‘We Feted Protesters, Boakai Crushing Them’ -Weah Expresses Sorrow Over Kinjor Melee

MONROVIA: As condemnation continues to thrill the violent incident that took place in Kinjor, Grand Cape Mount County in which the police was said to have opened fire on peaceful protesters agitating for their demands from the Bea Mountain Mining Company, former President George Manneh Weah has heavily descended on President Joseph Nyuma Boakai and his government for the manner in which they handled the situation which resulted to the death and injuries of some citizens and stressed that “the shooting in Kinjo against our people should be the last or else we will protest”

Speaking during a welcome service held in his honor at the Forkay Klon Jlaleh Family Fellowship on Sunday, March 3, 2024, former President Weah said he was taken aback that this act of violence on the part of the police was taking place under a dispensation that “I heard the people say they came to rescue us but from the look of things they came to shoot us”.

Former President Weah said because of the importance of peace for the country, he initiated measures to build a friendly relationship with the people such that during protests under his administration, the protesters were never molested but “we gave them water to drink, food to eat”, stressing that it was because his government believe protest was one of the fundamental rights every citizen should enjoy and his government prioritized it by protecting and defending the protesters all the time.

“Our message to you Mr. Boakai, no police should get in the street and use arms, what happened in kinjor should not happen again, that should stop. To get in the street is not a crime, it is our civil liberty.

“Obviously what happened was not the intention of the struggle that our people will march and protest for their rights and police that should protect them go about to shoot them”, he said.

He compared the tenure of his former inspector General of Police, Patrick Sudue and the incumbent Gregory Coleman and gave a pass mark for Sudue while he condemned the stewardship of Coleman saying “we did not allow any police director to open fire on people who were protesting for their rights.”

“This police director when that shooting reoccurs, we will march to him and bring him to court. Everything that we heard, everything that was done, according to them, that didn’t happen but people are dying of protest that is wrong.

“When I was a young man, a lady called Esther Parker was harassed in Gardnersville and citizens matched in the street and make sure that the police director came down”

Speaking further, Weah reminded the people that before his administration, the UP led government under former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf once shot protesters and there is a likelihood that the government under Boakai will repeat similar things.

“Those that were in power, they used guns and came back to power and want to use guns, we will not allow it. We cannot allow it. We are prepared to ensure that the citizens have the right to protest, to speak to anyone to raise their concern and that is their fundamental rights that must be respected and accepted”

Weah then called on the international community to prevail on President Boakai just like they did to him (Weah) about respecting the rights of the people to civil liberty adding “they need to join us to tell the government that the people have the right to protest.

“If they made a mistake to take us from there they should not make the same mistake because we will make sure that the country is safe. We worked for peace in this country and we maintained it during our administration. This government must respect the people’s civil liberty”, he concluded.

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