The Liberian Senate has unanimously agreed during its Tuesday, August 20, 2019 session to cite the heads of the joint security apparatus in the country to appear before full plenary on Thursday, August 22 to give reasons for recent electoral violence here.
The Senate’s decision to cite the security chiefs comes after deadly political violence between the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and Collaborating Opposition Political Parties representative candidate Ms. Telia Urey in Montserrado County District #15 on Saturday, 17 August.The Senate indicates that failure of the security chiefs to appear, they will be held in contempt.
In a communication written by Senators NyonbleeKangar Lawrence of Grand Bassa County, Abe Darius Dillon of Montserrado County and Conmany B. Wesseh of River Gee County, they asked plenary to invite the security apparatus for the incident that occurred in District #15 that injured citizens.
In the wake of the violence in District #15, Sen. Karnga – Lawrence recalls writing a communication to plenary few months ago about electoral violence in Montserrado District #13, where Monrovia City Mayor and CDC Youth League Chair Jefferson Koijie and his men attacked opposition representative candidate Ms. Cornelia Kruah – Togba and her supporters.According to Sen. Lawrence, there has been no report from the Senate committee room up to present.
Concerning the incident in District #15, Sen. Lawrence indicates that she spoke with a high ranking police officer via mobile phone to please move Teila from the violence scene.Sen. Lawrence indicates that she had asked the officer to put Telia in the police vehicle, yet she reveals that the officer said no.She narrates that they had to get another person to get in and escape with Teila in another vehicle.
“It is very bad for our country; it is a very bad precedence we are setting as leaders not to exercise our oversight responsibility where we should as a Senate,” Sen. Lawrence laments.For his part, River Gee County Sen. Conmany B. Wesseh says there is something that needs to be done now to stop the violence in the country.
He recalls that the 1989 war started with violence, warning that violence now should not be taken lightly.According to Sen. Wesseh, after the 1985 elections, those that were not satisfied decided to resolve their problem through violence.In that time he notes that the security forces became the private security of the president.
“We can’t be paying the security apparatus with taxpayers’ money for them to be regime security. They shouldn’t force people to find their own security,” Sen. Wesseh cautions the Weah led – regime.Also speaking, Montserrado County Sen. Abe Darius Dillon warns that the economy can never be good if Liberians continue to allow lawlessness, violence and chaos in the country, smiley backed by the Executive.
Dillon asserts that the government cannot meet payroll because the economy is very bad, children have been raped and killed and there is no justice system.He adds that nobody will bring their money here because the economy is bad.
The Montserrado County lawmaker expresses concern that the securities that are tasked to intervene in crisis are the ones that stand when violence is going on, thus sending a clear picture of the wave of insecurity in the country. “We are here to protect the people and we must protect them,” Sen. Dillon concludes.Additionally, Margibi County Sen. Oscar Cooper indicates that there is something that needs to be done to people that think that they can terrorize innocent citizens.
He notes that where Liberia is now is a clear present danger to the security and the safety of the people of this country.The Margibi County Senator wants top police chief (Unit – 105) to appear because he was on the scene of the violence.Sen. Cooper wants 105 to explain why he didn’t rescue Teila and those Liberians that got injured.
According to Sen. Cooper, President George Manneh Weah needs to take the lead in bringing peace in the country.He observes that nothing came out of the case from District #13, the destruction of the Unity Party car in front of the headquarters of the National Elections Commission (NEC) and the flogging of Deputy Police Inspector General for Operations (Unit 102) by supporters of the ruling CDC.
Cooper notes that these are the small things that bring war in a country, adding that if the Inspector General of Police Col. Patrick T. Sudue and the Justice Minister Cllr. Frank Musa Dean cannot do their work, let them be removed because Liberians’ lives are at stake.”If you can’t trust the Liberian police anymore than everyone start to recruit their own security, lead to a breakdown of law and order,” Sen. Cooper continues.
According to him, President Weah’s statement that no Urey will take position in this country will make people think that the president is behind the District #15 violence, whether he is part of it or not.Bomi County Sen. Sando Johnson says if any Liberian dies in that form and manner of violence in District #15, they will fight back.Sen. Sando Johnson believes that everyone needs to be their own security now by keeping rocks in their cars incase anything sparks up.
Grand Cape Mount County Sen. Cllr. Varney Sherman urges the need to amend the Constitution and provide that any appointed official that goes through the Senate for confirmation, the Senate should have the power to remove that official if he or she is not working.He also wants the Senate to have the power to impeach such appointee, saying by that means, officials will work properly.
Meanwhile, Bong County Sen. Henry Yallah urges government to pay employees, noting that if workers are paid in time, no matter how much they are making, they will be able to feed their families.He believes that paying salaries will also help to stop the many violence in the country.By Ethel A. Tweh–Edited by Winston W. Parley