Liberia: Council of Patriots Warns against Intimidation of Its Members

File photo: Members of the Council of Patriots in a press conference in Monrovia

Monrovia – The Council of Patriots has condemned what it terms “continual harassments, intimidation and threats” on the lives of members of the COP particularly its Chairman, Henry Pedro Costa and another member, Representative Yekeh Kolubah.

COP Chairman Costa left Liberia via neighboring Sierra Leone in the wake of an ongoing investigation by the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS) for using an alleged forged laissez passer to enter Liberia from Ghana.

In a statement issued in Monrovia Wednesday, January 15, COP says its Chairman was forced to leave the country on Sunday, Jan. 12, due to several threats made on his life by strange men, pro-government enthusiasts and higher-ups in the government including Deputy Information Minister, Eugene Fahngon.

The group claimed that Fahngon recently posted to Facebook that “Costa will soon die”. 

The COP called on the international community, rights groups to denounce the Liberian Government’s undemocratic tactics of silencing critical voices. 

The group views these threats are “grave” and as such, it should claim the attention of Liberia’s international partners. 

“In order to ensure that the plot to have the Chairman of the COP bodily harmed or even killed, the government trumped up charges against Mr. Costa and alerted the Government of Sierra Leone to have him arrested and sent back to Liberia,” the statement maintains.

“These constant sponsored attacks on critics of government are doing the country no good as they are only helping to heighten insecurity and drive away investors.”

– Council of Patriots

According to the COP, the Government of Liberia’s request to have Costa arrested by the Sierra Leonean authority does not only violate ECOWAS Protocol on Free Movement, but it also violates Sierra Leone’s Extradition Act of 1974.

Meanwhile, the group is asking Sierra Leone not to tarnish its enviable democratic credentials by serving as an accomplice in facilitating, aiding and abetting the Liberian government’s “malicious plan to eliminate critical voices, who are speaking out against the wanton abuse of power and rampant corruption by the Government of Liberia”. 

The COP also cautioned the government to refrain from its “sponsored attacks on the person of Representative Yekeh Kolubah and his family”. 

“These constant sponsored attacks on critics of government are doing the country no good as they are only helping to heighten insecurity and drive away investors,” the group added. 

At the same time, the COP has assured its supporters that its Chairman Henry Pedro Costa is well and the group is working along with others to ensure that his safety and rights in Sierra Leone are guaranteed. 

“The COP and all its supporters will hold the Government of Liberia primarily and directly responsible for the personal safety of Costa, Rep. Kolubah, and all other persons now being targeted by state security and dangerous CDC-affiliated militant auxiliaries,” they said.