Liberia: Weah ‘Instigates Downfall for Attacking Students’
Monrovia – The standard bearer of the University of Liberia’s campus-based Student Unification Party (SUP), Mr. Martin K. N. Kollie, has in stern wordings said President George Manneh Weah has instigated his regime’s downfall when the Liberia National Police (LNP) Wednesday, June 5, “attacked” students of the University of Liberia.
In trying to disperse supporters of Representative Yekeh Kolubah and others, who had gathered around the LNP headquarters where he (Yekeh) was taken after he was picked up from his Old Road residence, riot police officers of the LNP were seen running after Yekeh’s supporters, some of whom entered the Capitol Hill campus of the University of Liberia (UL) to escape arrest.
It is not clear if they were the ones throwing stones at the police as the officers ran towards them and shot teargas.
In the melee on the campus and other places, some people were picked up and one of those arrested was the Chairman of SUP.
Speaking on SUP Chairman Carlos Edison’s arrest, SUP’s standard bearer Kollie said just by this unprovoked attitude and arbitrary arrest of their chairman, President Weah has instigated his own downfall.
“He has just instigated his downfall by attacking students of UL. His government will bear the consequences for such unprovoked attack on the student community,” the tough-talking student activist stated.
In a live Facebook video from his fox hole, he threatened an hour ultimatum to President Weah and his government to release his party’s chairman or face the wrath of the UL students and the larger Liberian student community.
It seems his ultimatum worked. Within less than an hour of his ultimatum, Martin told FrontPageAfrica: “The Chairman has been released but they have taken his phone from him.”
According to him, Edison was picked up along with two of his student partisans (‘militants’), who Martin maintained were still in the police custody in an undisclosed location.
Before he had told this newspaper about his chairman’s release, in his live video, he stated that Edison and his two colleagues were arrested by state security down Jallah Town, which is right beneath the hill the campus sits on top of.
As he narrated how he narrowly “escaped the ruthless attack and arrest,” Martin bellowed: “The LNP is a partisan police force. They fired teargas at unarmed and peaceful students.”
Martin warned the President that his Coalition for Democratic Change-led government is “playing with fire.”
He categorically stated, “Let me send this message to Mr. Weah and his cohorts of economic thieves. If they think they can intimidate us, if they think they can harass us from expressing our views and exercising our fundamental rights, they have to think again.”
He termed President Weah’s government as “dictatorial.”
“We are warning this government; President Weah is playing with fire. Why are you arresting activists and critical voices in the country? They have started picking up critical voices and activists,” Martin stated.
SUP and the Weah-led government have not been on good terms. The SUP leadership in March this year, launched “The Weah Step-Down Campaign” providing 60 genuine reasons for reaching this nationalistic decision.
On May 24, ahead of the much-talked-about June 7, planned protest, Martin’s SUP invited Mr. Henry Pedro Costa to speak with hundreds of collegians of the University of Liberia. Costa is unarguably President Weah’s fiercest critic.
When Costa, who is also unarguably the biggest talk-show host in Liberia, spoke to the students, he told them that the ‘Council of Patriots (COP)’s planned #SavetheState protest, is aimed at directly getting President George Manneh Weah’s attention to satisfactorily meet up with certain demands they have.
His message was overwhelmingly endorsed by most of those listening to him and some pledged to join him in his quest on June 7. In an exclusive interview on the same day, Martin told FrontPageAfrica that SUP has endorsed the June 7 protest and will, singlehandedly, bring onto the streets not less 50,000 protesters from the student community.