12 September 2017

Liberia: Liberty Party 'Violated' Agreement

The Liberty Party of Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine has come under strong criticism for blocking the Tubman Boulevard route during its campaign launch on Saturday, September 9, 2017.

Speaking Monday when he appeared on the Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS) Super Morning Show in Paynesville, the Inspector General of the Liberia National Police (LNP) said Liberty Party violated the agreement reached prior to the launch of its campaign.

Col. Gregory Coleman said at no time did the police sanction Liberty Party's decision to build a stage in the middle of Tubman Boulevard, thus impeding free flow of traffic.

Col. Coleman disclosed that he held meeting with the party's Chairman Ben Sanvee and Israel Ikansaya at which time it was agreed that no stage will be built on Tubman Boulevard, but rather on the wall/fence of the party's headquarters.

He said it was agreed that the party will occupy one lane on the Tubman Boulevard so as to protect supporters and partisans during the launch.

However, the LNP Inspector General said, to his surprise, Liberty Party began building a stage in the middle of Tubman Boulevard by 5:00 a.m. contrary to the agreement.

"When our officers assigned there asked them to remove the stage, they said the stage has tyres and will be rolled from there to the agreed place; they did not do so and lot of people began to pull in," Col. Coleman explained.

Coleman said the police had the right to insist for the stage to be removed but never wanted to create a scene that could have resulted to something else.

"Do we go back to flex our muscles to know who is stronger? Do we begin to use teargas and people get hurt in the process?" he asked.

He said at this point, the police was concerned about managing the situation to avoid confusion and later document Liberty Party's violation of the agreement.

The Police Chief pointed out that the LNP is more concerned about ensuring peaceful elections and smooth transition and as such, it will not allow for any group of people to distract it from achieving this goal.

He observed that there are people in the society who do not want to see a smooth transition; as such they will do everything to undermine the process.

Coleman: "We will ensure that this transition is smoothly done. We have not had peaceful transfer of power from one president to another for about 70 years; this is an opportunity to do so which the police is committed to ensuring."

He apologized to the public especially those who were affected by Liberty Party's 'lawless' behavior. He warned that the police will not allow then repeat of such incident.


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