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Liberia: Government empathizes with UP Chair

The Liberian Government has expressed its empathy with the Chairman of the opposition Unity Party (UP), Rev. Luther Tarpeh, whose home was gutted by fire on Friday, August 12, 2022.

Investigators from the National Fire Service have already been dispatched to the scene in order to determine the cause of the outbreak. 

However, the government is deeply troubled by allegations contained in a press release from the UP alleging that the government-sponsored the incident. The party in the release said the government hired thugs to commit arson. 

Information Minister Ledgerhood Julius Rennie calls the claim unfair and irresponsible, bearing no element of truth.  

He said the Administration of President George M. Weah is not in the business of physically attacking its political opponents. “What do we stand to benefit from the action”, the Minister retorted.  

He described President George M. Weah as a man of peace who ascribes to the democratic process, respect for human rights, and the rule of law; and is running a responsible government that does not engage in acts of gangsterism. 

The government, the Minister continued, empathizes with the victim, Rev. Tarpeh, who himself told journalists that he does not yet fully understand what led to the fire outbreak.

However, contrary to the UP-Chairman’s statement, its Secretary General, Amos Tweh, had already accused the government of committing the unfortunate act even before the arrival on the scene of investigators from the Liberia National Fire Service and the Liberia National Police.

Tweh’s remarks, Rennie said were disappointingly contained in the party’s release. 

However, he emphasized that the has an internationally acclaimed democratic record, while also being led by an icon of peace, and will do nothing to taint its reputation. It’s high time political actors refrain from incendiary rhetoric that could undermine the country’s hard-earned peace, as we move to General and Presidential elections next year.  

“These creeping and unwarranted acts of provocation and bellicose political maneuverings will not distract the government from the course of development meant to improve the livelihood of ordinary Liberians,” Rennie said. 

He stated that government is only interested in solidifying the country’s peace and building upon its democratic gains and therefore calls on all political parties, their cohorts, and supporters to join in this national endeavor.

The information minister explained that in recent years the government has been engaged in efforts to augment the capacity of the Liberia National Fire Service as it grapples with frequent fire disasters around the country, which have been caused by a myriad of reasons.

The government, therefore, urges the Tarpeh family and the Unity Party to remain calm while authorities determine the actual cause of Friday’s fire. 

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