In the wake of fatal election violence in district #15, the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) says they henceforth demand an independent commission of inquiry to duly investigate the wave of attacks on its members and premises with the expectation that findings be made public and provide guarantee for the security and safety of the Liberian people. Leaders of the four collaborating opposition parties blamed President George Weah and his Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) for the violence that reportedly left minor injuries on District #15 opposition candidate Telia Urey.
“We can all recall that in June of 2019, the President and Standard Bearer of the Coalition of Democratic Change, George Weah, announced publicly that “No Dillon or Urey will win elections in Liberia,” the CPP statement signed by all the collaborating parties said the President Weah declared that this will not happen under his leadership and in fact over his dead body will it happened.
The CPP indicated that Weah went further to say that he will flog that little girl Telia. According to CPP, with these statements, the only logical inference deducible from the ongoing acts of violence against Telia and supporters in District #15 is all efforts are being exerted by the President and his CDC to ensure that his threats against Telia Urey manifests.
“The results of the elections proved Weah wrong and the Collaboration of political parties’ right. Liberians voted overwhelmingly for our candidates and sent a resounding caveat to Weah and his Government that the year 2020 and 2023 will offer them sweeping defeats,” the CPP indicated.
The opposition bloc noted in their statement that it is the shame by the President occasioned by the victories of the Dillon and the Urey with their allies in the opposition that has triggered the attempt to subvert the Will of the Majority that has led to the orchestration of violence to intimidate, threaten and harass peaceful citizens whose only crime is to peacefully assemble and exercise their franchise, which the opposition statement said is a clear case of electoral violence.
As President of the nation, with all apparatus of State under his control, the meaning of his statement and the signal that declaration sends out to his supporters and various agents of the state is to act against other citizens. It was a mandate to take sides with the President; they reasoned.
“Yesterday and previous days of violence provide irrefutable evidence of the President’s Mandate. President George Weah has orchestrated, designed, promoted and supported all the violence in these elections and previous elections. He must be held responsible for the tragic episodes and violence that continue to occur. His deafening silence and complicity is echoing all across our country and the world at large,” the opposition statement said.
Another Bloody Day
Explaining the recent Logan Town –District #15 situation, the opposition leaders said the blood of the victims of the violent clashes cries out to Liberia and the world for action and Justice. “Unfortunately, our government under the Leadership of George Weah is the promoter of the violence against peaceful citizens whose only crime is to exercise their franchise. The same process from which George Weah and his party has benefitted from to become Senator and now President today,” the opposition leaders said.
Unfortunately, the statement said the “country is being led by the most vindictive, divisive and egoistic character whose sense of success is the building of monuments and statutes of himself. Our President now promotes violence and chaos and takes pride in being a leader of some and not of all.”
The opposition leaders explained that on August 17, 2019 a Campaign meeting of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) being held at Team Telia Urey’s office was disrupted as a result of an attack on the headquarters by some supporters of Mr. Abu Kamara, candidate of the CDC. This attack, the statement indicated, occurred in the presence of the police who sat idly and watched the attackers throwing stones on the headquarters while the meeting was ongoing. In fact, these attacks took place just a stone’s throw away from the Logan Town Police Depot of the LNP.
“Later on the same date, at about 6:00pm, Candidate Telia Urey while in a meeting at Hon. Kelvin Bayoh’s residence (one of the contestants in the ongoing District #15 By-election) was attacked by CDCIANS and supporters of the CDC Candidate, Mr. Abu Kamara. The building in which they were meeting was heavily vandalized. As a result of their violent actions, Candidate Telia Urey sustained minor injuries.”
Mr. Momo Sambola, Vice Chairman of the All Liberian Party (ALP) was also wounded along with several other partisans and supporters of Hon. Telia Urey, the statement said, and maintained that the attack was a direct attempt on Candidate Urey’s life.
“In an attempt to evacuate Candidate Urey, her vehicle was attacked and severely damaged by these stone throwing CDcians. These attacks were so prevalent that scores of our people were again wounded. Unfortunately, this havoc against Telia and her supporters was perpetrated as armed personnel of the Liberian National Police stood by and did nothing,” the opposition statement claimed.
It said from the Narrative of these events, it is clear that the Police, which is charged with the statutory responsibility of providing security for all Liberians, conspired and was complicit in the events of yesterday, August 17, 2019. They stood by while attempts to commit murder were taking place under their watchful eyes, adding, “Our confidence in the police has eroded.”
CPP Will Not Cower In Fear
The Collaboration of Political Parties in the wake of these events, said they will not cower in fear to this wave of national terror being imposed by our President. “We will resist it with peaceful actions and in the words of former US First Lady, ‘where they go low, we will go high’. We remain cognizant of the years of conflicts our country and its people has endured and we remain committed to providing an alternative leadership with peace and unity as our core values,” the opposition leaders stressed.
The opposition statement called on “all citizens and our supporters to remain peaceful as Liberia is the common denominator which must not be allowed to be taken back in the old days by this President and his ruling party. We urge the National Elections Commission and our partners who support the consolidation of democracy to speak out now and bring international observers to observe these elections due to the extent to which violence is becoming consuming and addictive”, the statement said.
The opposition also hope that all relevant committees of the national legislature would call for a full inquiry and summon the relevant institutions/agencies of government to provide proper explanations for their actions against peaceful citizens, calling on the international community to urgently investigate these acts of deliberate violence against peaceful citizens and bring all perpetrators to Justice.
“We call on the International Criminal Court to take seize of this matter, conduct the proper investigations and ensure justice for victims. We call on the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations, the African Union and the Economic Commission of West African States (ECOWAS) to act and act with utmost urgency. Liberia is fast descending into chaos, violence and lawlessness,” the opposition asserted.