Liberia: Rep. Snowe to CoP - 'Abandon July 24 Protest'

-For national and international security concerns

Bomi County Electoral District #1 Representative, Edwin Melvin Snowe has called on the leadership of the Council of Patriots to abandon their proposal to stage a protest in Monrovia and other parts of the country beginning July 24.

Rep. Snowe said while it is true and correct that any aggrieved party has the right to freely assemble as provided for by the Constitution and petition the government, that right should not be misused or abused.

"Let's call a spade a spade; the planned July 24 protest is wrong and it makes no sense to me. I think even the thought to have it staged a day or two to the Independence Day celebration is a misguided thought. It should be discouraged because it borders on national security," he said.

Rep. Snowe is the chairman on foreign relations committee at the House of Representatives as well as the head of the delegation of Liberian Lawmakers to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament.

His admonishment to the Council of Patriots (COP) came following the consent of five Presidents, including Muhamadu Buhari of Nigeria, Alassane Ouattara of Ivory Coast, Apha Condé of Guinea, Adama Bio of Sierria Leone and Roch Marc Christian Kabore of Burkina Faso to attend Liberia's 172nd Independence Day celebrations on July 26, 2019.

"I am closely working with the Executive and the Committee organizing programs leading to the Independence Day celebration. I can safely confirm, as a member of the ECOWAS Parliament that those Presidents just named have given us their complete assurance that they will come and celebrate with us on that day," Snowe said.

He added that security clearance is already in operation to allow those heads of states enter Liberia on or, for some, even before July 26.

"They will be arriving here with their own security personnel but, on the overall, the onus is on the Liberian government to protect them as they stay here during the celebrations," he said, noting further that one of the Presidents who came to attend President Weah's inauguration ceremony but could not stay to see the program come to an end due to lack of seat at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports (SKD) Sports Complex will come for the July 26 celebrations.

"Apha Conde came for President Weah's Inauguration program but he had to return to Guinea because there was no seat made available for him to sit and witness the ceremonies. Now is a different case because his little brother, President Weah, has visited him recently and they have settled whatever problem that probably was in the making," Snowe said.

Rep. Snowe pointed out that inasmuch that he supports Abraham Darius Dillon for the the Senate By-election in Montserrado, he is not prepared to put the country's interest at stake for any individual, including members of his political party, the former ruling Unity Party.

"Dillon was my chief of staff. I want him to win but I am not in his campaign team. I am not and will not support his Council of Patriots to stage any protest before or on July 26," he said.

The Bomi Lawmaker said everywhere in Africa, and to some extent, in other parts of the world people protest but when it comes to their national holidays on which foreign guests are expected to attend their holidays' celebrations, all protests are seized.

"If Liberia is all that bad as claimed by some of our friends around here then I think the best thing to do is to boycott election. There is no need to work in a government that is all too corrupt, mainly when your ascendancy to the Legislature will make no extra difference. Just stay away and vote during Presidential and other elections in order to get out of office those whom you think are responsible for the problems you think are affecting the country," Snowe admonished.

He said one mistake the opposition block is making is to think that by sitting and instructing the President on what or what not to do is the right way out.

"You may think that we have nothing to celebrate but you have no proof that President Weah went to the Central Bank and collected hundreds of thousands of United States Dollars for his own birthday party. No. Not at all," he said.

He encouraged the opposition community and their supporters to put country above selves.

"I am not a member of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) but as a Liberian, and one in the decision making House, I have to reason that if this government succeeds it is our country that succeeds. Let us stop being destructive in our politics around here," Snowe firmly cautioned.

In his words, the appalling economic condition is not only unique to Liberia but several other countries in the sub-region and elsewhere too.

"I frequently travel to the countries around here. The exchange rates between their currencies and the foreign currencies, including the British Pound, Euro, United States Dollar are very high. Our case is not as hell may be in our imaginary eyes. All we need to do is to be strong and support each other in fighting the challenges facing our country," he further admonished.

Snowe said that Liberia will become better one day, mainly with the country's acceptance of the International Monetary Fund programs to sanitize its (Liberia's) economy.

Among other things, he boasted that Liberia is blessed with several educated people who are experts in a number of disciplines and are helping other countries.

"I was so impressed recently when I met a seasoned Liberian economist who has been helping Cape Verde, Gambia, Sierra Leone and a few other countries. He was assigned to those countries by ECOWAS and his advice to each of those countries has helped them so much. His name is Dukuly and I learned that he is now a deputy governor at the Central Bank of Liberia. That is good for us because with such individual on board at our financial institution, something good can happen," he said

Snowe said he traveled to Sierra Leone to see President Adama Bio and discuss some issues with him that border around ECOWAS Parliamentarians' concerns.

"I can say that West Africa is getting somewhere. Our leaders are supportive of each other's efforts to improve their countries. They are friends and are not ill-advising each other," he noted.

He said while he was there he called President Weah and turned the phone over to President Bio who had a very frank and friendly conversation with Weah.

"You demonstrate or not, those Presidents and some other Lawmakers and officials of those and other countries will come here for our July 26 celebrations. Therefore, the best thing to do is to allow our guests come and go in peace and later you can take to the streets and petition your government to address your concerns," he said, adding "This government still needs some time to get lots of things done. We don't have to be in a rush just for the sake of seeing developments or other things happen.

Another group strongly opposing the Council of Patriots (COP) is the Independent Council of Patriots (ICOP), headed by former Montserrado Disrict #8 Representative, Rufus Neufville.

Neufville accused COP of exploiting many people who contributed to the June 7 protest in Monrovia. He alleged that COP's executives cannot be trusted because their quest is not save the state from any problem but seek money from people for their personal benefits.

Rep. Yekeh Kolubah's wife being denied to travel with seven children

"I was in a meeting in Abuja when Hon. Yekeh Kolubah called me several times. I missed all pf them because I was busy. But as I went through my phone I realized that something went wrong and my attention was needed. I called him and he informed me that his wife was denied traveling with his children," he acknowledged.

Rep. Snowe said there is no need to jump the gun and conclude that the Immigration officers were wrong or that Rep. Kolubah's wife (Georgia Kolubah) was wrong or right too.

"Some times travel becomes complicated. That is no secret. She was traveling with some of the children who were not the children given birth to by she and Hon. Kolubah. I learned that they bear different surnames (last names). There is no big deal that the security asked that they should not travel, unless there is something else responsible," he said.

He noted that for anti-child trafficking, Immigration officers have the right to stop anyone from traveling with children easily without all necessary verifications.

"Even if the children are yours as a woman, but if your husband is not around, they can contact him to find out," he said, adding that it is his hoped that whatever was the problem for which Yekeh Kolubah's family could not travel is settled and they be allowed to travel according to immigration law.

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