“Opposition Youth Are Not Threat to Liberia’s Peace…” – CPP Solidarity Brigade Responds to Army Chief of Staff

CPP Solidarity Brigade Chairman Byron Brown, Jr.

MONROVIA – The Collaborating Political Parties Solidarity Brigade (CPPSB), through its Chairman, Byron Brown, Jr, has termed as “completely out of order and misrepresentation” recent comments made by the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), Major General, Prince C. Johnson against the militarizing of youths in both the ruling and some opposition political parties in Liberia.

The group is the largest auxiliary within the opposition CPP alliance, which  comprises of four political parties, including the opposition Liberty Party, former ruling Unity Party (UP), Alternative National Congress (ANC), and the All Liberian Party (ALP).

It can be recalled that General Johnson recently told citizens at an intellectual center that the high level of coordination and cooperation among security actors in the Mano River Union (MRU) region makes it difficult for any group to rage war or any external form of insurrection in Liberia, but the militarizing of young people by both the ruling and opposition political parties remain a threat to the country’s peace and stability.

According to him, these young people do not understand the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), and as such, they should not allow themselves to be radicalized by politicians, because these political parties do not have any structure to discipline or penalize anyone who goes against their policies.

“What we should worry about is the issue of these young people that some politicians try to militarize. We saw that during the elections. You saw the way both opposition and the ruling party people were dressing. You are not military man and you are wearing boots and put beret on your head. You have to change the style of using brigade”.

He continued: “We got to be careful with the names we are giving these young people because; those names are always associated with radical moves. We say militant brigade or military wing? What do you call militant brigade? Are you an army man or soldier”?

General Johnson maintained these young people do not understand the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), and as such, they should not allow themselves to be radicalized by politicians, because these political parties do not have any structure to discipline or penalize anyone who goes against their policies.

He, however, observed that some politicians most often spend lot of finances on these militarized young people in a bid to control the expectations of the election results.

“We are sounding this as a caveat; that look, you can find other names. But please avoid the issue of militarizing young people. We have an institution that supposed to do that. And this is a serious issue that we need to discuss”.

But speaking in a telephone interview with Frontpage Africa on Tuesday, January 5, Brown claimed that multiple actions that are being taken by President George Manneh Weah pose more threats to Liberia and its citizens, than the wearing of regalia by youths in various political parties in the country.

He made specific reference to the alleged purchasing of a private jet and the construction of over 45 duplexes, as well as the downplaying of the country’s educational and health systems by the Liberian Chief Executive.

He added that the alleged wearing of ruling party’s berets by some appointed public officials and security actors during the just ended campaign launch of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) candidate in the Montserrado County Senatorial election, did not only violate the National Code of Conduct but it also cast a dark cloud over the tranquility of the nation.

He noted that these situations continue to endanger the sustenance of peace and stability in the Liberian society, and as such, it is sad for the AFL Chief of Staff to misrepresent the facts to the outside world.

“The statement made by Prince C. Johnson is totally out of order on grounds that the wearing of regalia by youths of the CPP does not have the propensity to subvert the peace of the country. His argument is that it poses threat to the stability of our country. The only person that I think pose a threat to this country by his actions is President George Weah”.

“When the President is flying private jet while the Liberian people cannot feel themselves and our health and educational systems are bad and the President is not paying attention to all of those lapses in the systems-those are things that pose real threat to the peace and stability of the country”.

He justified that despite the dress code of these young people in opposition political parties, they do not intend to engage into acts that have the proclivity of undermining the current level of peace Liberians and foreign residents are enjoying.

Brown indicated that the assertions made by the Chief of Staff of the AFL would not be given credence by the CPPSB because; it is not in the interest of upholding the security of the country.

He maintained that officials and members of the CPPSB will not allow themselves to be used by any politician to subvert Liberia’s peace and stability.

“Wearing regalia does not pose a threat to the survivability of the country and so, the statement General Prince Johnson made is a thrash. We are not going to give that any attention. He needs to pay more attention to his job and refrain from engaging into political activities. No politician will tell or use us to subvert the peace of our country”.

Brown stated that authorities of state security entities should desist from making threatening statements to instill fear in critics of the Weah led-government.

According to him, the latest threats coming from some higher-ups in the security sector is a scare tactics being implored to get even with opposition politicians and critical voices in the Liberian society.

He justified that the name given to a specific group in a political party does not in any way imply that these young people have been radicalized by politicians to create havoc or insurrection in Liberia.

Brown pointed out that the CPP Solidarity Brigade has the sole responsibilities to protect its political leaders from aggression, control crowd during political rallies, and advocate on behalf of the masses in Liberia.

“The word brigade has many definitions; brigade is a group of people coming together with the same ideology. A brigade has no history of causing insurrection in our country”. 

Pay attention to your job

Brown further called on General Johnson to pay keen focus on his job and play low on making statements which intend to entrap the AFL into political activities.

“General Johnson needs to depoliticize the AFL which was trained by the American government; they should stop threatening the Liberian people”.