The Liberia National Union or LINU, a pro-government political party warns planners and organizers of the impending June 07 protest to abort the plan, noting that protests in the history of Liberia have yielded no fruitful results, but loss of lives and destructions.
Addressing a news conference at LINU headquarters in Monrovia Thursday, April 25, party chair Nathaniel Blama says LINU distances itself from the protest, expressing fear that it could turn violent and chaotic.
He says those calling for the protest have optional channels to approach the government through dialogue, void of protest and their views could be heard louder and respected rather then taking the streets which at times, could end up in destruction of properties and lives.
Mr. Blama, who is also Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency acknowledges economic constraints many Liberians are faced with daily, but cautions that taking the streets cannot resolve the economic challenges.
According to him, difficulties faced by Liberians were not created by the George Manneh Weah administration, instead, the former administration of ex-President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, an Harvard-trained Public Administration practitioner.
He argues that every Liberian should focus on how investment may come to the country to provide employment, and the government is creating an enabling environment for all, but noise with few handful of people threatening to take the streets would scare investors away.
He recalls the infamous 1979 rice riot, explaining that in early April 1979, the then Minister of Agriculture, Florence Chenoweth, proposed an increase in the subsidized price of rice from $22 per 100-pound bag to $26.
But the pronouncement was greeted by widespread looting of retail stores and rice warehouses, damaging private property estimated to have exceeded $40 million and loss of over 300 lives.
Many of the current students of the University of Liberia were probably not yet born when on August 22, 1984, Head of State Samuel K. Doe ordered Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) troops to raid the UL campus with an order to the students to “move or be removes.”
On December 23, 2011, thousands of youths rampaged the streets of Monrovia, smashing cars with stones over late payment for “summer vacation jobs” they had done for the government.By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor