Liberia: Where Does President Weah Stand On Morlu's Assassination Allegations?

This newspaper is gravely concerned about statements by CDC chairman Mulbah Morlu that the opposition is dangerous to democracy and that some opposition political figures who he named as Alexander Cummings and Charles Brumskine have plans afoot to assassinate President Weah.

Not offering a scintilla of evidence to substantiate his claims about assassination plans being hatched by Brumskine and Cummings, Chairman Morlu went on a wild rant lampooning the opposition for all the shortcomings of this government.

These accusations by CDC Chairman Morlu certainly warrant a criminal investigation to lay bare the facts. It is not clear whether the Police or other state security institutions have commenced a probe into the allegations put forth by Morlu. This is indeed a grave matter and should be treated with appropriate, urgent concern. This is because such allegations only tend to raise the political temperature needlessly.

Judging from a rash of past incidents of instigated unprovoked violence, recently, in which officials of this government are said to be linked, it suggests that some officials of the government are hell-bent on creating a climate of fear.

According to observers, it appears more likely than not that the fruits of their action will succeed in making the President a virtual prisoner of fear, hyped-up by individuals whose personal interests they place second to none -- not even that of their benefactor.

What is indeed troubling is that President Weah, according to security sources, appears to convey the impression he believes in their fabrications.

Security sources say this was evident recently when President Weah skipped military formalities at the Roberts International Airport upon his return from abroad, allegedly for fear of being assassinated by disloyal soldiers.

It can be recalled that just few days ago in our February 5 editorial, headlined: "Dangerous Political Rhetoric Self-Evident in the Recent Wave of Political Violence Must Stop Now" the Daily Observer called on those officials of government threatening violence against their opponents to stop forthwith.

This call was made in response to postings by Deputy Information Minister Eugene Fahngon threatening to kill their opponents even down to their chickens. The editorial recounted that such statements evoked chilling memories of the ugly, bitter past.

In all this the public is yet to hear from the Police on these open threats and dangerous accusations. In some recorded instances of political violence, the Police failed to act to arrest the situation and, up till present, the Police has made no disclosures of arrests of the individuals involved in the violence.

The violent attack on political aspirant Cornelia Kruah Togba in the New Georgia estate area involving Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson Koijee, is yet to be investigated by the Police.

But in a strange twist, Senator Nyonblee Karnga Lawrence and Cornelia Kruah Togba, both being victims of the attack, have been sued by Mayor Koijee.

In the case involving the violent attack on a children's party hosted by Representative Yekeh Kolubah and the gun attack on his home, there is yet no report of any investigation which should have been launched into the matter.

This newspaper has repeatedly warned, and shall unfailingly continue to do so, of the potential danger associated with such violent political rhetoric. Those who persist in pursuing such a course risk failure because the Liberian people shall simply not accept being cowed into submission -- not even under the threat of the use of mindless violence.

President Weah, in the view of this newspaper, must do all in his power to restrict or police the behavior of errant officials whose actions only tend to push the country to the brink of crisis.

Should he fail to act in this regard, he will have to accept blame should crisis befall the nation. It is also important for President Weah to realize that such utterances by his officials tend to scare off investors wary of doing business in an unstable environment.

Against the backdrop of an underperforming economy amidst rising prices of goods and services and generally increasing economic hardships, it would be foolhardy to attempt to create a climate of fear under such conditions. Moreover it must not be forgotten that thousands of Liberian youths have become steeped in a gun culture and for many, a return to the violence of the past may appear tempting.

This newspaper, for example, recalls how the entire Monrovia was looted laid to waste in just a few hours by marauding armed bands during the initial period of the April 6, 1996 violence which rocked the city.

And this is exactly where the danger lies -- not only for the opposition but also for the likes of those espousing such violence, seemingly unaware of the implications of their utterances and actions.

They tend to forget that their massive wealth acquired overnight, have naturally succeeded in cultivating seeds of envy and anger amongst thousands of impoverished people. As past experience shows the wealthy and those perceived as well-off are usually the first targets of mob violence and mass looting.

This newspaper once again calls on President Weah to gather his wits and deal forthwith and firmly with the likes of Deputy Minister Eugene Fahngon, who has sworn to kill opponents of this government, even down to their chickens; and CDC Chairman Mulbah Morlu, who has accused opposition politicians of planning to assassinate President Weah, yet failed to provide any scintilla of evidence to substantiate his claims.

The question now on the minds of an anxious public is whether President agrees with or indeed believes that he is a target of assassins. And if indeed he does believe the accusations to be true, what is he doing about it?

President Weah must come out and tell Liberians and the world where he stands on this all-important matter.

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