Liberia: Alex Cummings Wants Protesters to Remain Peaceful; Calls On Gov’t to Keep Its Promise to Protect Protesters
Monrovia – The Political Leader of the Alternative National Congress, Mr. Alexander B. Cummings is calling on the government of President George Manneh Weah, to keep its promise made to the Council of Patriots that he will ensure that peaceful protesters are provided adequate security at all times during their June 7 protest.
Mr. Cummings at the same time admonished his fellow partisans as well as all Liberians participating in the June 7 protest to remain peaceful and act in accordance with the Constitution. “Avoid any provocation and refrain from retaliation,” he further urged them.
Speaking at his party headquarters in Sinkor, Thursday, June 6, 2019, Mr. Cummings said that the right to petition government/protest is a constitutional right of all citizens; however and being cognizant of the law, also told those entering the protest, that said right must be exercised peacefully and within the confines of the constitution.
Mr. Cummings stated that Liberians are well aware of the cost of peace and stability and therefore nobody should compromise the nation’s peace.
Calling on his partisans and all protesters to resist any temptation to violence, he reminded them that protesters cannot break the laws while petitioning government to uphold their end of the social contract.
He acknowledged the current hardship being faced by the people and the compelling reasons they have to protest.
“As we speak today, the exchange rate is 197 LD to 1USD, up from 127 in Jan 2018 when this government took over the leadership of our country,” he stated.
He also spoke of how the prices of food and basic services have seen a drastic increase, significantly affecting the livelihood of the ordinary Liberians.
“The poor continue to get poorer under the Pro-Poor Agenda of this government. The level of incompetence and broad daylight thievery accompanied by a deliberate impunity is nothing like we have seen before in this country. In less than two years, this President and his officials, while refusing to publish or declare their assets, have allegedly continue to amass unexplained wealth, build mansions, acquire valuable real properties, fly first class and private jets, all at the detriment of the suffering masses. Salaries people work for are no longer regularly paid and the value of the minimal salary has greatly decreased.”
The ANC Political Leader reminded President Weah and his security apparatus that it is not a personal decision to choose whether to provide adequate security for the peaceful protesters but that it is the duty of government to protect their citizens when they assemble peaceably to petition their government. He urged Pres. Weah to keep his promise to protect the lives of the people.
Mr. Cummings reassured the protestors that he stands by them and will ensure that an alternative is presented for next elections. He reaffirmed his party’s commitment to the opposition collaboration and urged protestors to also channel their anger and disappointment through the ballot box during elections.
“But today, we stand with you and by you, as you prepare to petition your government to do what needs to be done to curtail your suffering and improve your lives,” Cummings concluded.
Also speaking, the Secretary General of ANC, Mr. Aloysius Toe, called on the Liberia National Police (LNP) to also investigate reports of brutality on one Boye Cooper on orders from Representative Acarous Gray.
Gray is a staunch and executive member of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC).
Mr. Toe stated that it was similar rumors that made the police to send 150 heavily armed police officers to the home of Representative Yekeh Kolubah on Wednesday, June 5, morning to effect an arrest on grounds that he (Yekeh) had ordered his ‘boys’ to flog someone.
Yekeh’s brief arrest sparked tension in Monrovia. It led to a running battle between the police and the lawmaker’s supporters, who demanded his release.
He was subsequently released but the government obtained a search warrant and personnel of the court were sent to go to the Rep’s home to search for arms and ammunition. Nothing of such was found after their “thorough search.” Rep. Kolubah is a member of the ANC; he is also a “thorn in the side of this government.”