In its alert, which was updated since March 22 of this year, the British Government warned its citizens traveling to Liberia or already in Monrovia about protests and demonstrations in Monrovia. The government also warned its citizens to avoid protests, demonstrations, large gatherings and crowds and follow the advice of local authorities.
“You should be vigilant in these locations and avoid any crowded places and public gatherings or events,” the British Government’s warning indicated. The government observed that terrorist groups continue to mount attacks on beach resorts, hotels, cafés and restaurants in Wes African Countries, including Mali and neighboring Ivory Coast, visited by foreigners.
Among other things, the alert pointed out that there are sometimes clashes between armed groups from both sides of the Liberian/Cote d’Ivoire border in some of the more remote border areas of Grand Gedeh and River Gee Counties, and as such, warning its citizens to avoid staying into these areas.
But amid the alert and fear of violence, two of the many planners of the June 7 protest in persons of controversial Montserrado County Electoral District #10 Representative, Yekeh Y. Kolubah and the Chairman of the immediate former ruling Unity Party (UP), Mr. Wilmot Paye, have declared that the protest will be peace and that the protest ‘will hold’, allaying fear that there is no need to panic.
The June 7 planned protest is expected to be carried out under the banner of “Save the State” and is being organized by a group under the banner of “Council of Patriots,” which comprises of members of four leading opposition political parties and lawmakers under the banner of “Independent Lawmakers.”
Speaking at the just ended convention of the Alternative National Congress (ANC) in Gompa City (formerly Ganta City), Nimba County, Rep. Kolubah, who had earlier vowed to handle issues with President George Manneh Weah in a civil and peaceful manner, pointed out that the protest is intended to remind the President of his obligation to the Liberian people.
Rep. Kolubah, who has embarked on a nationwide tour to sensitize Liberians on the significance of the pending protest, averred that the Liberian leader has done nothing to change the lives of Liberians, especially ordinary citizens, for whom he was elected. He further averred that instead of the President seeking the well-being of his people, he prefers to seek his personal wealth.
“When President Weah was playing football, he didn’t achieve what he has achieved today as President. This country doesn’t belong to President Weah. This is the purpose of our protest; to tell the President that Liberia is not your personal property,” asserted the Montserrado County lawmaker.
In remarks, UP Chairman, Mr. Wilmot Paye, asserted that the country faces serious leadership deficit from all sectors, ranging from the Office of the President to all executive posts, to the Judiciary and to the National Legislature. “We have seen that there is a serious leadership deficit with the Presidency, Judiciary, both the Senate and the House of Representatives,” Paye maintained.
“When I say deficit, I don’t mean titles. Leaders who know what to do will not focus on insignificant things that don’t impact the country,” he indicated. “If we don’t stand up in unison, Liberia will be doomed further. Yes, we don’t have violence in Liberia, but what we have now is more than violence. The planned June 7 protest is a must. “We are coming together not to win trophies or to satisfy our ambitions but to ensure that President Weah does the right things he promised us,” he added as he promised calm on the planned protest day.
However, supporters of President Weah had persistently rubbished claims by critics that has done nothing in impacting the living standard of the Liberian People and that those who were making such claims were blind to the reality.
According to them, President Weah was committed to promoting national development, peace, reconciliation, unity and growth
Meanwhile, President Weah has said he is not moved by threat of the planned protest.
Speaking briefly to Legislative reporters on Tuesday, May 7, 2019 following more than five hours of closed-door meeting with members of the Liberian Senate, President Weah said while he is not moved by threat of the protest, however, he thinks dialogue is important owing to the history of past protests.
The Liberian leader, who had gone at the Capitol Building- the seat of the National Legislature to speak with the Senators on several issues of national concern, pointed out that it is the right of all citizens under the Liberian Constitution to freely express themselves through protest or whatever means. The Liberian Constitution is the organic law of the country.
However, he maintained that protests have in past times had bad history in the country, thus, dialogue is of great importance.
“I am not moved by the protest, but I think we need to keep our country safe. The people have their right to protest and we are not going to stop the protest. But we know what protest brings. We still remember April 14, 1979 and that is still in the minds of people. And so I think it is important to dialogue,” added the President.
President Weah has since the last two weeks stepped up national stakeholders’ conversation to discuss prevailing political, social and economic developments in the country. During the Tuesday, May 7, 2019 meeting, President Weah faced off with the Senate and took a couple of critical suggestions from Senators bordering national security, peace and reconciliation and the economy.
The President briefed the Senate on the current state of affairs in the country and frantic efforts his government is making to improve the lives of Liberians and maintain national peace and security. Some senators, during the meeting, called on the President to organize a National Dialogue and a meeting with organizers of the pending June 7 protest.
The President’s meeting with the Senate also highlighted reports on the alleged L$16 billion, US$25 million intended to mop up excess Liberian dollars from the market as well as the United Nation’s recent concerns over delayed reports on projects implemented by the Executive Branch. The Liberian Leader, however, told the Senate that the case involving culprits of the L$16b would resume during the May term of Court while the report from the General Auditing Commission (GAC) reference the US$25m to mop up excess Liberian dollars from the market is due soon.
Regarding suggested meeting with the organizers of the June 7 protest, President Weah reiterated his commitment to meeting any group of Liberians who may have concerns and issues about how the country is being run. He consented to meet the organizers before the reported date.
The Liberian Leader acknowledged that national dialogue is key to ensuring the successful implementation of his government’s Pro-Poor Agenda and sustaining peace of the country. He also used the meeting to assure the Senate that the concerns from the United Nations on Government reports are being taken care of with the necessary measures to correct the problem.
President Weah also promised to continue to strengthen the security apparatuses and keep the country stable