10 July 2018

Liberia: FLY Against Street Protests

The Federation of Liberian Youth (FLY) has spoken against recent street protests staged by students of the University of Liberia under the auspices of the Students Unification Party (SUP).

In a statement read at a news conference Monday by FLY President Augustine Tamba, the youth group while the students have genuine concern as it relates to the high exchange rate and the hike in the prices of basic commodities, street protest is not the solution to the current harsh economic situation in the country.

Tamba: "We too as an institution do recognize the harsh economic realities of the common people amid the drastic increase in prices. With this recognized realities, street protest are never the way forward in resolving these issues."

FLY said it does not reject the concerns of the students but called on to desist from street protests and trust the government led by President George Manneh Weah to administer the affairs of the state by finding solution to the harsh economic situation the people currently face.

Tamba said "FLY sees demonstration and street protests not as solution, rather a gas to increase the fire. We want the students to remain calm understanding that insecurity, bad news and economic panic are all sources for inflation in the real world."

FLY pointed out that the action by the students to protest has the proclivity and predisposition to bringing fear to business practitioners and specialists in the economy thus leading dishonest entrepreneurs to engage in price gouging by hiking the prices of essential commodities for the poor.

The youth group also called on the Liberian Government to open its door and provide more information to the students and the general public, particularly the ordinary Liberians on the current economic condition of the country as part of the dialoguing process.

"FLY sees information asymmetry as a gap that led the students in demanding a magic for the reduction of prices. We are all aware that Liberia operates a market based economy system which provides the room for more economic decisions to take place at the market sites, although the government leadership in facilitating the decision and growth of the market is recommended strongly by macroeconomists," Tamba said.

The youth group acknowledged that the protesting students had good arguments which it is never insensitive to considering the current hardship.

However, it maintained that street protests are never a solution to a problem including the current economic hardship in the country.

"As the government gets adjusted and finding solutions to our many problems, we want to call on SUP to reduce its height and open its door to dialogue as part of the national conversations in understanding the current economic realities," FLY said in the statement.

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