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Editorial

Grooming surrogate groups undermines peace

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A less known group suddenly emerged Monday, 1April and marched thru the streets of Monrovia before issuing a stern threat to return “fire for fire” against anti-government establishments and those it brands as “lawless lawmakers”, in defense of true democracy and good governance in Liberia.

The self-styled Special Taskforce Revolutionary Group or STRONG says it does not take lightly alleged threats by small surrogate groups to overthrow the democratic will of the Liberian people, as expressed through the ballot box a year ago.

Its so-called Supreme Commander, J. Richard Holder, specifically accused leaders of the former ruling Unity Party and its foot soldiers for embarking on a tragic conclusion that the attainment of democratic power through the ballot box is no longer possible, which he says may explain their futile desperation to collapse Liberia’s hard-earned democracy.

The wide allegations and the violent speech used to announce its sudden emergence on the social-political landscape of the country further heightens the already politically-charged and hate-driven atmosphere currently pervading in Liberia.

We are still struggling to understand where does the self-styled STRONG get its authority from to come in defense of the current administration, if it is not a state surrogate? We all are aware that state-sponsored surrogates or sponsored violence is counterproductive to sustaining peace and unity, democratic governance and economic development.

Trading hate messages that are saturating social media here is in fact, inflaming the situation, and turning Liberians’ attention from the vital task of nation building. We seem very pre-occupied with condemning and pulling one another down, rather than joining forces to lift Liberia out of its current economic woes.

The government is in the driving seat of the blame-game, accusing the past administration and everyone else but itself, for the dwindling economy exacerbated by lack of transparency and accountability.

As if pronouncements by major concessions, including Firestone Liberia recently to lay off employees or pull out of the country were not enough, ordinary citizens, particularly jobless youth are giving themselves out to politicians from either side to engage in mischief and subterfuge in exchange for little or nothing.

The truth of the matter is, this is not the kind of country Liberians envisaged when they went to the ballot box 15 months ago and elected a new President. Instead, the masses elected a government they believe would better their standard of life by keeping inflation and prices down, creating jobs, ensuring security and basic social services.

In short, grooming surrogate groups by both sides to fight proxy wars does not only undermine peace and development, but scares away potential investors and partners, which is not healthy for the Motherland.

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