Liberia: June 7 Protest Not for Unseating George Weah as President
MONROVIA – The Council of Patriots, organizer of the pending June 7 protest has clarified that the intent of their non-violent protest is not to call on George Weah to step down as President of Liberia.
Report by Lennart Dodoo, [email protected]
The group held a press conference on Tuesday attended by Senator Oscar Cooper, Senator Sando Johnson, Rep. Yekeh Kolubah, Mohammed Ali, Abraham Darius Dillon, Boakai Jaleiba, amongst others.
According to them, they have already written the Government through the Ministry of Justice informing the government of their intent and requested protection in keeping with the law.
“Over the last several weeks, we have trained our teams to be professional and non-confrontational when interacting with the communities. We have also admonished supporters who are already in the communities to remain within the ambit of the laws and avoid unruly persons that want to pose disruptions to mobilization efforts,” said Dillon who spoke on behalf of the group.
He added: “The purpose of our assembly is not to call for the step down of George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia. The goal is to demand meaningful reforms that will lead to the improvement of the living standards of Liberians.”
The Council of Patriots noted that their decision to protest is fueled by wanton neglect of the government to live up to its social contract towards ordinary citizens.
“We can sit no longer and see our mothers being turned away from hospitals because of lack of basic medical supplies. We can sit no more and see the prices of basic commodities continue to go up, making life unbearable for the ordinary Liberians”
“The Council of Patriots cannot sit idle while accountability remains elusive, corruption at an all-time unprecedented level and integrity institutions face certain death. US$25 million intended to mop up excess Liberian dollars disappeared in thin air under the watchful eye of the current Economic Management Team while the issue of the LRD16 plus billions remain unaccounted for as indicated in two separate reports.”
According to them, bad international ideals have multiplied, compounded by government’s inability to account for donor funds.
They called on well-meaning Liberians to join the protest in demand for good governance.
The Council of Patriots warned against threatening remarks coming from officials of government against protestors. They made specific reference to comments of an Assistant Minister that “those coming out to protest on June 7th should say their final goodbyes to their families”. This was preceded by comments of a member of the Armed Forces of Liberia on April 12, 2019 threatening to kill protesters on the morning of the protest.
“We implore the President of Liberia and the entire leadership of the country to condemn such actions and swiftly mete out punishment against anyone engaged in promoting terror against peaceful citizens. We believe that the perpetual silence of the President on these matters is only emboldening his officials and supporters to continue in their reckless discharge directed towards peaceful Liberians,” Dillon noted.
He expressed concern that that there are plans by the government to insert troublemakers in the peaceful rally and warned the Government of Liberia to desist from doing so as even the slightest indication of wrongdoing will be sufficiently dealt with through the appropriate legal entity.
They thanked all Liberians at home in the diaspora for their contributions towards the protesting, making specific reference to an unknown individual who donated L$75 through mobile money.