The Press Union of Liberia, PUL for short, is an embodiment of a symbolic typical Western “Fourth Estate” entity, as such, it has the characteristic of a media civil society by any standard. 54-years ago, the PUL was silhouetted, on July 30, 1964. The PUL collaborates it works and functions with the Ministry of Information Culture and Tourism, MICAT. PUL has developed professional ties with other reputable media gurus outside Liberia such as the International Federation Journalists, IFJ, West African Journalists Association, WAJA, and the Committee to Protect Journalists, CPJ.
The PUL hegemony and its 500 strong registered members have made tremendous strides 54-years ago to keep its doors opened and to subsequently addressed issues of intimidation, insecurity, and safety for it registered members and other media partners which is a step in the right direction, but without any radical departure from the past as demonstrated in their official comportment in the death of Journalist Brown and the mandatory indirect deportation of Journalist Paye-Layleh by the Liberian government. The aforesaid captioned of this Syndicate’s writer: “Where is the Press Union of Liberia (PUL)?” is not about a dinner festivity, nor is it intended to invite the PUL’s pilotage or its 500-vision bearers to a year-end-Christmas party, or is it intended to left the PUL’s administration on a viable peddle stone of countless gratifications, nor to unleash a dazzling endorsement for its 54-years active selective media dispensations.
The captioned is fundamentally intended to ask the PUL’s hegemony and its 500-enrolled member to request a direct death penalty for Mr. Williams for killing Journalist Tyron Brown in cold blood as well as investigate the compulsory deportation of Jonathan Paye-Layleh into exile by the Liberian President Weah. The PUL should depart from the normal spouting and the advancement of a multiple press bulletin which to a greater extent have yielded no tangible and fruitful outcomes in recent past.
The PUL usual prescription such as condemnations, asking questions, speaking on radio and television stations, crafting of impressive newspapers’ headlines, and engaging the LNP and the Justice Ministry officials as well as conducting spectacular press conferences across Liberia are the consequences of PUL’s total incapacitation to seek foundational and pragmatic ratification to the death of Mr. Brown and the exile Journalist Paye-Layleh.
The PUL should understand that, gone are the days of these types of so-called “social gymnastic” approach to seeking a pragmatic redress from the government of Liberia regarding the unacceptable rationale that led Mr. Williams to murder journalist Brown in cold blood and the compulsory deportation of another journalist against his will, as the all-omnipotent PUL continues to snooze and talks around town and in street corners which symbolize humiliation and weakness on the part of the PUL’s hegemony.
By the way, who is the PUL protecting in Liberia? The PUL must approach Mr. Brown death differently, especially at the time when Liberia has just birthed a democratically elected regime under President Weah. PUL should move swiftly to organize a week-long peaceful demonstration throughout Liberia and call for justice that will seek the immediate attention of President Weah, his Justice Minister and the entire leadership of the LNP to answer to a wave of numerous mysterious and willful killing of innocent Liberians in Liberia including that of Journalist Brown and the mandatory deportation of Jonathan Paye-Layleh into exile. The PUL should in addition to its nationwide demonstration, seek an audience with President Weah about why his LNP is not in the business of protecting the lives of innocent Liberians.
When will the PUL act? The PUL will act when the managing editors, and the editors of newspapers, radio and TV stations’ nicks are being slated each night, their homes and offices burned, or when they are shot at on sight in streets corners, or chased into exile, beaten on highways and in bars, targeted and stabbed with knives at night, and thrown into prisons without due process? Is this the moment the PUL is waiting for to act in Liberia? If not, what then is the PUL waiting for to stage a peaceful nationwide demonstration to seek justice from the government of President Weah? PUL should understand that demonstration is the only major grammar African leaders are easily accustomed to in Africa before they can act promptly in earnest.
If nothing is done to earn the needed justice for the death of Journalist Brown, the compulsory deportation of Paye-Layleh, and all Liberians who have been murdered mysteriously in cold blood, and many more innocent citizens including journalists will certainly be murdered sooner rather than later in street corners. What is unfolding now, is precisely a repeat of what occurred during the eras of former President’s Sirleaf, the late President’s Doe, and the now jailed former President Taylor’s, where journalists were murdered, others escaped during the night while others were thrown in jail without due process, yet, it appears that the dominant PUL is still in deep slumber.