The opposition Liberty Party or LP is cautioning Liberians to be very circumspect in the exercise of “Free Speech”, stressing that it comes with huge responsibilities.
Liberty Party National Chairperson Cllr. J. Fonati Koffa, servicing as guest speaker Tuesday at the induction of officers of the Center for the Exchange of Intellectual Opinions or CEIO, on Carey Street, Monrovia said, Freedom of Speech comes with responsibilities and has limitations.
“Under this democracy, I have the right to speak but does that mean I will say anything? If I stand here and shouted Fire! Fire!; everybody will run away and some people hurt and others may die; is that my reasonable use of the freedom of speech?” the LP chair asked.
Cllr. Koffa called on members of CEIO and Liberians in general to exercise those freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution in such a way that will not cause instabilities for the country and its people. He said people must be capable of governing themselves and be responsible enough for their utterances at all times whether in public or in private.
He said there are ways in which one could put his or her ideals across to others without being sarcastic to them.
Cllr. Koffa said too many times he has observed that even those who called themselves intellectuals, are very fast to rain insults, saying “Those who do that are limited.”
His comments or caution come at a time when the Government of Liberia has arrested and charged two self-proclaimed advocates here for utterances the authorities say are inciting and libelous.
Meanwhile, speaking subsequently, CEIO president, Franklin Wesseh, pleaded with Liberians of goodwill to help the center with scholarships to enable its members enroll in skills training institutions and colleges to empower themselves.
“Most of our members are unemployed because they are unemployable”, Mr. Wesseh said.
He said if they have an opportunity to achieve some level of education, it will greatly impact their lives and the outcome or changes will be visible in the society. Edited by Jonathan Browne