Rep. Acarous Gray: Go and Sin No More As the CDC Stalwart Takes on Opposition; But ANC Boss Sees Arrest ‘An Attempt’ Against Free Speech

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By: Anthony Q. Jiffan, Jr.

MOROVIA – In the wake of the arrest and detention of the acting Chairman of the Council of Patriot (COP’s) Manipakei Dumoe, with somewhat jubilations among members of the ruling establishment who are calling for application of the full weight of the law, Montserrado County District #8 Representative Moses Acarous Gray has instead on Thursday morning (Unification Day) called for release of the opposition activist, says “Go and sin no more.”

Telling Dumoe that his detention “…is the beginning of his journey,” Representative Gray said Dumoe should be released in the spirit of the Unification Day on May 14.

“Because today is Unification Day, to err is human, and to forgive is divine, let him go and sin no more; I know that the little boy is crying, he does not use to the prison compound, I would ask, I would beg that this should be a warning for each and every one. I am not saying, temper with the law, but I think Dumoe should be forgiven on this faithful day” Rep. Gray pleaded.

Rep Gray made the statement when he Addressed a press conference Thursday, May 14, 2020, at his resident on 9th street, Sinkor.

He quoted The Analyst May 13, 2020 publication in which the Alternative National Congress (ANC) political leader, Alexander Cumming said the statement by COP’s acting Chairman Manipakei Dumoe was ill advised. Cummings was also quoted as saying that Dumoe’s statement has however no illegal bearings to warrant his arrest and detention.

The CDC lawmaker termed as a contradiction, the statement by ANC political leader that the assertion by Dumoe, which tend to undermine the stability of the country’s peace and reflect the country bloody past is not illegal.

He described the statement by Mr. Cummings as a “sugar-coating” one that is just intended to defend an assertion by Mr. Dumoe which is totally out of order and has the propensity to revert the Liberia to its ugly past.

Representative Gray noted that such defense is deceptive on the part of someone who wants to be leader of the country.

Representative Gray also referred to a Liberty Party statement, again, referencing The Analyst May 13, 2020 publication, in which the party was quoted as saying that “No government will heed to the call by the COP’s acting chairman.

“Why will any government fail to heed the call by Mr. Dumoe which exposed the general interest of the citizens of the country to would be threats that had intention to undermine the peace –  then why wouldn’t any responsible government heed to that,” Hon. Gray asked.

The Montserrado County representative and stalwart of the ruling coalition said the statement by the Liberty Party that no government will give heed to the call by the COP’s acting chairman, Manipakei Dumoe alluded to the fact that such statement was inappropriate and not in the interest of the Liberian society.

Although, the District #8 lawmaker said his plead with law enforcers to allow Dumoe to be freed should not encourage any Liberian citizen to violate the law. “But I think that the Council of Patriot acting Chairman, Manipakei Dumoe should be forgiven and should be urged never to thread such path anymore.”

Rep. Gray stressed the importance for the acting COP chairman, who he said is a little boy, to be careful and cognizant of the law to take heed from being ill advised. Gray warned that the plight of Dumoe is the beginning of his battle in addressing critical national issues henceforth.

The lawmaker used the moment to describe the entire opposition political parties including the Liberty Party, Alternative National Congress and Unity Party as deceptive group of unserious people, given their position on what he believes is against national interest.

The District #8 representative said the opposition political parties, who continue to criticize national government under the watch of President George Manneh Weah, are not in the interest of the Liberian people, but seek to protect themselves and their families as well as their political surrogates.

By Thursday afternoon, the day on which Representative Gray had his press conference, Mr. Dumoe was released from further detention.

Prior to Mr. Dumoe’s release on Thursday afternoon, the political leader of the Alternative National Congress, Alexander Cummings visited Dumoe at the Headquarters of the LNP where he was being detained.

Cummings had an interview with the press at the front of the LNP in which he sees the arrest and detention of the acting Chairman of the COP as an attempt by the government to muzzle free speech guaranteed by the Constitution of Liberia and other statutory laws.

The ANC leader told journalists that the arrest of Dumoe is illegal because he did not violate any law of the country.

“He has done nothing illegal; he did a post that was perhaps based on an advice which did not violate the law. I don’t understand what he did that is in violation of the Liberian law,” Mr. Cummings said.

He said it is the Government that is instead in violation of its own law and pointed out that the government has proclaimed that it allows free speech – and gives the platform for everyone to speak freely.

The ANC boss indicated that he sees no wrong in the post of Dumoe that caused his detention, adding that the ANC will support and encourage the government to obey the rule of law and will encourage also the government to do the right thing.

Cummings asserted that the act of writing the statement by Mr. Dumoe is not illegal and he shouldn’t warrant detention. He reiterated that arresting and detaining Dumoe is rather a plan by the government to suppress the opinions and the voices of the opposition.

Other opposition figures issued statements of condemnation against the arrest and detention of the COP’s acting chair, including the Chairman of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), Mr. Benoni Urey who leads the All Liberia Party (ALP).

Also speaking against the arrest and detention of Dumoe is the Secretary General of the Liberty Party, Jacob Smith who also accused the government of attempting to muzzle the opposition.

Mr. Dumoe is an executive member of the Liberty Party and acting Chairman of the Council of Patriots (COP) headed by Henry P. Coasta. He was arrested on Tuesday, May 12, 2020, by the Government of Liberia because of his social media post in which he said Liberian people do not need rice to pacify them but the need AK-47 to make the government take them serious.

Dumoe said his statement did not refer to AK-47s machine guns, but that it is a figurative language he used to express the suffering of the Liberian people during this regime.

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