No Liberian should ever think that Tuesday’s [National Unification Day] dialogue between President George Manneh Weah and leaders of the impending 07 June protest was a waste, for this is the first time the President has had the time to sit with a group of fellow citizens, who are unsatisfied about his government and the economy.
That the meeting was called and attended by both sides and observed by religious and traditional leaders, and international partners, including representatives from ECOWAS, African Union and the United Nations is welcome news, and should be encouraged.
President Weah should not feel disappointed because the protesters didn’t present their demands to him as he had expected. Instead, they promised to do so on the day of the protest, June 7, 2019.And that the President assured the protest leaders he would instruct the Minister of Justice Frank Musa Dean to provide protection for protesters and the general public demonstrates leadership.
We agreed with the ECOWAS Ambassador to Liberia, Babatunde Ajisomo when he says dialogue is important because it takes ECOWAS back to its role in Liberia and recalls how men and women from the regional bloc lost their lives here, while saving Liberians during the civil war.
United Nations Resident Coordinator Yacoub El Hillo says Tuesday’s engagement sends a message to the world that Liberians are choosing the force of logic to solve their difference, rather than the logic of force.
“That’s why June 7 is actually supported, and June 7 should be allowed to take course, June 7 should be given to the people of this country to actually petition their government in a peaceful, orderly and organized way that is conducted in close coordination with the appropriate authorities in the country,” Mr. El Hillo urges.
Indeed, all is not lost, as others may think. Liberia is not going down on June 7, as some pessimists are predicting. In fact, the evolving action should further strengthen our democracy.
We urge both government and protesters to dialogue continuously during, and even after the protest, on the way forward for our country, for we don’t see enemies here except it proves the contrary.
Whatever petition to be presented to the President by the protesters, should be for the general good of Liberia, not selfish political interests, for then the protest would achieved its primary objectives.