LIBERIA: GONGLOE SAYS ELECTORAL VIOLENCE SENDS BAD SIGNAL ABOUT LIBERIA
Liberians, mostly zealous followers and supporters of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and Unity Party (UP) have being urged to stop electoral violence because it is sending out bad signal to the outside about Liberia.
Liberian People’s Party (LPP’s) Presidential Candidate, Cllr. Tiawan Saye Gongloe, told the media during the weekend in Monrovia that ongoing electoral violence between supporters or followers of CDC and UP violates the Farmington Declaration and it is sending out bad signal globally.
He said this could also scare away potential investors or business people to skip the country thereby bringing more suffering to the people than ever before which shall not augur well for Liberia emerging democracy, therefore, the violence must stop and canvass for votes on “issue-based.”
With that, Cllr. Gongloe is calling on the George Manneh Weah and Joseph Nyuma Boakai camps to conduct themselves in a responsible manner during these electoral periods so as not to plunk the country into a round of violence because Liberians have suffered too much from the civil war.
Cllr. Gongloe is, therefore, asking the religious community both Christian and Muslim, traditional leaders, civil society organizations and others to speak out on trending national issues at the moment before it gets too late for the country and those residing within the borderlines.
His comment comes following Thursday, August 10 incident allegedly involving followers or supporters of CDC and UP around the Vamoma House at Wroto Town and Tubman Boulevard Junction in Sinkor District in Electoral District 9, Montserrado County.
There and then, scores of people got wound allegedly from stone-throwing involving CDC and UP partisans but the cause or reason for the chaos is not yet known. However, the CDC and UP blamed or accused each of being responsible for the violence on day 5 of campaigning in the October polls.
The LPP’s Presidential Candidate is, therefore, urging both leaders to exercise strong degree of leadership over their followers and supporters of their respective political parties not to drag the country back to another round of violence or conflict that could lead to bloodshed.
He noted that the current wave of happening daily plus the war of words between Weah and Boakai but by extension their supporters of their political parties, who were allegedly involved physical clashes, have the potential of putting fear in the locals and investors desiring of doing business in the country.
As the county goes toward the October polls, Cllr. Gongloe continued to speak out on national issues because what happened last Thursday has sent fear in the ordinary people and it undermines the Farmington Declaration, which does not augur well for the country.
He said whether the violence is in any of them favor or not, they should not support it in any form and manner because by doing so it shall undermine the peace and stability of the country stating that violence has taught Liberians lesson.
“Every leader or partisans of political party should take into consideration that more then 300, 000 people died in the country during the course of the 14 years civil war. Therefore, they should not remind us of their followers or supporters engaging into violence,” Cllr. Gongloe reflected.
He recalled his visitation to various political parties’ headquarters in recent time thereby showing demonstrating that despite the disagreement amongst the politicians, politics is not about “enmity” or “enemy ship” but a competition of idea as Liberia is not a trophy for any would-be winner of the October polls.
Cllr. Gongloe went further that Liberians must jealously guide the peace the international community helped to restored to the country but at the same time, condemn the violence stating that those involved were reckless, irresponsible and insensitive to the country’s ugly past.
“Therefore both the present and past governing political parties owe it to Liberia and its people to make sure that peace prevail during these electioneering periods because no amount of police we have in the street can do, if we the politicians do not speak out on what is happening,” he noted.
Before the start of the campaigning, local and international community or stakeholders including the religious community, civil society organizations, traditional rulers, women and youth groups as well as the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas), African Union (AU), United Nations (UN) amongst others have been calling for “issue-based,” and not “hate language (speech)” canvassing for votes.