief Justice Gloria Musu Scott – that led to the death of foster daughter Charloe Musu.
After the allegation from Cllr. Verdier, Koijee promised to issue a legal battle against the former Truth and Reconciliation Head for the damage to his person.
Koijee, still speaking from the US while participating in the UN 2023 Water Conference, said he is at the same time talking to his lawyers to pursue a legal battle against Cllr. Verdier for what he termed as character assassination.
“While in the US, I will also take up considerable time engaging my lawyers on a possible lawsuit against Liberian citizens based in the US who have since been bent on character assassination and propaganda against my person,” CDC Koijee said.
He added: “People must be held accountable for what they spew out against others, and we are committed to ensuring that happens because as leaders of our generation, we can’t sit idly as these things continue to happen like it’s said, silence means consent.”
Wrapping up, Koijee said the Liberian delegation had a fruitful engagement in New York attending the UN 2023 Water Conference.
The Monrovia City Mayor asserted: “It’s a year to showcase commitments regarding the use of water and sanitation.”
The conference, he says, is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to unite the world around solving the water and sanitation crisis.