The Speaker of the Mano River Youth Parliament Liberia Chapter, James Kolleh says the MRYP is in partnership with the Carter Center and USAID in rolling out peace messages across the country. Speaking on a local radio station, he says young people are being conscientized to refrain from electoral violence, noting that often young people are the ones that are quickly used in times of violence.
He says the youth should continue to maintain a peaceful posture, and continue spreading peace messages as was done in the first round of election conducted on October 10, 2017. “Election is not about war, it is not about castigating, it’s all about exercising our political rights, if a person has different views on the elections, it doesn’t mean you should fight that person.”
Mr. Kollie continues that even husbands shouldn’t force their wives to support a specific candidate, but be allowed to exercise their franchise without intimidation and violence.
The Mano River Youth Parliamentary speaker also cites instances in rural communities where some men allegedly forced their wives to elect specific candidates in the elections, saying that some women were threatened with not receiving food money in the home, if they voted contrary to their husbands’ choices.
“We have educated some of the men and we are still educating them to stop violence against their women, we told them that the women too have their rights to vote for whosoever they want to vote for.”
According to him, they have engaged and are still engaging commercial motorcyclists to avoid violence during the runoff election, saying that there was commitment from the motorcyclists that they will not allow themselves to be used by politicians to engage in violence.
By Ethel A. Tweh