‘Liberians Face Confidence Crisis with the Police’ – Liberia Council of Churches President

Rev. Dr. Kortu K. Brown, Bishop of the Apostolic Pentecostal Church

MONROVIA – The Liberia Council of Churches (LCC), through its President Bishop Kortu K. Brown says the vast majority of Liberians are having a confidence crisis with law enforcement officers, particularly the Liberia National Police (LNP), due to the inadequate manner and form in which investigations are conducted and justice is dispensed in the country.

According to him, the adequate dispensation of justice is being questioned under the Coalition for Democratic Change-led (CDC) government of President George Manneh Weah.

His comments were contained in an Easter Message released in Monrovia recently.

He indicated that it is not a good thing for society when citizens are having a confidence crisis with the police.

Bishop Brown further observed that the prices of goods are also high.

He blamed the situation on high tariffs on consumer commodities, including rice and fuel.

He added that though the LCC remains cognizant of the renewed pledge of the government that the price of rice will NOT go up under the administration of President George Manneh Weah, and the government will also subsidize the process, actions must be carried out by the President to actualize this pledge.

Bishop Brown pointed out that as part of carrying out a confidence crisis, the LCC has visited the National Port Authority and other Importers, seeking continuation with the Executive Branch beginning with the Ministry of Commerce which [engagement] has been difficult to realize before the Easter.

He disclosed that the visit was intended to complement the national efforts and give additional assurances of the Church’s engagement and gathering of facts from the mainline actors to help provide awareness on the state of affairs and contribute to sustaining peace, security and stability, amongst others.

“We are not unaware of the fact that efforts have been made by the government to fix the broken economy; however, it is imperative that agents of government many of which are Christians and by extension members of the religious community should step to the plate of true Christian representation and promote the good tenants of democracy, transparency, accountability, genuine love for country, peace, good neighborliness”.

Bishop Brown observed that Liberians continue to strive to make a step forward, but “evil mindset” continues to draw them two steps backward.

He said the current situation must claim the attention of the government to uphold the tenets of democracy in a bid to address the growing wave of injustices and hardship in the country.

“During this Easter time, we will remain committed to the good tenants of democracy and call on the government to adhere to the noble democratic principles that will promote peace, tranquility and stability. There is so much going on in our Nation today. There are inconclusive reports of mysterious disappearances and ritualistic killings while families contend for the proper redress of grievances” Bishop Brown stated.

He made specific reference to the cold bloody murder of an officer of the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS), Maude Elliot in her house in the Jah Tondo Town Community in Brewerville City, Montserrado County.

Bishop Brown added that the LCC is also deeply concerned about the unexplained death of young Princess Cooper, who was found dead a few weeks ago in Paynesville.

“These kinds of mysterious deaths if not properly handled leave a lot of doubts in the minds of ordinary Liberians and make it difficult for them to trust the whole system of justice. We acknowledged autopsy done and we look forward to working with the Ministry of Justice and the family on finding a way forward out of this quagmire which was brought about by the refusal of the family to observe the autopsy which was observed by a representative of the council of churches”.

Call for repentance and reconciliation

“What we need now is genuine repentance and reconciliation as a people. Our historical narratives have alluded that some of the causes for the civil war that killed over 200 thousands persons, assassination of past presidents, murdering of innocent persons in cold blood were based on marginalization, oppression, ethnicity, tribalism, hatred, poor democratic governance”.

Bishop Brown pointed out that the repetition of such behaviors keep hunting Liberia and its citizens as well as the Church.

He said Easter should remind all citizens, including government officials that they are answerable to our people not only when we need them, but even when they need us.

“Easter should remind us that we should show respect to our leaders. Easter should remind us that our actions or decisions on critical national issues like electoral participation should be based on the virtues that Jesus Christ teaches us and not bent on our selfish motives.  Easter should remind us that love and respect for each other should be key in our nation building”.

Plea to NEC/CPP

Meanwhile, President Brown has expressed the LCC’s concern towards the prevailing political trend with political parties on the issue of electoral candidates’ legitimacy and the role the National Elections Commission (NEC) shall play to promote peace and stability.

He observed that the statements from the various actors are not “Easter friendly”.

Bishop Brown called on all parties of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) to eschew divisive politics and remain calm and work towards unity which builds every nation and democracy.

“The Church also calls on the NEC to be very meticulous in the adjudication of disputes and ensure that Liberia as the common denominator be protected and not personal interest”.

He continued: “Peace and Wounds seems to go together, But Easter Peace is what we need. Our resistance to God’s words lacerates our own soul as much as Jesus body. Easter-time peace is what heals all our broken relationship and unite us as a people than anything else. Easter is the time we reflect on the Judas that is in our various administration, institutions and communities, but Easter also teaches us that there is a resurrection morning that brings a new relationship, spirit of forgiveness, a spirit of oneness as a people with one goal and to stop being sycophantic and praise when is necessary and criticize when it is necessary. Easter is a time of sober reflection, a moment of thanksgiving, a renewal of mindset and extension of goodwill to all mankind. Our broken relationship, our distorted behaviors, our deceptive posture, our undermining attitude, our political rhetoric need Easter more than ever.

Bishop Brown further observed that Liberia has endured many hurtful April experiences and the reflection of these events, April 6, 12, 14 are significant to the Nation history and the mindset to repent, ask for forgiveness and change their social and political mindset and find a solution of healing and reconciliation which has kept us as a State not making progress when other nations are far ahead of us.

He, however, assured that the Liberia Council of Churches is in prayer with the larger Christian community and other faith groups for the good of Liberia and the welfare of its people.