The Association of Liberian Journalists in the Americas has described the recent attack on Montserrado County Representative-hopeful, Telia Urey, and her supporters in District Number-15 by alleged thugs and partisans of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) as one of the saddest and darkest moments in the history of Liberia’s fledgling democracy.
ALJA says it condemns in the strongest terms the CDC, its executives and supporters of the Party’s candidate in the District Number-15 disputed legislative race, Abu Kamara, for the mayhem committed against Ms. Urey and her supporters.
According to an ALJA press release issued on August 20, 2019, thugs and some CDC supporters reportedly attacked representative-hopeful Urey and members of her campaign team in District Number-15, mainly Logan Town while attending a political meeting with Mr. Kelvin Bayoh, a defeated candidate in the District Number-15 controversial House of Representatives by-election. Mr. Bayoh now supports Ms. Urey in the re-run legislative by-election; and the meeting was convened at the headquarters of the late District Number-15 Representative, Adolph Lawrence.
During the melee, reported hoodlums and some of Mr. Kamara’s supporters threw stones at the headquarters while the meeting was in progress, vandalized Ms. Urey’s bullet proof Toyota Land Cruiser SUV, and wounded several individuals in the reported presence of some officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP).
ALJA labeled the incident as an unfortunate development, which has the proclivity of derailing Liberia’s prevailing peace and stability. The Association also, expressed its regrets and sympathy to Ms. Urey, her family and supporters for the loss sustained and the agony suffered.
The Association says what transpired last Saturday in District Number-15 coupled with previous political crises that were orchestrated and executed by CDC partisans and their supporters against the Deputy Inspector General of the Liberia National Police, Marvin Sackor, and partisans and supporters of opposition political parties in Liberia, manifest a complete break-down in law and order in the country.
ALJA notes the escalated gangsterism in contemporary Liberia also; demonstrate President George Manneh Weah and the CDC government’s inability to ensure political co-existence in the country. Deputy Inspector Sackor was physically assaulted at the Liberty Party (LP) by CDC supporters on July 31, 2019, during a victory celebration held in honor of Mr. Abraham Darius Dillon when he was announced winner of the Montserrado County Senatorial by-election.
ALJA says it is disappointing and mind boggling to see Mr. Weah, UNICEF’s 1997 declared Good Will Ambassador, sit back idly and watch his country teeters on the brink of another full-scale civil upheaval while in charge as the nation’s foremost powerful person.
The US based Liberian journalists said President Weah and the CDC administration have the legal and moral obligations to ensure that law and order prevail in Liberia by prosecuting individuals and groups that engage in acts that endanger the peace and stability of the country and its people.
ALJA asserts “Mr. Weah, this is not what Liberians voted for in 2017 when they awarded you the nation’s highest office as President. Your persistent failure to condemn and prosecute your supporters and partisans for wrong doings are not helpful to making our country a better place for all Liberians regardless of political, tribal and social affiliations. You must lead, but unfortunately you are not leading”.
ALJA said President Weah’s inability to robustly curtail the prevailing political crisis in Liberia has emboldened some CDC executives and partisans, and officials of the Liberian government to repeatedly propagate hate messages, engage in acts that polarize Liberians and residents of the country; and roam the streets of the country like wild animals.
The Association said President Weah and the CDC’s adopted culture of impunity policy, which punishes no one of the ruling establishment for malfeasance, human rights violations and other forms of bad governance is one of several factors that contributed immensely to the 1989 civil war and subsequent military conflicts that decimated thousands of human lives and millions of US dollars ‘worth of properties in Liberia for 14 years.
Meanwhile, ALJA is calling on the Liberian government and the international community to institute an independent probe of the August 17, 2019, attack on Representative-hopeful Urey and her supporters by alleged CDC partisans and supporters of candidate Abu Kamara for the dispensation of justice.
ALJA said the Liberian government and the international community must make effort in ensuring that the perpetrators of the August 17th violence are brought to justice with immediacy because District-15 or Logan Town is neither a personal property of Mr. Kamara nor the ruling CDC where no one is allowed to visit or hold political talks there without Mr. Kamara or the CDC’s acquiescence.
At the same time, ALJA says it has no trust and confidence in the Ministry of Justice and the Liberia National Police (LNP) in the discharge of their statutory duties and responsibilities. The Association says it does not trust the Justice Ministry and the LNP in the delivery of justice in Liberia because the two government institutions have compromised their credibility and neutrality in the handling of legal matters in the country.
ALJA asserts instead of dispensing justice without fear and favor, the LNP and the Justice Ministry have become partisan security arms of the ruling CDC and President Weah. ALJA notes the failure of the Justice Ministry and the LNP to arrest and prosecute CDC partisans and supporters, who engage in brazen acts of violence against supporters and partisans of opposition political parties have eroded their credibility and the rule of Law in Liberia, the release signed by Akai Awuletey Glidden, National Secretary General, and approved Moses D. Sandy National President