The Liberia Council of Churches (LCC) has expressed deep disappointment both in the Liberian government and the Council of Patriots that are planning the June 7 protest for their failure to attend a meeting scheduled for 10 May.
LCC Secretary General Rev. Christopher Wleh Toe expressed the grave disappointment of the Council of Churches in collaboration with the Interreligious Council of Liberia (IRCL) and the Christian Community at a press conference Saturday, 11 May in Monrovia.
The LCC’s planned meeting with the government and protesters was called at a time Liberia faces political tension ahead of a protest planned by the Council of Patriots (COP) for June 7 to demand some reforms in government.
“It is disconcerting that the both parties will not attend the meeting with the LCC which was separately agreed to and is in the interest of promoting peace and understanding among major stakeholders in the country,” Rev. Toe says.
He details that after a series of consultations over the past three weeks with national stakeholders including one with senior representatives of the Government of Liberia on Saturday, 4 May at a local hotel, a proposal for a joint meeting with the Council of Patriots was agreed with the venue proposed being subjected to the “suggested terms” of the participants of the deliberations.
According to him, the LCC affirms to the Liberian people that the intent of the current engagements is not to promote the stoppage of the pending protest or encourage the protest to proceed.
Instead, he intimate that the LCC’s utmost objective in its resilient outreach to all parties is to honestly request that dialogue starts immediately between the Liberian government and the June 7 Protesters on issues of concerns for all.
The LCC reveals that it remains opened to any venue whether in a Church edifice, hotel or public facility acceptable to all parties for the hosting of any such dialogue.
Rev. Toe highlights the LCC’s mediatory role in these critical times of national affairs to serve without any form of prejudice.
According to the Clergy, the LCC urges the June 7 Protesters and the government to remain focused on every effort in sustaining the peace, integrity and welfare of Liberia and all Liberians.
He quotes a biblical mandate to “seek the peace of the city [country] . . .” for in her peace, you shall find your peace,” referencing Jeremiah 29:4-7.
He adds that significantly, all Liberians will serve as beneficiaries of the peace “we all retain.”
Rev. Toe narrates further that the LCC and its ecumenical partners call on the June 7 Protesters and government to dialogue without delay.
He expresses LCC’s disapproval of any action that will derail the peace of this nation, warning that anyone acting spuriously in these important national efforts to maintain the peace will be held accountable.
He promises that the Council will continue to aggressively engage Leaders of the Government, political parties and The Council of Patriots, among others to ensure that, together, they can address the political, economic and social challenges facing the country.
Meanwhile, Rev. Toe encourages all Liberians to remain resolute, prayerful, and positively engaged in pursuing the welfare of Liberia.
“The LCC commends all national and international state and non-state actors for efforts being collectively exerted to ensure that peace and tranquility continue to prevail in Liberia,” he concludes.By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor—Edited by Winston W. Parley