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Editorial: April 12: Beginning of the Dark Days of Mama Liberia

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A Message for the Coalition for the Transformation of Liberia

Of late, the airwaves of a few radio and television stations are saturated with news of a mass demonstration against the administration of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf on April 12, 2013. The front pages of a number of Liberian Newspapers too, continue to highlight the ‘much-publicized demonstration as part of the campaign to mobilize support for the “impeachment of the President” under the auspices of a group calling itself ‘the Coalition for the Transformation of Liberia’.

Among reasons spelt out by the so-called Coalition is the ‘complete failure of the administration of President Sirleaf to govern the nation properly’- a reason yet to be placed in proper context by the organizers for the understanding of the public.

Since the pronouncement for this ‘April 12, 2013 demonstration’ by this group, a number of questions, including “why a demonstration on April 12?; what does this  so-called Coalition achieve?; why not the Legislators since they all make up the government; why not Judiciary?;, as well as an understanding of the complete failure of the Sirleaf administration spoken about by this group;  continue to be asked by well-meaning Liberians upon listening to and reading the papers.

In as much as the foregoing questions are yet to be answered by the so-called “Coalition for the Transformation of Liberia”- a group of little known organizations in Liberia, such exercise must be executed in conformity with the laws of Liberia.

While members of the Coalition may be capitalizing on Article 17 of the Constitution of Liberia which provides that “all persons, at all times, in an orderly and peaceable manner, shall have the right to assemble and consult upon the common good, to instruct their representatives, to petition the Government or other functionaries for the redress of grievances and to associate fully with others or refuse to associate in political parties, trade unions and other organizations, they must also be reminded about Article 15 (b), which also speaks of  “ being fully responsible for the abuse thereof” in addition to their right to freedom of expression.

This foregoing citation may just be an answer to the defiant vow made during a recent news conference hosted by them, suggesting the so-called ‘April 12 demonstration’ in the event of the inability of the Justice Ministry to grant them permission to do so. For members of the Coalition to even suggest that the selection of ‘April 12, 2013’ as the day for their demonstration because of its “historic essence” in terms of transformation, does not only bespeak of the negativity of the once publicized generational change, but indeed a sad future for the next generation of Liberian leaders.

While it may be too soon to brand such action as financially and politically influenced by detractors of the ongoing peace and sanity in Liberia of their absence in the nation’s leadership, the brothers must also be cognizant of the consequences of the violation of the laws of the country. They must be knowledgeable about the fact that those who may be organizing them for such political move may be nowhere when “push comes to shrub”  as we have witnessed in recent Liberian History.

As young people who may have a very bright future, if patience and responsibility are adequately exercised, they must be urged to abandon such plan because, at the end of the day, the burden would rest on them and their relatives.

It is no doubt that “the month of April in Liberia, especially April 12” has a very negative connotation among well-meaning Liberians, and as such reminding us Liberians of such dark history is just show of the lack of interest in continuous stability because it may just be the only means by disgruntled individuals gain fame and reap wealth as this country has witnessed before. But planners and organizers of the so-called April 12, 2013 demonstration to “impeach Ellen” must also beware that “where their rights end is also the beginning of those of other peaceful Liberians”.

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