A wave of brutal killings is rapidly permeating the Liberian society with the frequency becoming not only alarming, but very scaring. In about six months, the number of violent related deaths reported across the country is well over 10, and the statistics keeps increasing.
Violent reactions among the population seem to indicate that Liberians are suffering from post-traumatic disorder syndrome. Arbitrarily taking away lives is becoming a common place here despite the presence of the law.
It is not enough to arrest suspected killers and put them in jail, pending trial in a country where the judicial system is found wanting. Perhaps it is time we set up a fast-track court for murder so that quick examples could be set on convicts to deter would-be killers.
Murder here is a capital offense under the laws of Liberia, punishable by imprisonment for long period, but the wave of willful killings in the past six months under a civilian administration governing by the rule of law appears to indicate that Liberians have no fear or regard for the law any more.
It is becoming visibly clear that besides the law, we need to adopt preventive strategies, including public campaign and psychosocial counseling on a mass scale which has not been done since the civil war ended in 2004.
The Ministry of Justice thru the Liberia National Police and the Ministry of Gender and Social Protection should collaborate in devising psychosocial counseling programs for communities and on radio and television stations as well as in print media to reduce the increasing wave of killings across the country.
The religious community should help in such endeavor. Pastors and Imams should educate their respective congregations about love, tolerance, peace and unity. These are key elements that unite people in diversity.
This current generation has a duty to stand up now against the brutal killings overtaking our once loving and peaceful society. Posterity would judge us unkindly if we failed to act collectively as a people.
As Liberians, do we take up time to ask ourselves what message are we passing on to the next generation if we allowed lawlessness, barbarism and share banditry to creep into the society, as the current situation depicts.
If anyone feels offended; has his or her rights violated, the best means to seeking redress is thru the law rather than resorting to jungle justice, which totally runs contrary to cultivating a civilize society where everybody’s right to life is guaranteed under the law.