As Muslims observe the end of Ramadan across Liberia, President George Manneh Weah has urged them to eschew violence in their bid to resolve land disputes, because a violent approach to land disputes has the potential to derail and undermine the peace Liberians have enjoyed and continue to enjoy today.
“Lastly, I urge all Muslims to avoid violence in their bid to resolve land disputes, because a violent approach to land disputes has the potential to derail and undermine the peace we have enjoyed and continue to enjoy today,” Mr. Weah said.
President Weah’s urge to Muslims in the country comes after Mark Jabateh’s recent threat to kill Chief Justice Francis S. Korkpor, Sr., if a single Mandingo man got killed in a land dispute that stirred violence in Nimba County.
“If a single Mandingo man is killed in Nimba County today, some of us will sacrifice our lives because enough is enough! We have been marginalized. We have been marginalized. When Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf came she failed to settle the land dispute in Nimba County, it’s continuing,” Jabateh stated in an interview with Spoon FM last month.
Jabateh’s threat against Chief Justice Korkpor came amidst recent violent clashes in the county that followed a demolition exercise carried out on Monday, 19 April 2021 based on a court eviction order issued by the 8th Judicial Circuit Court in Sanniquellie, Nimba County.
In a video, he had accused Chief Justice Korkpor of allegedly being behind a land dispute in Nimba County. He then claimed that he was mobilizing his brothers and sisters, monitoring the situation in Nimba County and threatened that if there was any attempt by any group of people to kill a single Mandingo man, that means maybe ECOWAS or UN will come in.
Jabateh claimed in the interview that Mandingos are being marginalized in Nimba County because Chief Justice Korkpor has appointed Manor people as judges in the county instead of appointing Vai people from Grand Cape Mount County to serve as judges in Nimba County.
But on the eve of Ramadan, Wednesday, 12 May, Mr. Weah admonishes the Muslim community here that a violent approach to land disputes has the potential to derail and undermine the peace Liberians have enjoyed.
In recognition of the Muslim community’s month – long fast, President Weah indicated that “Fasting in RAMADAN is one of the five pillars of Islam obligatory upon all adult and healthy Muslims.”
He recalled that on 13 April this year, fellow Liberians of the Islamic Faith embarked upon the annual observance of the Holy Month of Ramadan during which he congratulated and urged them to pray for the peace and development of Liberia.
Mr. Weah said he also urged them for their prayers and supplications for God to end the massive and devastating consequences of the Coronavirus being experienced by the world.
“As my Liberian Muslim brothers and sisters climax the end of Ramadan 2021, I congratulate and thank all of them for their moral and spiritual endurance, far-sightedness and prayers offered for our beloved nation and people,” Mr. Weah continued.
He also commended all Muslims for remaining law-abiding and patriotic during these very difficult and trying times in the nation’s history, asking them to continue to pray for peace and a reconciled Liberia that will bring about national development and social cohesion.
“In order to enable them properly carry out their religious rites, I grant dispensation to all [Muslim] employees of government to stay away from work on Thursday May 13 2021,” he said.