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Stop politicizing national security

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President George Weah’s ruling Coalition government is threading a very dangerous path by politicizing security of the people. Complacency by the Liberian National Police in recent electoral violence in Montsrrao County District#15 and other areas in Monrovia, resulting to injuries and vandalism drew widespread condemnations here.

The violence between supporters of the President’s governing Coalition for Democratic Change and opposition supporters intensified following the July 29, 2019 by-elections in Montserrado in which the ruling party performed dismally to the four collaborating opposition political parties.

But even more disgusting was last week’s disgraceful hearing in the Liberian Senate during which the presiding, ruling party Senator Saah Joseph, protected heads of the Joint Security from facing senators for questioning.

The Senate Plenary had cited the Joint Security, which comprised the Police, Immigration, Armed Forces of Liberia and Drug Enforcement Agency, among others to give the state of security in the country, particularly the wave of electoral violence that has left many citizens hospitalized and properties destroyed.

But CDC Senator Joseph, who presided over Thursday’s (August 23, 2019) hearing, only accepted written statement from the Joint Security, much to the disappointment of fellow senators desirous of asking specific questions about glaring security lapses during the bloody violence in District#15 that nearly led to the death of opposition candidate Miss Telia Urey of the All Liberian Party (ALP).

Reports from the district, including video recordings of the violence show the police standing by, as supporters of ruling CDC Candidate Abu Kamara unleashed hail of stones against Miss Urey and her supporters, completely smashing her bullet-proof jeep, which she survived by the teeth of her skin.

These were the concerns, including others that Senator Nyonblee Kangar-Lawrence of Grand Bassa County and her colleagues had thought to query heads of the Joint Security about. But not under the watch of CDC Senator Saah Joseph, who also chairs the Senate Committee on Executive.

The Grand Bassa County Senator was also denied an opportunity to produce video evidence of the bloody violence in District #15, on grounds that the video evidence wasn’t mentioned in her communication to Plenary.

It is highly saddened and regrettable that issue as grave as national security would be compromised by politics. Senator Joseph, who presided in behalf of Senate Pro-Tempore Albert Chie, should know that insecurity for either the opposition or the ruling party means insecurity for the entire Liberia.

It serves no side best interest to allow state security apparatus that operates on taxpayers’ money to turn blind eyes on violence against one segment of society, believing that what affects a group of citizens now would not spread to rest of the country if left unchecked, as was demonstrated in District#15.

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