The Vanguard Student Unification Party of the University of Liberia issues a statement against the ban on student politics, saying the order by authorities of University of Liberia is a reincarnation of the Samuel Doe military junta; strongly denouncing ban on student political activities and calls for immediate its revocation. The Student Unification Party seemingly outraged, it says, SUP will not accept any further provocation in such manner, noting, “We will defend these fundamental rights to death;” The ANALYST Reports.
SUP vehemently cautions authorities with outright discontent and disillusionment against the ban placed on student political activities and calls on authorities of University of Liberia to immediately reverse or revoke what it calls “its unlawful decision to suspend political activities at the State-run University of Liberia.”
“The rushed, ill-informed and unwarranted move to suspend student politics on Friday, January 11, 2019 is a vicious crackdown on those cherished ideals of our nation’s nourishing democracy,” the statement signed by S. Ephraim T. Nyumah Secretary of the group and approved by SUP’s Chairman Carlos Tingban Edison “considers such unjustified action, which was mainly influenced and engineered by government and pro-regime stooges, as thoughtless, undemocratic, and a provocation for mass civil disobedience and uproar across Liberia.”
Unreasonable and Inconsiderate
The SUP indicates that Liberia’s striving democracy is under attack and those democratic gains made so far “are fast diminishing under President George M. Weah – a Head of State who has grossly violated almost all of our laws including our Constitution in less than a year.”
In this 21st century when freedom of speech, freedom of association, and political freedom have become indispensable democratic values, it is unreasonable and inconsiderate for any university or regime to callously cease the political rights of over 19,000 conscious students, the student political party asserted.
The Party said the banning of student political activities reechoes Liberia’s gloomy past and that there are enough signs to prove that dictatorship is virulently evolving, noting that the latest resolution does not only disenfranchise emerging leaders of our country from participating in politics, but it grossly violates these sacred Laws and Statutes which guarantees political freedom and free speech.
They named four five of the sacred Laws and Statutes referred to including the 1952 Charter of UL, the 2012 Student Handbook of UL, the 1986 Constitution of Liberia, the 1986 African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Furthermore, this indefensible and anti-democratic tragedy abrogates/invades Article 15 and Article 16 of our 1986 Constitution. This tragic contradiction is emerging after 39 years. The disgusting odor of military junta and authoritarianism is resurfacing in a kangaroo form. SUP has a historical and revolutionary obligation to disfigure and deconstruct any form of dictatorial predisposition and conspiracy.
“We therefore caution UL along with GoL to abandon this premature plot and feeble gimmick which may soon backfire and degenerate into unintended consequences. Since Comrade Martin K. N. Kollie was overwhelmingly elected as Standard Bearer of SUP through a democratic process, there have been increasing contradictions and uproars especially fueled by pro-regime elements and renegade groups,” SUP diagnosed.
Fear of Comrade Kollie’s Ascendancy
The UL student party indicated that the root cause of this “illegal ban” is the fear of comrade Kollie’s ascendancy to the presidency of ULSU, pointing out that the government is unsettled by his resilient courage and prowess. “Upon hearing his ascendancy as Standard Bearer, GoL has been uneasy and belligerent,” the statement noted.
The commotion on the campuses of the University of Liberia last Friday was orchestrated by thugs and renegade groups hired by Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson Koijee, Minister of State for Presidential Affairs Nathaniel McGill, Representative Acarous M. Gray, and Finance Minister Samuel D. Tweah, the brother of Atty. Norris Tweah under whose signature the release to ban student political activities was issued, SUP accused. “After consistently attacking the Media, they have now turned to the student community,” the student party said.
According to SUP’s statement, it is glaring that SIM, STUDA, ‘FENSA’ and CDC LINSU have become hired guns of this pro-poor government. “SUP will not accept any further provocation in such manner. While we remain peaceful and proactive in pursuing this matter which serves as a recipe for democratic disorder and national upheaval, we want to call on all international bodies especially the UN, AU, US Embassy near Monrovia, ECOWAS, and EU to promptly intervene.”
SUP has also called on the Board of Trustees of the UL, the National Legislature, the Liberia Council of Churches, the National Muslim Council, the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Justice to step in before this situation goes out of hand.
“It is our right to participate in politics – it is our right to assemble and associate – it is our right to speak freely – it is our right to critique. And no one can take these rights from us or freeze our political freedom, not even UL or GoL. We will defend these fundamental rights to death,” the students accentuated.
Additionally, the party said SUP and ULSU do not recognize the current leadership of LINSU. The Liberian National Student Union, a once independent student organization that has fallen prey to this regime. CDC government will only represent students who are diehard partisans of CDC, the Student Unification Party said in its statement. “Therefore, we are pleased to announce an Ad hoc Leadership of the newly formed alternative voice of all students across our Republic, the Liberia National Conscious Students Union (LINCSU),” they added.
They named Comrade J. Butu Levi, President; Comrade Clint Paawah Layweh, Vice President for National Affairs; and Comrade Jusu Kamara , Secretary General; saying that this acting leadership will work closely with SUP, solidarity forces and other prominent student organizations.
These officials are to carry out the following mandates, including conduct a free, fair and democratic National Congress in four months; temporarily fill in all other executive member positions required until National Congress; establish High School, University, Vocational Institution, District, Community, and County Leaderships; begin mass mobilization of universities, high schools, vocational institutions, and student organizations; and engage the National Legislature to enact LINCSU into Law.
The statement said SUP will remain engaged with all stakeholders to ensure that the democratic credential of Liberia is not mutilated by pro-fascists and opportunists. “We will stand in defense of the rights of all students and Liberians in general,” the statement said.
“From banning student politics, national politics and political parties will soon be banned. The ban on student political activities is the beginning of a new revolution – a revolution that will subvert any intent to even ban national political parties. We call on all patriots to join us against this nightmare, the statement concluded.