Protest, nat’l security threat
Bomi County Representative and Liberia’s Representative to the Economic Community of West Africa Parliament Edwin Melvin Snowe said that the recent pronouncement made by the Council of Patriots, organizers of the June 07 protest, of staging another protest ahead of this July 26 Independence Day celebrations is a national security threat and could be a national embarrassment to the country and its people.The Council of Patriots had earlier announced staging series of protests commencing July 24 and would continue to the July 26 celebrations.
Speaking on the government owned radio station, the Liberia Broadcasting System, Tuesday, July 16, in Paynesville, Rep. Snowe said protesting on the day Liberia will be hosting international guests from the sub region including the presidents of Nigeria, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone and the Gambia will tell the rest of the world that the country is not safe.
The former speaker during the early days of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf administration noted that protest is part of the democratic process that cannot be overlooked by anyone but doing so on the national event with presidents trooping into the country speaks lot of negative factors.
He intimated that protest will not stop the five heads of states from coming but the image of the country out there could look bad and it could also send wrong indications about a country that had 14 years of civil wars, and sanctions from the international community. He noted that the action of the protesters could have an over shadow effect on the country that may affect everyone.
He narrated that during the regime of former President Charles Taylor, when the United Nations placed sanctions on the regime, former President Sirleaf at the time termed it as ‘smart sanctions’ but everyone who residing here left the impact and Taylor and officials of government only.
He urged the protesters to abort the protest until the celebrations are over, adding; that if the presidents were coming for the celebration of President George Manneh Weah birthday, it would have been in place but now, the only option Liberians should wait for is 2023 elections where under the constitution they vote Weah out democratically.
According to him, interestingly, leaders of the protest are the very leaders of the opposition political parties here and it would be decent for opposition to call space a space then to wearing two jackets at the same time.
He noted that some of the leaders of the protesters are contesting in these elections, and at the same time calling for protest, that’s unfair. By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor