11 June 2019

Liberia: Citizens Want Govt Address CoP's Petition

Some citizens of Bong County especially radio talk show participants are calling on the government of President George Manneh Weah not to ignore concerns raised by a group of aggrieved citizens under the banner Council of Patriots (COP).

After failing to present their petition to government on 7 June, the protesters on Sunday, 9 June read their petition during a press conference, alarming continuous flagrant violation of the Liberian constitution and laws, suppression of press freedom and rights, construction and acquisition of scores of luxury private buildings by the President.

The Council of Patriots further claims the government's failure to comprehensively address the issue of Liberia's $16 billion scandal, and the US$25 million intended for mop- up of excess Liberian dollars,

On the basis of the COP's counts, residents of Bong County have called on the government to take the petition seriously by addressing the protesters' concerns as soon as possible.

"This is the same way the protest business started and the GoL (Government of Liberia) was not taking it [seriously], we are asking the government not to delay the implementation of the COP concerns as doing so will undermine the development of the country," Mr. Francis Kerkulah, a resident of Gbarnga told local journalists.

Mr. Kerkulah says he thinks the COP does not have bad intentions for the Country, referencing the just ended much publicized June 7 protest which ended peacefully.

Mary FlomoMulbah, a market woman in Gbarnga says a petition is being prepared for President George Manneh Weah through the office of the Bong County Superintendent Anthony Boakai Sheriff about government's timely response to the COP's petition.

"Well, we as market women think that doing so will also make the President to know that we are serious. He and his officials need to act now and address the concerns of the COP," she explains.According to Madam Mulbah, she did not go to Monrovia for the protest, but they all protested indirectly on June 7.

"Since we closed our business centers on that day and never went to the market to sell, meaning we all protested that day," she told Journalists in an interview.

For his part, Father Lawrence Tokpah, a member of the National Union of the Blind, expresses fear that there will be an increased tension in the Country if government refuses to adhere to the concerns of the COP.

"The first one was peaceful, we saw it; but if President Weah and his officials do not start to work on things that were mentioned by the COP, they (Members of the COP) might plan another demonstration which will not be fine for his government," he concludes.

Our Bong County correspondent says some of the citizens who left the main city of Gbarnga in fear of the protest have started returning home.

Our correspondent observed that some residents had crossed the St. Paul River to the Republic Guinea owing to fear that there would have been war in Liberia.By Joseph Titus Yekeryan in Bong-Edited by Winston W. Parley


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