By: Anthony Q. Jiffan, Jr.
Executive Mansion Correspondent
The Government of Liberia says it will not succumb to pressure from the Council of Patriots (COP) and any other group of Liberians whose criticisms intend to cause embarrassment for the state, instead of being constructive in their approaches to issues trending in the country.
Speaking during a regular presidential press briefing, Deputy Press Secretary Smith Toby noted that Liberians are aware that they celebrated the country’s independence even during the war time when belligerent forces are made to cease fire to allow for the National Day Celebration.
The deputy presidential spokesman was emphatic in stating that no one will stop the Independence Day celebration, noting that no one has ever told the Liberian people one day that they will not celebrate their independence.
“The government will not succumb to the pressure of any group, not to mention pressure from the Council of Patriots; the president will not be carried away by people threatening that the July 26 Celebration will be bitter and will not go on; instead, the president is focus on promoting peace in Liberia” Mr. Toby asserted.
“The government is assuring its people that the July 26 festivities go on in the regular fashion not different from any other July 26 celebration of the past. He further assured that this year’s program will attract Liberians and foreign partners and friends alike to celebrate the country’s 172nd Independence Anniversary”, he said.
According to Toby, six African heads of state are upbeat in celebrating with Liberia and has consented to their presence in Liberia, This is an increase of the five heads of state that were earlier announced consenting to grace the Liberian Independent Day celebration.
“So we all wait to see, but government can assure its people that the July 26, will be like July 26, and the occasion will gather Liberians and their foreign partners to celebrate the country’s 172nd independence”.
According to the deputy press secretary, the government has decided not to talk about the issue of the Council of Patriot; and the reason is, talking about the COP will make protest planners and their followers feel that they are given attention or credence.
However, the deputy presidential press secretary indicated that irrespective of the second pronouncement by COP threatening to stage another protest beginning July 24 as long as the president didn’t adhere to their demand, Liberians are working towards the Independence Day and will celebrate a peaceful July 26, contrary to their recent threats against July 26 Celebration.
Toby however promised that the government will provide security as usual and will ensure the safety of everyone, so when there are some Liberians who are having issues and want to protest, the Ministries of Justice and Information will address those issues.
He also indicated that “for us around the presidency, and Liberians in general, should be thinking about how we can develop the country, talking about helping our neighbors as well as friends in our communities that will help our country to forge ahead”.
The Deputy Presidential spokesman then noted, “You think the people around us in the region and some of those people in other countries don’t have any problem, they do have problems, but they are peacefully working on their problems in a constructive manner.”