Liberians Divided Over Mo Ali -Some Say, “Focus On Governance, Forget About Mo Ali” -Others Say, “He Must Not Threaten The Security Of The State”
Liberians are sharply divided over the running battle between the government who is resolved to bring to book Mr. Mo Ali for his recent Facebook post which was deemed threatening to the security of the state on the one hand, while Mr. Mohammed Ali, Secretary General of the former Unity Party claims he did no wrong to be declared wanted by the government.
The matter came to an exciting point on Monday, when Mo Ali, in company of the former Vice President, Mr. Joe Boakai, Senator Nyonblee Karngar Lawrence – the Chairperson of the Collaborating Political Parties(CPP), the political leaders of the Alternative National Congress(ANC) –Alexander Cummings and the All Liberia Party (ALP) leader Benoni Urey, as well as Mr. Amin Modad and other notable politicians stormed the national headquarters of the Liberian National Police(LNP) to honor the invitation extended Ali for conversation over his Facebook post and the implication it had in the wake of the bomb explosions at the headquarters of the National Election Commission(NEC) and the residence of Associate Justice Joseph Nagbe.
After indoor meeting with the police authority, Mr. Ali was released to his lawyers with the promise that he will be brought to the police headquarters to fully respond to the issues raised with the police.
Hundreds of his supporters had thronged at the police headquarters to express solidarity and support. He was taken high on the shoulders of some supporters and chants of MO ALI IS HERO, WE WANT MO ALI reigning in the air. As the dust is yet to settle down, different shades of opinion continue to trail the episode. While some are hailing him, others on the side are condemning him for making such statement that has the propensity to cause chaos in the country.
Mr. Ben Fyn, a social and political commentator, very visible on the social media took a swipe at Mr. Ali, stating that he was not sincere with himself and the Liberian people. He said Mo Ali and others in the UP did not see anything wrong for people to go to jail for expressing their opinions against the then ruling establishment but now want to claim heroes because the government was taking action to make them liable for making statements that could set the polity aflame.
The view of Mr. Fyn was supported by Mr. Velano Dixon who in fact reposted one of the posts of Mr. Ali, dated March 4, 2016 stating, “Is only in Liberia when people make reckless comments or statements, the CDC and others say they shouldn’t be responsible for said comments or statements”. Both Fyn and Dixon said they are wondering what is different from what he said years back to what is happening now.
Mr. Tobias Sayon, a retired police officer and a strong supporter of CPP said that he saw nothing with what Mr. Ali posted on his page because it was in exercise of his fundamental right as guaranteed by the constitution of Liberia. He defended his point by stating that CDC said and did even the worst things in this country and the heaven did not fall down, adding that why are they now complaining when no one complained against them those days.
“Look, my brother, let us call spade a spade. These guys are not real. What they did to Ellen cannot be compared to what Mo Ali said”, Sayon added.
Perhaps the most visible defense in support came from a top civil servant who didn’t want his name to be put in print for fear of possible reprisals, said that it seems the government has lost focus and don’t know what to clinch on. He said the government should be blamed for all these unnecessary distractions going on in the country and believe they would have been avoided if the government has come clean from all the instigated disputes surrounding the outcome of the just concluded senatorial race that the ruling CDC performed miserably.
“Granted Mo Ali made those statements which the government is terming as inciting and threatening. But have we gotten to know that Mo must have made them because he and his party were being frustrated by these government-sponsored litigations? Tell me, if it were you, will you not talk more recklessly than what they are accusing him for”? The man asked rhetorically.
Mr. Teah Jugbe, who came into the country recently from the United States of America to set up a block making business while speaking at a popular “Hatai” intellectual center downtown Monrovia said the President and his people should face governance squarely other than running behind innocent citizens for no cause. He said it is hurting the country and its recovery efforts because when investors hearing that there are chaos all over the place, they will not want to come to invest.
The assertion made by Mr. Jugbe did not go down well with some others who took exception and called on him to retract his statement.
“I am disappointed with what you just said, especially for someone who claims to have come from America to invest in the economy talking about government is driving away investors.
Don’t know that any serious investors hearing or reading about the threats from major political actors in the country can drive investors away? Please say something better to support the opposition people, said Henry Siaway, a regular visitor and contributor to discussions at the center said.
A lady who is fondly referred to as Chairlady said that people like to take side in every situation in Liberia to the extent that they will see wrong and still defend it. She posed a question that took the argument to another level when she asked, “ My friend, why if the bomb that was thrown at NEC office and that of Justice Nagbe’s house had killed so many people including someone dear to you, will you stand your and make these kinds of supportive statement? There is no way investors will come in here if the government does not take action to arrest some of these situations. We need peace.
While the argument is raging from all sides of the divide, one thing that is sure is we are living in a fragile environment and it is high time that stakeholders put their acts together to bring sanity in the polity.