8 November 2017

Liberia: 'Security Is Under Control,' Senate Chairman On Security, Intelligence Assures Citizens

Photo: Liberian Observer
Annie Dao Leenah, of Sinkor, says life is getting unbearable for her and her three children every day.

The chairman of the Senate Committee on Defense, Security, Intelligence & Veteran Affairs, at a late evening press briefing yesterday, assured citizens and residents that national security is under control.

Lofa County Senator Stephen J. H. Zargo, following four hours of executive session in the Chambers of the Senate, told reporters that his committee briefed Senate plenary on a recent high-powered meeting his committee held with the Elections Security Task Force as a result of a letter he presented to that body concerning exchanges of hostile speech among political actors.

"As a country and people, I want to assure our people that security is under control and that there was no need for national security alarm," Senator Zargo asserted, adding that the October 26 top-brass security meeting at the Capitol Building was intended to reassure the citizenry that there was no need to panic.

The Senator agreed that there may be few skirmishes, "but on the general outlook conditions in our country are good; I can say it because those who provide for us the enabling environment have assured us that they have the capability and capacity, and we have our hands on deck and let me emphasize that security-wise, everything is well."

Speaking on the recent development concerning the Coalition for Democratic Change's deployment of private security at the Palm Springs Hotel in Paynesville, Senator Zargo, who is also a former policeman, re-echoed the warning by Police Director Gregory Coleman against non-state security actors putting on regalia and insignia that reflect state actor uniform.

"It's uncalled for. Engagements have been done, the EPS, LNP and the Elections Task Force are engaged with the actors and sooner or later we are going to see that no more," he said.

The committee has recommended that the requisite support needed for the enhancement of the Elections Security Task Force to perform its duty be provided, especially as it relates to the remuneration of deployed officers in the field; that the leadership of the Liberian Senate remains meaningfully engaged with stakeholders at all levels to ensure a smooth and democratic transfer of state power.

The Senate committee further recommended that there must be a forfeiture of a recess and a continued stay in office as Senators to ensure adequate representation by that first branch of the Government during "these critical periods of our country's history."

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