Liberia: COP to Stage a ‘Surprise’ Protest for the Increment of Data Charge
Monrovia – Henry Costa, the head of the Council of Patriot (COP), is calling on his followers to get ready for what he terms as another nationwide protest against the government’s plan to increase the surcharge on internet data.
Report by J.H. Webster Clayeh, Contributing Writer
“This message goes out to every patriot out there. I am calling on you, we will not announce the date, this protest will take them by surprise. We want you to be on the alert. We will not stop protesting until George Weah announces that he will no longer go-ahead to do this diabolical thing – to increase the price of data from $2.00 to $6.00 cause our people may not be able to afford it,” said via phone during a press conference on Wednesday in Monrovia.
In recent weeks, news of GSM companies increasing tariff on data has sparked public attention and Mr. Costa on many of his talk shows has expressed his disappointment, terming the plan as one that is intended to silence the voices of the suffering masses
Costa, who is in the US, was able to garner the support of his followers to organize a teleconference on Wednesday.
The teleconference was earlier scheduled to take place at delipidated Ducor Palace Hotel. But the venue was changed after police disrupted the process.
The group later moved to Ashman Street, where Mr. Costa was able to speak to them via cell phone.
Costa did not mention any date or time for the protest but said: “We the Liberian people under the banner of the Council of Patriot have met and decided that we will ensure that he (President Weah) does not take our voice away.
“To every militant out there, when you hear the date, come out in your communities, join your fellow patriots, and let send the message for we will not tolerate this nonsense from this dictator of a President.”
Costa fled Liberia early this year to escape his arrest and it seems that he will not be present for the upcoming protest. Many think that his absence will hamper the success of any planned protest.
“This message goes out to every patriot out there. I am calling on you, we will not announce the date, this protest will take them by surprise. We want you to be on the alert. We will not stop protesting until George Weah announces that he will no longer go-ahead to do this diabolical thing – to increase the price of data from $2.00 to $6.00 cause our people may not be able to afford it.”– Henry Costa, Chairman of COP
Addressing questions from journalists, Costa said: “I do not have to be in Liberia. You see the militants out there, when they protested for the unconditional release of Jestina Taylor, I was not there and Jestina Taylor was released and so the militants do not need me to protest.”
Since the ascendency of the CDC government, Costa’s COP has organized two main protests on June 7, 2019 and January 6 this year.
When asked whether he (Costa) would love to sit down to dialogue with the Weah-led government, Costa said he has no interest in dialoguing with “someone who lacks integrity and credibility”.
“There is no other way you can deal with a brutal dictator who steals and lies. We will not sit at the table with George Weah. He has no integrity and credibility,” he said.
“We will stand up and it will be on Mr. Weah to listen to the demand of the Liberian people or ignore the Liberia people but for us, history will remember us.”