The Pastor of the New Water in the Desert Assembly Apostolic Pentecostal Church International, Rev. Dr. Kortu Brown, has been speaking on trending national issues. He said the church can neither shy away from the challenges being face in the country nor can the church push them under the national table and just ignore them, if they should not “…come back to look for us.” The Liberian prelate pointed to issues covering the country’s political, economic and social landscapes, including the voters’ roll cleaning, national referendum, Bomi County violence, the missing children saga, concerns regarding the regular reporting of mysterious deaths around the country.
He said these issues are graved and should not be pushed under the table, and therefore passed on them starting with the contentious “voters’ roll cleaning.” The LCC President underscored that a creditable voters’ roll is critical to free, fair and inclusive elections anywhere else in the world, saying that the trucking of voters associated with the last registration in September 2020 was deeply troubling. “That fraud process should not be rewarded. We welcome the efforts and pray that exercise is satisfied in time for the December 8 Senatorial election” Dr. Brown noted.
The Rev. Brown therefore thanked the stakeholders for the efforts at cleaning the voters’ roll. “We sincerely congratulate the National Elections Commission, Government of Liberia, ECOWAS, United Nations, United States Government, European Union and other development partners for efforts at foot to clean the Voters’ Registration Roll (VRR) that has been a strong bone of contention between the Political parties and NEC,
Rev. Dr. Brown said.
Commenting on the issue of the National Referendum, the LCC boss reiterated the position statement of the Liberian Council of Churches which calling on the Government and the National Elections Commission to reschedule the exercise to a later date – maybe during and/or before the Presidential and Legislature in October 2023.
“The LCC’s assessment from the field – across the 15 counties – suggests that the nation is not prepared and adequately informed about the referendum. Propositions that include amending the tenure of the President, Vice President and Members of the Legislature of the Republic of Liberia should claim the attention and involvement of all Liberians,” Bishop Brown said.
As it stands, he indicated that if the referendum is held in about one month from now it could largely end up been a Monrovia based affairs.
“I asked a local journalist in Voinjama this week if there were any promotion of the referendum on their community radio. He said NO. Voinjama is about 150 miles away from Monrovia, the Capital of Liberia. Some of the challenges leading to this include the outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic, transition in NEC and limited funding of electoral activities, amongst others. We must face the reality and act in the interest of peace and security,” Rev. Brown explained.
The Bishop of the New Water in the Desert, also addressed the Bomi County violence, pointing out that Bomi is a County that can boast of prominent Liberian leaders, but yet remains challenged politically, economically and socially.
The Liberian cleric named three existing former Speakers of the House of Representatives of Liberia to include Morris D. Dukuly, Edwin Snowe and Alex J. Tyler, in addition to Richard Henries who farmed for many years in the county and Samuel D. Hill who also originated from the county. Besides he named former heads of states David D. Kpomakpor, Charles G. Taylor [through his mother] and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf also associate ancestry with the county.
Hear Bishop Brown in a statement issued yesterday: Disunity enthused by personal envy, jealousy and hatred for progressive members and/or actions of that county, has been a key contributor to the poor developmental results we have seen over the years.
With two former Speakers in the race for Senator for Bomi County this midterm December contest, hell breaks loose all of the sudden where campaign for the public office is turning violent.
“This has to stop! People running for political office must know that they will be held to account for any political or electoral violence perpetrated in their name. We appeal to the Candidates to conduct themselves in manners expressive of their statues in society. Let them stop personalizing the politics,” he passionately pleaded.
He said only one person will win, no matter what, pointing out that LCC has initially assessed the aftermath of recent violence and is reaching out to push the parties – and all candidates – to the Conciliation table.
Concerning the missing children saga, Bishop Brown said over the past three weeks, “we have made frantic efforts to reach out to all the parties to the missing children saga behind Bong Mines/Haindi – St. Paul River crossing point, to see how we can find a way forward.”
The Pentecostal prelate further: We have spoken to the three families, Moses Ahoussobe, reported survivors from the canoe, Owner of the canoe, Ministry of Justice, Liberia National Police, amongst others. We have made it clear to all the parties that we want to sit with them across the table so we can engage and find a way forward in addressing the whereabouts of the children.
He however expressed surprise to hear that the families were forcibly dispersed from the St. Moses Funeral home earlier this week by the Police because they had gone there to raise awareness about their children who they considered as being “missing”.
“It is the families right to raise awareness on their children’s whereabouts. It is up to Mr. Moses Ahoussobe to explain himself and show that his story is true. No one should be brutalized when they try to exercise their constitutional rights especially when they do not perpetrate violence or any unlawful act in that process,” Bishop Brown asserted
He also passed on the regular reporting of mysterious deaths around the country which he referred to as another big concern in the country.
“It is alarming! Government needs to do all it can to ensure that the fear that is gripping the country over heighten reports of mysterious deaths is addressed. Life is sacred. Human life is precious. Innocent killings can bring a curse on any nation. That’s why we must address the wave of mysterious deaths occurring in the country to help ensure that people are NOT being killed innocently,” the statement concluded.