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Observing the Rule of Law over Violence

Recently, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf issued Executive Order No. 65, banning all demonstrations, matches, as well as mass gatherings, among others in Monrovia and its environs. The Presidential Order was issued against the backdrop of threats of the spread of the deadly Ebola virus disease. The action by the President, however, did not and is yet to go un-noticed, as evidenced by the numerous condemnations and criticisms from every sector of the Liberian society, including the political camp of her son and Independent Candidate Robert Alvin Sirleaf of Montserrado County and Cllr, Charles Walker Brumskine of the Liberty Party.

As a result of the uproars characterizing the President’s latest Executive Order, especially when her action is being regarded as an ‘attempt to manipulate the results’ of the  December 16, 2014 Special Senatorial Election for Montserrado County, a stay order by the Supreme Court of Liberia is already in effect.

Interesting and scaring about the issuance of Executive Order No. 65 and the uproars from the public which followed, were the pronouncements by the Congress for Democratic Change or CDC and its Montserrado County Senatorial Candidate, Ambassador George M. Weah to massively assemble on the grounds of the Capitol Building in defiance not only to the Presidential decision, but also the stay order placed on campaign activities by the Supreme Court of Liberia. As Mr. Weah and his CDC were planning such defiant mass action, Mr. Robert Sirleaf and a few others publicly chose to go to court to seek redress- a move that occasioned the Supreme Court’s stay order.

What Ambassador Weah and a few of his CDC confidants must understand is that “two wrongs don’t make right.” Even President Sirleaf was wrong by issuing such an Order at this time of the senatorial election process, he (Weah) and his CDC were also equally wrong for  inciting such mass gathering at the Capitol, under the guise of petitioning the Legislature to resist the President’s decision. Our recent past is quite indicative of the nature of such demonstration, especially so when it was ordered by Ambassador Weah who, no doubt, attracts ‘tsunamic’ support  within the voting population of Montserrado County.

We do believe that whatever suspicion about the results of the election the Ambassador and CDC may have perceived or suspected should have been publicly expressed through the “Rule of Law” as the most populous political party in Liberia. Exercising such true leadership would have entail calling for calm among CDCians, as well as proceeding to the Supreme Court of Liberia to seek redress as was done by others. But the path on which Ambassador Weah and the CDC chose to thrive was sincerely undemocratic and very violent because it would have further resulted to “something” that the people of Liberia would not have wanted to be reminded of, owing to what the resistance would have been by the government.

At this time of our emerging democracy, political maturity and education must be and continue to be the hallmark of our national politics, not violence as the only way to seeking redress when we perceive any wrong to our rights. This is why we will continue to admire former Internal Affairs Minister  Blamoh Nelson, Simeon Freeman and others for petitioning the Supreme Court of Liberia to halt the process  to the December 16 Senatorial Elections for violating their rights, and whatever decision made by the Court would, at least, would still satisfy the Rule of Law. And this example not only Ambassador Weah and the CDC, but all of us must adapt other than “beating war drum.”

Thank God that the match to the Capitol was called off at the eleventh hour.

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