THE CURRENT POLITICAL campaign across the country seems to be taking a dangerous trend that could spark violence and subsequent bloodshed that no peace-loving Liberian wants. For no reason, some overzealous and unscrupulous partisans naively believe that tearing and pulling down rival parties’ campaign posters is the best way to expressing loyalty and support for their candidates.
SINCE THE START of official campaign here on Monday, 31 July for the October elections news of unidentified persons tearing down campaign posters has become widespread both in Monrovia and in the counties. In fact, in Bong County, Central Liberia, one candidate for representative seat has gone to court, accusing a rival candidate, who is an incumbent, of sponsoring people to tear and remove his campaign banners hanging in the streets. Similar complaint has been made by Candidate Emmanuel Dahn in Montserrado County electoral district#7 right on Newport Street.
CLEARLY, THOSE UNSCRUPULOUS individuals engaged in such act are people with weak spines, who have no place in a democratic political contest. In other words, politics is not for children, but rather mature men and women who can put on their thinking caps and read the political calculus to know how to navigate.
WE CALL ON the National Elections Commission and the Liberia National Police to work collaboratively in dealing with this situation before it becomes explosive. Candidates and leaders of political parties must educate their partisans and supporters that tearing down opponents’ banners and posters is not responsible campaigning, so they should desist immediately.
THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD come out with a strong statement, warning the public that anyone caught tearing and bringing down campaign banners and posters in public places would be arrested and taken before the law.
WE EXPECT THESE campaigns to focus on issues that affect us as Liberians, and what should be done to remedy those challenges. No, no, we don’t accept that party partisans are bankrupt of ideas and strategies to get voters’ attention other than bringing down rivals’ posters.
A MATURE AND responsible campaign process would bring us good dividends than the other way around. Political parties and their supporters should be prepared enough to go to the electorate to explain their leadership manifestos instead of being intimidated by rivals’ campaign posters and banners, which in themselves, don’t really say anything about how they intend to provide leadership, if elected.
A VIOLENCE-PROVOKED campaign is counter-productive to a peaceful political transition that we envisaged as a nation. Nothing, therefore, including selfish interest should allow us to derail the trajectory we are on right now.