NORMALLY WHEN A nation is faced with mishaps that threaten its national security, peace, stability and progress, the best that can be expected from its government is a message of reassurance, hope and confidence to put the nation and its people in the right mood to accept and then rally for a collective cause towards the right solutions. However, in the country, if the citizens receive a very provocative and annoying response from the government in crises of such magnitude, then there are enough reasons to believe that the government is being insensitive to the plight of the people and by extension is inviting unfortunate circumstances such as protest that it may not handle.
THE GOVERNMENT OF Liberia may be treading a similar path with respect to how she has so far responded and intends to handle the deteriorating state of insecurity in the country that has increased the wave of mysterious deaths, disappearances, ritualistic killings, etc. The implication of the government’s reaction is that there is no iota of truth in all the reports around the country and that these are cooked up stories to malign the image of the government.
THE INSPECTOR GENERAL of Police, Patrick Sudue, hosted a major press conference last week to brief the nation on the wide reportage of the discoveries of dead bodies, alleged ritualistic killings, disappearances, and mysterious, uninvestigated deaths that have hit the nation, especially in Monrovia, in recent time. While dismissing out rightly what is believed to be the actual reality of what has been happening, he relied on his one-sided investigation that such stories are far from truth. The assertion of the IG was even re-enforced by the Minister of Information, Ledgerhood Rennie, that those behind the stories were bent to discredit and blackmail the government.
WE VIEW THE official position of the government as unfortunate and a calculated attempt to divert the attention of the public from the failure of the government to provide security for the lives and properties of the people, which is a key obligation of any serious government. Our own perspective on this is that the government has a long history of knowingly denying actual facts surrounding the mysterious deaths of citizens. What we have gotten from this government are fairy tales of giving unsubstantiated claims or reasons of deaths that were truly attributed to clear cold hand murders that needed proper investigation, with perpetrators taken to court and punished for such dastardly acts.
WE CANNOT WISH away the sad memories of the deaths of the four auditors including the late Emmanuel Bartee Nyeswa, former Director General of the Internal Auditing Agency (IAA) who were all killed in unexplained circumstances, but autopsy reports and other investigations from the government put up stories that are far from what happened to the fallen citizens. There have been a series of condemnations and the call for justice to be done in the cloudy incidents, but the government has paid no attention.
WITH THE PRESENT position of the government, it puts the whole security on the edge and casts more doubts on the mind of the citizens if the government is sincere or even up to the task of providing adequate security for the citizens and other residents in the country. Granted that the government may not want to admit that these daring circumstances may negatively impact on how outsiders, especially potential investors, may have second thoughts of doing any business in the country, we believe that the government is even doing the worst by denying that such things ever exist in the country. Security issues are not unique to Liberia; they are serious issues even in advanced countries like the United States, Great Britain, Australia, Canada, etc., and this government cannot hide from it to score cheap points when its citizens are either dying or living in fear.
CURIOUSLY ENOUGH, WHILE the government is looking the other way as the nation trembles in fear, senior government officials are voicing out their concerns that the government needs to move swiftly to put everything under control. On one occasion, the Chairman of the Independent Human Rights Commission, Cllr. Dempster Brown, hosted a press conference and listed various happenings of what had taken place during the period under review and even called upon the Solicitor General of Liberia, Cllr. Syrenius Sayma Cephus, to clear his name linking him to alleged ritualistic killings in the country. On a second note, Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor also addressed the press last week and raised these issues especially those ones that involved women being victimized in the reported ugly acts.
THIS IS NOT the right way to proceed, and it is just wrong for the government to conceal its inefficiency and lack of the ability to provide one of the basic rights of the people – security, with a naked face to deceive the public. It is high time that the government admits to the challenges that have overwhelmed its capacity to protect its citizens and seek for the cooperation and support of the citizens to rally around her and collectively fight the menace against the existence and well being of the people.
IT IS A fact that the heightened level of insecurity in the country is undeniable, and the average Liberian seems to understand where the laxity stems from-the shambolic security architecture the government has put in place. The security apparatus has not succeeded in tracking down or dealing with any successful case that will restore the confidence of the people, that indeed they can go to bed and sleep soundly with their lives and properties secured.
WITHOUT ANY DOUBT, taking a decisive stand on the security and safety of lives and properties for the protection of the lives of the masses that gave the ruling establishment the mandate to lead this nation will be in order and applauded perhaps with jubilation spilling into the streets. The government must demonstrate to the people that it understands very well that the central need of every country and its people is the security of lives and property; after all, it is because of this that every citizen of a country surrenders his or her rights/sovereignty to a government through a social contract to fulfil this obligation.