Liberia: COP Shifts Protest Date to 31st July “Out of Respect for US Gov’t”

Council of Patriots’ Chairman, Henry Pedro Costa, said they were shifting the date out of respect for the American Government, whose Ambassador to Liberia had said the protest date wasn’t timely

Monrovia – The Council of Patriots (COP) Friday, July 19, announced that it is shifting its planned July 24th, second round of #SavetheState protest date to July 31 out of respect for the United States Government.

On Friday, July 12, the COP, through its Chairman, Mr. Henry Pedro Costa, while describing Liberia as a ‘nation in peril’ and asking all patriotic Liberians to reflect for a moment on the present condition of their country, had emphatically declared and announced that they had resolved to begin their second round of protest on Wednesday, July 24, which is two days to Liberia’s 172nd Independence Anniversary.

However, addressing a press conference today, Costa, flanked by some hierarchies of his COP, said the COP acknowledged in good faith the US Ambassador Christine Elder’s Press Statement; adding: “Out of respect for the US Government, we have decided and agreed to shift our protest date to July Wednesday, July 31st.”

“So, the COP has decided that out of respect for the treasured traditional and historical ties enjoyed between our two countries. What the US Government and its people have done and continue to do for our country and how the Americans have always championed human rights, democracy, even in our disagreements, the Americans have always been there with us. Whenever a Liberian man stumps his toes and falls, he shouts ‘America’. Whenever there is trouble, he shouts ‘America’. So because of that we have to respect what they have said. Because of that, we have decided to move the protest from July 24th to July 31st,” Costa, who was joined at the press conference, Mr. Abraham Darius Dillon, Rep. Yekeh Kolubah and others COP members, announced.

He emphasized that it is going to be a nationwide protest as they had earlier announced on Friday, 12th July.

The COP had decided to postpone their protest following the issuance of a press statement on Thursday, July 18, by the US Ambassador to Liberia, Ms. Christine Elder.

The top US diplomat questioned the planned protest, saying “the intent to do so during the week of July 22 is misplaced.” 

Abraham Darius Dillon wonders why the government hasn’t officially acknowledged receipt of their petition

Amb. Elder, however, acknowledged in her statement that it was the right of Liberians to protest in accordance with the law.

“The U.S. Embassy read with interest the statement of the Council of Patriots (COP) issued July 12 announcing their intent to stage a nationwide protest beginning July 24. While the U.S. Embassy supports the rights of citizens to lawfully apply to assemble or convey their views to elected officials, the intent to do so during the week of July 22 is misplaced. We commend the peaceful conduct of thousands of protestors who by their actions on June 7 conveyed they are interested in progress and national dialogue over aggression or demands.”

When Dillon, who is contesting for the vacant Montserrado County Senatorial Seat in the by-elections, spoke, he stressed on why the government of Liberia hasn’t yet officially acknowledged receipt of their petition since they submitted it on June 9, 2019. As the COP has now shifted the date of its second round of protest, Liberians wait to see what their government will do to amicably avert another protest, which is going to have a toll on the nation’s shrinking economy should be it be held.