Liberia: 'Reopen Roots FM or Else... .'

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Liberia police on patrol (file photo)

CPP warns President Weah, says government "cannot continue to act lawlessly under the guise of applying the law."

Members of the four Opposition Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), over the weekend called on President George M. Weah to unconditionally reopen Roots FM and restore all of its equipment and facilities or else they be left with no other alternative but to peacefully, nonviolent, direct and sustained mass action.

The Collaborating parties include the All Liberian Party, Alternative National Congress, Liberty Party and Unity Party. In a press release, the CPP said the government's action to shut down Roots FM in no way helps to allay growing fears that Liberia remains fragile and is therefore unsafe for doing business.

"The Government's continuous acts of violence have only scared away investors, who are reluctant because of the growing disregard for all tenets of good governance and the rule of law," the CPP said.

CPP also made mention of the government's "constant habit of organizing and use of former rebel generals [which] have also not been of any help to the growing fears that Liberia remains fragile and is therefore unsafe for businesses.

"The Liberia National Police (LNP) was seen on Thursday, working under the instruction of a former rebel general (General Power) who himself was seen removing broadcast equipment while ordering the police to arrest anyone in sight," CPP said.

"In our view, and as shown repeatedly," CPP continued, "President Weah is determined to destroy Liberia's peace and democracy. He is taking Liberians for granted, especially at this critical time when they are deprived of life's necessities.

"We will continue to speak out on matters that affect Liberia's peace, democracy and the wellbeing of the masses of our people. We, therefore, urge all Liberians not to succumb to Weah's threats because Liberia cannot become a police state," CPP said.

According to CPP, the government has refused to grant an operating license to Punch FM and is determined to silence all independent voices, adding that the closure of Roots FM proves that there are plans underway to muzzle anything that resembles criticism.

CPP said the action to close Roots FM is intended to give undue advantage to Freedom FM, which is owned and operated by the National Security Agency's Deputy Director for Special Services, Sam Siryon, and has been preaching hate messages against critics, most times inciting violence, which eventually happens.

Meanwhile, the CPP has urged its members, supporters, and sympathizers to continue to be peaceful, law-abiding and non-violent as they hold consultations in order to determine their next course of action, which they claimed will be 'decisive.'

CPP used the medium to warn President Weah against any further acts that are inimical to Liberia's peace as the 2020 Senatorial Elections draw near, which they believe will be even more critical for Liberia's democracy.

"Let it be made clear here that this government will soon realize that it has crossed the red line for our patience and tolerance. It cannot continue to act lawlessly under the guise of applying the law. So far, there is no outcome of acts of violence perpetrated against Mrs. Cornelia Kruah Togba in District#13 in 2018 and, most recently, against Ms. Telia Urey of District#15. In each instance, scores of innocent citizens were wounded and valuable properties destroyed in arson attacks from Weah's fanatics," they said.

It may be recalled, on Thursday, October 10, 2019, Augustine Nagbe, alias "General Power," an ex-rebel general, led heavily armed officers of the LNP to the premises of Roots FM 102.7 to effect the closure of the radio station.

Roots FM is owned and operated by Henry Pedro Costa, whose invigorating and revelatory daily morning Talk Show, "The Costa Show", has been very critical of the administration of President George Manneh Weah, has dominated the airwaves and attracted many listeners.

ANC Welcomes 58 New Members

Meanwhile, the opposition Alternative National Congress, on Thursday, October 10, 2019, welcomed 58 new members to the party ahead of 2020 senatorial and 2023 general elections.

ANC the political leader, Alexander B. Cummings, told the new members that, as the fastest growing political party in Liberia, the ANC will have a broad-based presence across the 15 sub-political divisions and 73 districts of Liberia.

Mr. Cummings said as the ANC welcomes new members, it is an example and manifestation of the future of both the party and Liberia.

He said they are in the process of building the ANC into the best and biggest political party in Liberia that needs the collaboration and contribution of every well-meaning Liberian.

Mr. Cummings told the new members that, "those of you that have joined us will have the chance to design the house we are building and decide how big the living room is, how many rooms we want and you will influence of the shape of the house. For those that will come later, we will welcome you but the house will already be built and the good news is that you will be part of building the biggest political party in Liberia."

"I want you to know that we believe in Liberia, we believe that Liberia has a brighter future and we believe in the Liberian people and we know all the problems in our country," he said.

"We know the current government is just looking after themselves and have forgotten about the Liberians who voted them to power," Mr. Cummings said, "but we have been through worse as a people and we will get through this difficult period as a people and Liberia will raise a nation."

He said the ANC will change Liberia, adding that, "the new members who joined along with old members will get their hands dirty to do the work to build the party and develop country."

Aloysius Toe, ANC secretary General, said many Liberians who cannot afford to send their children to school and get affordable healthcare due to the poor economic status are frustrated but they should work hard to get the better Liberia they deserve.

He said the ANC wants to see every Liberian have good homes, healthcare services, education and electricity, which is why they are building a strong and inclusive political party.

"Your presence here today has indicated that you are ready to bring the necessary change Liberia deserves and you want to use ANC as a vehicle to transform the country," Mr. Toe said.

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