By Lewis S Teh
Presidential Candidate Cllr. Tiawan Saye Gongloe of the Liberian People’s Party (LPP) says politics is not about “enmity” or “enemyship” but rather a competition of ideas or debate of issues, noting that Liberia is not a trophy for any would-be winner of the October polls to win.
He calls on President George Weah and UP Presidential Candidate Joseph Boakai to conduct themselves in a responsible manner during these electoral periods so as not to plunge the country into another round of violence because Liberians had suffered too much from the civil war.
Cllr. Gongloe on Friday, August 11 urged the religious community including Christians and Muslims, traditional leaders, civil society organizations and other peace-loving citizens to speak out now before it gets too late for the country and those residing within its borders.
His comment followed Thursday, August 10, 2023 violence between supporters of the CDC and the UP around Vamoma House in Sinkor, Electoral District# 9, Montserrado County that left several persons wounded.
Both the CDC and UP blamed each other for the violence that occurred just on day five of ongoing campaign for the October polls.
Gongloe urges both leaders to exercise leadership over their followers and supporters and not to drag the country back to another round of violence or conflict that could lead to bloodshed.
He notes that the current wave of happenings daily plus words of war between President Weah and Boakai and by extension, their supporters, have the potential of putting fear in the locals and investors desiring to do business in the country.
He said whether the violence is in either of them favor or not, they should not support it in any form and manner because by doing so it could undermine peace and stability, stating that violence has taught Liberians lessons.
“Every leader or partisan of a political party should take into consideration that more then 300, 000 people died in the country during the course of the 14 years civil war. Therefore, they should not remind us of their followers or supporters engaging in violence,” Gongloe reflects.
He recalls his visitation to various political parties’ headquarters recently thereby demonstrating that despite disagreement amongst politicians, politics is not about “enmity” or “enemy ship” but a competition of ideas as Liberia is not a trophy for any would-be winner of the October polls.
Gongloe adds that Liberians must jealously guard the peace that the international community helped to restore to the country, and condemns last week’s violence stating that those involved were reckless, irresponsible and insensitive to the country’s ugly past.
“Therefore, both the present and past governing political parties owe it to Liberia and its people to make sure that peace prevails during these electioneering periods because no amount of police we have in the street can do if we the politicians do not speak out on what is happening,” he warns.
Before the start of campaign here, local and international communities or stakeholders including the religious and civil society organizations, traditional rulers, women and youth groups as well as the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas), African Union (AU), United Nations (UN), amongst others have been calling for issue-based, instead of hate language (speech) canvassing for votes. Editing by Jonathan Browne