Liberia: Day After Protest, Weah-led Government Takes Issue With Organizers Over Petition

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In a statement Saturday, the Liberian government’s chief spokesperson, Information Minister Lenn Eugene Nagbe frowned over the unwillingness of the Council of Patriots(COP) to present its petition after requesting the Government to appear and receive it during Friday’s Save-the-State Protest.

Monrovia – The George Weah-led government has taken the organizers of Friday’s Save-the-State Protest to task over what it calls the group’s failure to present its petition to the government.


In a statement Saturday, the government’s chief spokesperson, Information Minister Lenn Eugene Nagbe frowned over the unwillingness of the Council of Patriots(COP) to present its petition after requesting the Government to appear and receive it.

The government’s statement recalled that this is the second time the COP has refused to present the same petition to government. On May 14, 2019, Unification Day, the COP declined to present its petition at a meeting brokered by international partners with President George M. Weah and promised it would have been done June 7.

But Mr. Abraham Darius Dillon, spokesperson for the COP told FrontPageAfrica Saturday that the group was simply unwilling to embrace those designated by the government to receive the petition. “We will not present our petition to appointed officials. We expected the ELECTED President or his Vice President as was designated by him.”

Last Tuesday, Minister Nagbe announced that Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor had been designated by the government to receive the petition from members of the COP.

Mr. Nagbe said upon receipt, the government will review the petition in a positive mindset and if there are portions in the petition that are good for the country, the Government will implement them.

He averred that President George Manneh Weah will not be the one to receive the petition from those staging the march as is being demanded. Nagbe, however, re-echoed that the Government will ensure that the constitutional rights of those expected to form part of the march as well as the rights of all Liberians are guaranteed. He said the government will also ensure that the peace of the country is maintained.


In a statement Saturday, the government’s chief spokesperson, Information Minister Lenn Eugene Nagbe frowned over the unwillingness of the Council of Patriots(COP) to present its petition after requesting the Government to appear and receive it.

The government’s statement recalled that this is the second time the COP has refused to present the same petition to government. On May 14, 2019, Unification Day, the COP declined to present its petition at a meeting brokered by international partners with President George M. Weah and promised it would have been done June 7.

But Mr. Abraham Darius Dillon, spokesperson for the COP told FrontPageAfrica Saturday that the group was simply unwilling to embrace those designated by the government to receive the petition. “We will not present our petition to appointed officials. We expected the ELECTED President or his Vice President as was designated by him.”

Last Tuesday, Minister Nagbe announced that Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor had been designated by the government to receive the petition from members of the COP.

Mr. Nagbe said upon receipt, the government will review the petition in a positive mindset and if there are potions in the petition that are good for the country, the Government will implement them.
He averred that President George Manneh Weah will not be the one to receive the petition from those staging the march as is being demanded. Nagbe, however, re-echoed that the Government will ensure that the constitutional rights of those expected to form part of the march as well as the rights of all Liberians are guaranteed. He said the government will also ensure that the peace of the country is maintained.

On Friday however, when the VP did not show up, the government dispatched what it called a high-power delegation comprising the Dean of the Cabinet, Honorable Gbehzongar Findley, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cllr. Musa Dean, Justice Minister, Trokon Kpui, Minister of State without Portfolio , the Security and Legal Advisor, Jefferson Karmoh, who were all designated by the President, to meet the COP at the Capitol Building venue of the assembly.

It is still unclear why the VP did not show up as was announced early in the week.

Minister Nagbe, in the statement Saturday said that after more than two hours of delay, the COP demanded the release of two student leaders of the University of Liberia who were arrested for assaulting a police officer as a precondition for the presentation of their petition.

The administration said it regards the demand as an attempt to undermine the rule of law. The accused have been charged and awaiting appearance in court represented by their lawyer.

The Writ of Arrest issued against them says that they, with the intent to “cause private prosecutors, serious bodily injury, purposely with violence jumped on said private prosecutors, beat and inflicted pains and injuries on their bodies, and that in the process defendants engaged themselves in rioting, blocking of public streets, singing battle cry slogans, preventing vehicles and movement of pedestrians as well as throwing stones in the public which resulted to injuries to persons, among others. The two were charged with aggravated assault, rioting, failure to disperse, disorderly conduct and obstructing highway and public passages.

The government reiterated its commitment to the precepts and tenet of democracy and says it will continue to ensure that all citizens are protected under the law.

The administration also commended the police and other members of the security apparatus for their professionalism during Friday’s activities by the COP and expressed gratitude to members of the international community including ECOWAS, the UN and the AU for their efforts in promoting peace and security in Liberia.

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