Opposition Liberia Transformation Party (VOLT) political leader Dr. Jeremiah Z. Whapoe is warning President George Manneh Weah of the dangerous consequences that past Liberian presidents faced when their silence on violence and other vices resulted to chaos, equating Mr. Weah’s alleged silence on political violence to its endorsement.
At a press conference held at VOLT’s office in Sinkor Friday, 18 September, DrWhapoe said “The continuing silence of this government to speak and take actions on issues that concern the citizens is a quiet acceptance and endorsement of violence that has the potential to create havoc that could lead to civil unrest.”
According to him, there is nowhere in the history of this country that keeping silent on issues that concern the ordinary citizens have had successful ending of any leadership.
Dr. Whapoe recalls that in recent history, when the citizens of Liberia cried on President William R. Tolbert for the shortage of rice, the staple of the nation, they outraged on April 14, 1979 and the result was that the loss of several innocent lives.
He continues that the uneasiness from April 14, 1979 continued to April 12, 1980 military coup d`etat that did not only slain President Tolbert, but claimed several innocent lives; destroyed the social and economic fabrics of Liberia and displaced prominent Liberians around the world.
Dr. Whapoe reminds President Weah that slain President Samuel K. Doe’s silence on Liberians’ outcry against tribal segregation, nepotism, summery execution and disappearance of citizens, abuse of human rights and violation of the Liberian constitution, among others, resulted to a 14 – year guerilla war that barbarically unseated the Doe led – government. He indicates that the 14 – year civil war also destroyed the infrastructure and human capital of the country, claimed over 250,000 innocent lives including women and children.
He also recalls that imprisoned former President Charles Ghankay Taylor’s silence and arrogance resulted to his arrest, prosecution and subsequent 50 years maximum imprisonment in HM Prison Frankland in Durham, England.
“These historical facts mentioned above are being told to help president Weah and his CDC led government to look into the rear view mirror of the nation and have sober reflection on how silence and inaction had had negative impacts on Liberian leadership,” says Dr. Whapoe.
The VOLT political leader notes that the wounds from the civil war are still fresh on the hearts of Liberians, and that the mass graves of their loved ones are still uncovered.
He adds that the scars on their bodies are still painful, and their individual experiences from Calvary or Golgotha are indelible and the tears of their eyes are yet to dry. On behalf of the VOLT party, Dr. Whapoe condemns all verbal and physical violence being meted against any citizen; be it ordinary or government officials.
Dr. Whapoe insists that in the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) – led government, he is yet to see any peace ambassador taking proactive actions to addressing issues that concern Liberians to bring unity among Liberians.
He says his party VOLT in collaboration with the Rainbow Alliance will continue to engage Mr. Weah and his government, saying if the president doesn’t listen, Liberians will take a stance at a time when their cup has filled over which would make the country volatile.
“Over the past few months the country has been engorged with pre-electoral violence in both rural and urban communities and violent rapping of our young girls and babies are becoming accepted as a new normal of the Liberian society,” Dr. Whapoe says. He calls on all peace loving Liberians to join his party’s call on President Weah to be proactive and robust in addressing the hovering menace in the country.
Dr. Whaope also urges all tribal leaders, civil society grouping, religious leaders, and inter-faith council of Liberia to move swiftly and intervene in the current wave of violence in the country before the society becomes volatile.
He cautions that Liberia is moving into the valley of the shadow of death and any inaction to bring under control the recent nationwide outburst of pre-electoral and rape violence in the country and there is blood shared and displacement of any citizen, history will judge the government and other civil intervening groups and their generation.
By Winston W. Parley