Liberia: Senator Cooper - 'There Is Clear, Visible Danger Looming'

Sen. Oscar Cooper of Margibi County: "Since the Logan Town violence, I have not yet heard the President condemn the action; and that is poor leadership..."

Margibi County Senator Oscar Cooper has warned that if nothing is done to redirect the path of the country, it would end up in danger, "because the country is now going in a clear and visible path of looming danger to the disadvantaged citizens' safety and security of the people and the state."

He continued: "If we don't take a stand to reel in people who think they can violently terrorize innocent citizens going about their businesses for election, then history is very young from the 1980s to now; we know what we saw."

He made the comments on Tuesday, August 20, 2019 as Senators debated two communications from Grand Bassa County Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence. A similar communication was sent from Senators Conmany B. Wesseh of River Gee and Abe Darius Dillon of Montserrado counties respectively.

"Fellow colleagues, I am not going to sit here and run away from our responsibility... CDC people disarmed the police second in command (102) in the courtyard of their party headquarters, and nothing has come out of the unruly behavior; this is not about a party but the safety of the whole country. It is very serious and alarming, because the police will come and stand only to watch peaceful residents being terrorized," a very angry Senator Cooper told his colleagues.

He called for those responsible for security to appear before the Senate and account for their lack of action.

Cooper added, "Heads got to roll because we confirm people here to be Inspector General, Deputy Inspector General, Minister of Justice, and we have this lawlessness. And there is the perception we are getting from investors who will not come here; and the perception we are getting from our people is that the police cannot be trusted to safeguard their safety."

The outspoken Senator challenged his colleagues to swift action and that if the Minister of Justice, Cllr. Musah Dean, cannot do his job, then he must be removed.

"The message must go clear that if the LNP Inspector General is allowing the police force to stand down, then he must be removed. If the Executive, led by President George Weah, does not take a decisive move on this mob violence, we expect the President, who leads the security forces, to take the lead -- a decisive lead. If not, it will be looked at and perceived as state-sponsored terrorism. And if we, who have the oversight responsibility [see that] the Executive do not want to act, then we must act, to safeguard our people."

He called on his colleagues to imagine those people under siege for hours were their children being seriously injured and traumatized.

"Since the Logan Town violence, I have not yet heard the President condemn the action; and that is poor leadership... when I saw that video about Logan Town, tears came to my eyes, because it means chaos is looming in the country."

He said that people were living in fear due to "a breakdown in national police and the security apparatus."

He warned: "If we don't act swiftly by making people to account for their actions, there will be civil uprising to the extent that people will form their own security to safeguard them; that is how militia starts; and eventually there will be a breakdown in law and order, and we don't want that. We need to be very conscious of what is happening in our nation in recent times."

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