The Executive Mansion here has denounced a report by the Independent Human Rights Commission (INCHR) which claims that state securities’ allegedly used excessive force against peaceful protesters that assembled on 6 January on Capitol Hill in follow up of prior demands made to President George Manneh Weah’s government.
Presidential Press Secretary Isaac Solo Kelgbeh told a regular press briefing Tuesday, 14 January in Monrovia that some people only write something that their sponsors want to hear, as he insists that using teargas and water cannon following failed negotiation with protesters could not amount to excessive force.
“… You report exactly what your reporter in the field sends to you. So if the INCHR or whatever you want to call it, were not privileged to have a decent person giving them report from the field, they were being misled. And when they are misled, they are held accountable for their own action,” he says.
Mr. Kelgbeh notes that there was negotiation with the protesters both by the very human rights organization and the state securities in finding way for them to relocate their cooking from the corridor between the Capitol and Executive Mansion to the back of the Ministry of Gender.He notes that using teargas and water cannon was the only thing that the police could have done following failure of the negotiation.
Mr. kelgbeh adds that “some of our people” only do the kind of report that their sponsors would want for their survival.
“Look, some our people they only write something for the report their sponsors want to hear. So if your sponsors want to hear negative things, every time you only try to look at the negative aspect and that’s how they get something, that’s how they survive, so it’s not strange,” he says.
Kelgbeh explains that besides subsidy that government gives the human rights organization, it writes projects to get the support of its sponsors.He notes that other countries are flourishing while Liberia still lacks behind due to undermining others since the country’s founding.
“If you want this country to progress, if you want this country to grow, do not work with George Weah because he’s George Weah; but work with him as the president of Liberia – somebody who wants to develop this country,” he says.
“But because you want Mr. X and Mr. X is not there so you will undermine this government, you are undermining yourself, you are undermining the development of our country. This is why since 1847, all of the small, small countries that gained independence in 1960s, 1980, they are flourishing. It’s because most of them didn’t have this crab mentality,” he adds.
The press secretary pleads with the media to put the human rights organization on record, if they know that they saw something differently at the protest scene from what the human rights group has reported.He notes that everybody has their own motives, including radio stations and television stations, saying they stand for what they want.
Meanwhile, Mr. Kelgbeh has distanced President Weah from claims that he might be responsible for immigration officials to conduct investigation on his critic and talk show host Henry P. Costa’s travel documents.Costa, the head of the Council of Patriots (COP) which has staged two massive protests in less than a year to demand reforms in government, is going through immigration investigation surrounding his travel documents.
The investigation came while attempting to leave the country, days after staging the latest protest here supported by thousands of Liberians.But Press Secretary Kelgbeh says President Weah is not interested in stopping anybody from travelling, noting that things should be done properly.
“The president has no interest in stopping any Liberian from travelling, from leaving this country if you want to leave the country. But it should be done properly and the president has no specific interest in stopping anybody,” Mr. Kelgbeh says.
Mr. Kelgbeh continues that the actual story is that Mr. Costa is going through investigation from the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS) regarding how he acquired “what they say is a forged laisser passe,” and how he came into the country without his passport.By Winston W. Parley