Liberia: Sen. Karnga Lawrence Alarms Over Numerous Brutal Attacks Against Critical And Opposing Voices ￼
MONROVIA – The embattled Political Leader of the Liberty Party (LP), Senator Nyonblee Karnga Lawrence, says the growing wave of brutal attacks against opposing views and actors in Liberia by members and supporters of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) led-government of President George Manneh Weah is a wakeup call for opposition politicians to standup against undemocratic acts in the country.
Senator Lawrence is representing the people of Grand Bassa County in the 54th National Legislature on the ticket of the shattered Collaborating Political Parties (CPP).
She said incidents of physical attacks, intimidations which continue to scare away partisans and supporters of the opposition community, must be halted in a timely manner.
Senator Lawrence made the call when she spoke at the Unity Party (UP) National Convention held in Gbarnga, Bong County recently.
She recalled that in 2018, some members of the opposition community sustained injuries when CDC Youth Chair Jefferson Koijee led those she called “thugs” during the campaign launch of former UP Representative candidate Cornelia Kruah.
She claimed that though she and others were attacked with cutlasses, several persons were hospitalized and the campaign disrupted, nothing was done by the government to bring the alleged perpetrators to book.
Senator Lawrence added that in July 2019, the opposition community was again tested when the campaign launch of the daughter of the Political Leader of the All Liberian Party (ALP), turned bloody in Logan Town, outside Monrovia.
The incident was triggered when a supporter of Abu Kamara tore down the poster of Ms. Urey. Rival supporters engaged into the throwing of stones at one another, injuring several persons and damaging properties of others, including the vehicle of Ms. Urey.
She observed that despite these brutal and violent acts meted against opposition political leaders and their supporters, no action has been taken by the government, and the National Legislature and opposition did not stand up or do well to prevent a reoccurrence.
Senator Lawrence observed that barely a day after the incident, the government, through the Ministry of Justice, Liberia National Police (LNP) renege to respond in a timely manner.
She, however, commended the swift respond of the UP towards the incident through the issuance of a statement condemning the act.
She predicted that it would be very devastating for opposition politicians come 2023 if they continue to sit supinely and allow the current situation to continue or escalate in the post-conflict nation.
“The third test of the opposition was the mysterious deaths of the auditors and no actions was taken by the government. Yesterday was another test when SUP went to protest peacefully in keeping with their constitutional rights but one of their leaders who fled and went into a house was dragged, naked and brutalized by counter-protesters from the CDC. If we want to rescue this country, there are road blocks that are coming around and we must identify and standup against them”.
Christopher Walters Sisulu Sivili is currently nursing injuries at a local clinic in Monrovia after he was rescued from his attackers by unknown persons who risked him away on a commercial motorbike.
“If we do not stand up, we will not have the chance to campaign (in 2023). I am challenging all opposition political parties and politicians, including Senators and Representatives-as we leave from here today, let it not be business as usual. Let’s stand up to what is happening and that’s the only way we will have a new hope to govern our people” Senator Lawrence maintained.
Reject ‘Monkey jam-eat pepper’
She used the occasion to admonish citizens against bowing to the ruling party’s “monkey jam; eat pepper” slogan ahead of the next elections.
Senator Lawrence emphasized that citizens should not accept monies from the ruling party in exchange for their votes even though opposition political parties will not use state funds to purchase campaign materials or spill the cash as compare to the ruling party.
She claimed that the CDC is not delivering to the Liberian people and as such, any financial inducement to sway the minds of the electorates must be resisted.
“They want to deliver what was due you able five years ago to get your votes, but don’t be carried away. Any decision you take should be in the interest of our country”.
Sincerity and honesty
Speaking further, Senator Lawrence underscored the need for honesty and sincerity among opposition leaders in a merger or collation if Liberia and its citizens must be rescued from the CDC led government.
The CPP, which is the foremost opposition that previously comprised of four political parties, have been split over personal ambitions and claims and counter claims over who is best suited to head the ticket of the collaboration next year.
But Senator Lawrence, who has been expelled as Political Leader of the LP for her alleged failure to pay dues along with scores of her supporters, observed that Liberia cannot be rescued from bad governance, hardship and other negative vices, unless opposition politicians sincerely commit themselves to rescuing the nation void of deceits and personal interests.
She stressed that opposition leaders should exhibit positive attitudes towards the bigger picture to liberate the nation and its people because, the pending electoral process is their last and only hope to save the country.
“We are very happy to be here today as an ally of the Unity Party. As opposition political parties, the people depend on all of us. To rescue Liberia, we have to do it with honesty and sincerity. We look forward to work with and support everyone. It is about time that we rescue this country and to do that, we have to elevate our attitudes”.
She further stressed the need for partisans and supporters of the UP to “read between the lines and read their constitution properly” in electing their new officials.
The opposition will have to cope with the creeping nightmare of brutal campaign violence from supporters of the ruling party if they fail to take adequate steps towards preventing what few of them suffered and witnessed in the past.
Political pundits and others believe that the loss of precious lives and properties would occurred during the campaign period of the 2023 general and presidential elections as the drawings remain clear on the wall for actions to be taken to prevent any reoccurrence of what happened in districts 13, 15 and to a leader of SUP at the state-owned University of Liberia.
These violent acts are happening in the midst of the militarizing of political parties in Liberia.