The violent intervention of Monrovia City Mayor Mary Broh in obstructing the detention of Montserrado County Superintendent Grace Kpaan at the Monrovia Central prison on orders of the House of Representatives may have just been the stimulant for the ongoing stand-off in the Liberian Government.
Days after the violent incident, members of the House of Representatives could not withstand what they unanimously perceived as the gross-disrespect and defiant challenge exhibited against them by Mayor Broh, members of the House of Representatives ordered the arrest and detention of both Mayor Broh and Superintendent Kpaan for 30-days. The situation even got further worse when the Monrovia City Mayor, last week, appeared before the Monrovia City Court to answer to charges against her by the Government of Liberia, through the Ministry of Justice, for obstructing Justice.
The intervention of the Liberia National Police had proven very effective, in terms of rescuing Madam Broh from the hands of angry young people, including students of the University of Liberia, who had violently swamped the grounds of the Temple of Justice to brutally ‘arrest’ the City Mayor in protest against the bill bond granted her by the Monrovia City Court.
Further compounding the situation was the decision of the Liberian Senate to concord, through a unanimously vote, with members of the House of Representatives’ decision to sentence both Broh and Kpaan to 30 days imprisonment. The Senate also unanimously vowed a non-cooperative action against the Executive Branch of Government, beginning with the rejection of an Ambassador for confirmation, in solidarity with the House.
These ‘stability-threatening events’ may have attracted the attention of a number of national organizations and institutions, most especially the Liberia Council Churches for a meeting last Thursday, with Head of State Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf following her return from the 42nd Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Governments in the Ivoirian Capital, Yamoussoukro. The Leadership of the LCC had requested the meeting with the President to express their concerns about the stand-off and its effect on the prevailing peace in Liberia.
Last Thursday’s meeting with President Sirleaf afforded the LCC the opportunity to offer to spearhead mediation among the parties as way of ensuring the sustenance of the prevailing peace and tranquility in the nation. They also assured Madam President that their efforts are directed at ensuring that all the branches of the government continue to work together in a spirit of harmony toward the common objective of developing the country and responding to the needs of the people.
The LCC is expected to seek similar audience with the Leadership of the Liberian Legislature and Supreme Court with the same objective. President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, during the meeting, welcomed the LCC’s intervention, urging them to exert all efforts to resolve the situation for the good of the country, which was greater than a single individual or any branch of the Liberian Government.
This latest development initiated by the Church, is no doubt, a clear peace-building triangular reflection, in which religious leaders find themselves between the conflicting parties as true mediators. The fact that the head of the Executive Branch of the Government has already acquiesced with the intervention of the LCC, we can only hope that the Leaderships of the Liberian Senate and House of Representatives will follow suit in the interest of the people of Liberia.
It is also important that they present their grievances, as well as listen to the mediators toward the process of finding a common ground, instead of exhibiting their usual Capitol Building ‘politricks’ just to satisfy their personal desire as we have seen over the last 13-months. While it is true that members of the Liberian Legislature may be aggrieved by the ‘gross disrespect’ shown to their authority by Mayor Mary Broh, they are also urged to exercise restraints, statesmanship, as well as prove that the Capitol Building is a “House of Elders” no matter what others may think by not only granting audience to the Church leaders to amicably resolve the current unfortunate situation.
As the Liberia Council of Churches engages the three branches of government, the issue of the continuous violent attitudes of Mayor Mary Broh must also be highlighted. In as much she may be doing well to keep Monrovia and its environs tidy, such good work must be accompanied by good behavior.
The mediation process must incorporate her with all of the necessary guidance so as to discourage her negative postures not only against the House of Representatives and Senate, but also ordinary citizens of Liberia. If she’s a true friend of the President, it is then, incumbent upon her to do everything possible to protect her by exhibiting behaviors that are compatible with the decency characterizing the Liberian Presidency. It is hope that the Council of Churches will exert all of the efforts in restoring the cooperation and coordination that have resulted to the peace and tranquility in our nation.