Lofa County Senator Cautions Liberian Leader to take Heed from Guinea Coup
MONROVIA – Senator Steve Zargo of Lofa County has sent a caveat to President George Mannah Weah, warning the Liberian leader to take cue from happenings in neighboring Guinea.
It can be recalled members of the Guinea military staged an apparent coup Sunday, declaring on national television that they had arrested President Alpha Conde, dissolved the country’s constitution, and sealed off land and air borders.
The junta later announced a nationwide curfew, Agence France Press reported.
And Sen. Zargo, chairman of the Senate Committee on Security and Veterans Affairs, has claimed reasons for the dethrone of the former Guinean president could be attributed to similar situation in Liberia, where he claims corruption and mismanagement are entrenched in President Weah’s government.
“We must take cure and put our House in order. As we speak, I hope the president is having meeting with the national security to take some practical steps to ensure that our borders are protected and not only with the military,” Senator Zargo said.
What’s happening in Guinea should be a major concern to everyone in Liberia because Liberia and Guinea share a porous border, culture similarity, ethnicity and have so much in common, Senator Zargo said.
He added: “We should be following it. Those in the media, government and people in the private sector. It’s very important for all of us and I hope by now the Chief Executive has raised the such issue and has met with the national security for us to have a way forward”.
Senator Zargo, a former senior police officer, said: “If your neighbor’s house is on fire, it’s important to find some buckets, get sand and be prepared to quench the fire and prevent it”.
The Liberty Party senator, who is also a member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, said ECOWAS through its heads of State and Nigeria have condemned the situation in Guinea and called on the junta leadership to return to calm.
With vast experience, Zargo further stated that “The military are not to play into politics and should return to the barracks under the commend of Mamady Doumouyoudo and I support that because I am a member of the parliament”.
Senator Zargo said the decision by Alpha Conde to amend the constitution triggered the current situation in Guinea thought ECOWAS tried to make some interventions.
“Why will Conde wants to go for third term at the age of 83. He should be resting. If you were elected in that age and new, it’s understandable but being elected as the first democratically political leader,” Senator Zargo said.
Senator Zargo believes that a country with a two-term constitutional mandate should serve the term and step aside, something he said the African Union and ECOWAS have spoken about repeatedly.
Senator Zargo’s latest statement comes weeks after he cautioned the Government of Liberia (GOL) to be mindful of what he calls “military sympathy” from neighboring military friends and loyalists of his kinsman Senator-elect Brownie Samukai from the sub-region following the delay and protests over his certification by the National Elections Commission (NEC).
Senator Zargo, appearing on OK FM radio station in Monrovia reminded the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) led-government of President Weah that Mr. Samukai served the Unity Party led-government of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as minister of defense for 12 years.
He emphasized that with the prolonged stay of Mr. Samukai as a defense minister, he should not be seen or considered as an “ordinary man”.
He noted that Mr. Samukai remains one of the best “military species” across the West African sub-region and as such, “issues involving him should be handled in a way that justice will be served in an expeditious form”.
Senator Zargo maintained that the issues surrounding the initiation of protests in the county over the delay in the certification of his kinsman Senator-elect Brownie Samukai must also be handled with utmost care and professionalism.