Monrovia – The President of the Liberia Council of Churches (LCC), Dr. Samuel B Reeves, has warned political actors, notably Unity Party Standard Bearer Joseph and Nimba County Senator Prince Y. Johnson, to refrain from making uncontrollable statements that could plunge the country back into its dark past.
By Jaheim T. Tumu – [email protected]
Dr. Reeves emphasized that the LCC believes Senator Johnson’s past record cannot be taken for granted and, therefore, warned that such statements undermine and threaten the peace of Liberia.
He further stated that these utterances are counterproductive to the country’s peace and called on those beating the drums of war to cease their actions and address their grievances in court if they feel offended.
Dr. Reeves stated, “In our view, Senator Johnson’s statement is a threat to the state, and as such, he must summon the emotional fortitude to denounce it. Let Senator Johnson and his ilk be reminded that the days when Liberians were mistreated in the name of revolution, damaging the country, are long gone.”
On September 18, Senator Johnson of vote-rich Nimba County, an ally of former Vice President Boakai, threatened a people’s revolt, comparing it to the Arab Spring, should the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) attempt to manipulate the election results.
However, he did not provide reasons for his suspicion of vote-rigging but alluded to members of the CDC making statements like, “They’ll take it.”
Senator Johnson stated, “Before the October elections, Liberians are coming out under the banner ‘Don’t Try It’ – any attempt, the people’s power would be exercised like the Arab Spring. You’ll shoot your gun; you’ll kill us or you’ll die. No more fear, Liberians don’t have fear anymore.”
Over the weekend, at a Unity Party campaign rally in Buchanan, former Vice President Boakai warned that it would be the end of Liberia if the ruling CDC stole the election.
“…that’s why you need to protect it. If they think they’ll steal this election, you will not allow it because if they do, that’s the end of this country,” said the 78-year-old former Vice President on his campaign trail.
Dr. Reeves emphasized the documented statements originating from political actors that have the potential to instill fear among Liberians as they prepare for the October 10 elections.
He categorized these statements as reckless and heartless, undermining the stability of the state.
Dr. Reeves stated, “Senator Johnson, as a man of God, in our view, should be using his pulpit to preach peace to Liberians instead of sowing seeds of war.”
“As a former warlord, the council, in its candid opinion, will not condone any reckless and heartless statement that threatens our peace, especially from now-repentant Prince Johnson. Liberia is a land of law, and if a Senator feels cheated, the next course of action is the court, where grievances are addressed.”
He emphasized, “What also surprises us is that a respected statesman, Ambassador Joseph Nyumah Boakai, would repeat such a call. Ambassador Boakai, a former Vice President and an eminent statesman on a campaign trail in LAC, Grand Bassa County, is quoted as saying, ‘If they cheat in these elections, there will be an end to this country.'”
“This statement from the former Vice President is counterproductive and must be condemned by both his supporters and all Liberians. These unwarranted pronouncements undermine the stability of our peace and should not come from people of such esteemed status.”
Dr. Reeves also described the reckless statement attributed to Representative Yekeh Kolubah, who threatened to return to the bush if he is cheated.
According to him, the Montserrado District #10 Lawmaker should refrain from making these kinds of threats and seek legal redress.
“We again call on the Montserrado County lawmaker to desist from threatening the peace and seek the court in search of justice. Let us not threaten the peace and stability of the land.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Reeves called on the CDC-led government and the opposition Unity Party to abstain from making utterances about a one-round victory.
He stated that the constant and repeated assurances to partisans and supporters by these two parties have the potential to raise their expectations that they would win the elections on the first ballot.
“Currently, the National Commission has qualified twenty Presidential Candidates to contest these elections, and the possibility of a first-round victory by any political party must be taken with care and caution,” he said.
He added, “We call on these two Parties, the CDC and the UP, to leave the results and pronouncements to the NEC, which has the constitutional power to announce and declare elections based on proven, evidenced, and statistically-based reports. Our calls to the CDC and the UP are primarily intended to stop giving assurances to their supporters that they can win the elections on the first ballot.”