A concern Liberian has warned his fellow countrymen to desist from electoral violence if the country’s democratic process will be sustained and advanced to an appreciable level for all to choose leaders of their choice through the ballot box.
Mr. Amos M. Lavalah narrated his experience of electoral violence at Moi River in Kongba District, Gbarpolu County, which is very hard to access by vehicles, but motorbikes due to lot of hills.
Mr. Lavalah alleged that supporters of one of the candidates in the senatorial election in Gbarpolu County, BotoeKanneh erected two checkpoints leading to Moi River with youth carrying cutlasses preventing other candidates’ supporters from accessing places to share their messages with the people.
He explained that boys at the checkpoints also prevented him from accessing the places at Moi River, noting that they intimidated him while Madam Kanneh and her female friends were around watching their boys stopping other people from passing at the checkpoints, which according to him, reflected his mind back to the 14-year senseless civil war in Liberia.
He noted that reports coming from Gbarpolu County through the electronic and print media of intimidation of Madam Kanneh are not factual, as reported in Monrovia and other women organizations condemning without proper investigation of the situation on the ground.Mr. Lavalah said in holding elections in rural Liberia, government should ensure that lives and properties are protected by reinforcing the Police to prevent violence.
He observed that the lack of adequate police officers in more rural parts of the country after the civil war has made some people to think they can take the law into their hands with impunity.
According to him, it is about time the National Elections Commission and the Liberia National Police work together to ensure enough police officers are present in the various counties to maintain law and order.
Mr. Lavalah urged the youth of Liberia to be mindful of politicians whose intention is to use them for electoral violence, urging them to resist violence in any form and ensure the fragile peace in Liberia is maintained and sustained. Editing by Jonathan Browne