In the wake of the Liberian government commissioning an investigation into the July 30, 2020 mob attack on opposition leader Alexander B. Cummings and his delegation which included Montserrado County District # 10 Representative Yekeh Kolubah in Grand Gedeh County, the Grand Gedeh Bar Association has commended government for commissioning the probe, urging the authorities to expedite the investigation.
According to a press release dated August 5, 2020 from the Grand Gedeh Bar Association, the Zwedru attack is a violation of the fundamental right of every Liberian “to move freely throughout Liberia, to reside in any part thereof and to leave therefrom…” as guaranteed in Article 13 of the Constitution of Liberia.
“The attack also has a far deeper implication of community censorship of opposition dissent and criticism of President George Weah and his administration in Grand Gedeh County,” the Gedeh Bar lamented.
“For the playing field to be level, national and local opposition parties and candidates need to feel free and confident that they have the right to campaign against the ruling party and its candidates and criticize president Weah himself and his administration`s policies, howbeit critical without being driven out of any part of Liberia,” said Bar President Alphonsus Zeon in a letter to Justice Minister, Cllr Frank Musa Dean.
Mr. Zeon said Liberia has had its governance problems, but the country continues to improve its respect for political and civil rights, and the Gedeh Bar believes that any group of people trying to undermine that record should be called out and penalized.
“Without a credible and transparent probe and prosecution of the ringleaders, some other opposition leaders may rightly hold security concerns going to Grand Gedeh to campaign for their parties and candidates in the county during both the Mid-term Senatorial elections and the 2023 presidential and legislative elections,” the Southeastern Bar stated, noting that any attempt to leave the probe in suspense will embolden alleged perpetrators of violence that they can use presidential loyalty as a shield to commit crimes without being called to answer.
“We call on supporters of President George Weah to emulate the exceptional leadership example of the President who, in spite of Representative Kolubah` s offensive outbursts and regular invectives on him has had time to meet with Representative Kolubah to discuss how they can work together in the interest of Liberia,” the group intoned, while commending all Liberians , including President George Manneh Weah, the Grand Gedeh Legislative Caucus, the Inter-Religious Council of Liberia, the Catholic Diocese of Cape Palmas as well as Liberia`s international partners for condemning the violence in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County.