Liberia: Inter-Religious Council Expresses Concerns Over Growing Wave of Insecurity

Monrovia — The Inter-Religious Council of Liberia (IRCL), through its President, Bishop Kortu K. Brown, has alarmed over the growing wave of insecurity and the decline in the country's governance process.

The IRCL is a conglomeration of the Liberia Council of Churches (LCC) and the National Muslim Council of Liberia (NMCL).

According to the group's President, the high wave of insecurity in the country has the proclivity of scaring away potential investors and creating unnecessary tension in the nation.

Bishop Brown made these comments in an exclusive interview with FrontPage Africa at his offices in Brewerville, outside Monrovia.

He made specific reference to the reported scuffle between officers of the elite presidential guard, Executive Protection Service (EPS) and the Deputy Director at the National Security Agency (NSA), and the burning of tires by unknown persons on the Tubman Boulevard in Monrovia.

Bishop Brown urged authorities of the Ministry of Justice to speedily investigate these matters to bring the perpetrators to book.

He added that the Coalition of Democratic Change (CDC) led-government of President George Manneh Weah will be held liable for any "breakdown" in the country's peace and security.

Bishop Brown noted that the encouraging of too much acrimony in the country by government and other political actors will undermine the fight against the Coronavirus virus, and derail Liberia's hard-earned peace and stability.

"We are concerned about the level of security development in the country; the too many reports of growing insecurity in our communities. We want to sound this caution to the government and all Liberians that the Liberian people will hold the Weah administration responsible for any break down in the security of the country"

"The number one responsibility of any government is to make sure that the lives of the people are protected; and that's why this government was elected to do. Government should ensure peace and security and the safety of their citizens first and foremost".

He attributed the escalation of violence and insecurity in the country to "glaring immaturity" on the part those who instigate and carry out those anti-peace acts as well as those responsible to maintain law and order.

"We are hearing report of security scuffle about details of the Vice President and people from NSA. We think that these kinds of reports should not be attaining right now during this Coronavirus fight. Too many crazy things are happening all around Monrovia".

Bishop Brown underscored the need for the engagement of state security actors to ensure that they are more vigilant, professional and proactive in carrying on their assigned tasks and responsibilities.

"The government needs to set the pace and make it clear to the entire country that first and foremost the safety of every Liberian is paramount. That kind of agenda should be set into motion to help affect the performance of our security forces".

"If there is chaos or fighting in your house or around your everyday, who will come to visit you. Violence drives away investors. Investment will gravitate towards a peaceful environment".

He continued: "I want to appeal to the Ministry of Justice to do what it can to ensure that incidence of insecurity involving the Vice President's security and the NSA Deputy Director are speedily investigated and make sure that the public is aware on what measures have been taken to address those kind of unfortunate developments".

Create no tension

Ahead of the December 2020 senatorial election, Bishop Brown urged the Weah-administration to do everything possible to safeguard the country's peace, "manage the discourse", and create a level playing field for all.

He maintained that citizens right to freedom of expression and assembly should not be hindered by anyone during this period.

Bishop Brown added that more tension that could undermined the fight of the Covid-19 pandemic would be created if the fundamental rights of citizens are not protected by government.

He indicated that creating unnecessary tension could further divide Liberians.

Running a state, not political party

Speaking further, the renowned Liberian clergyman reminded authorities of the CDC-led government that they are governing a country, instead of a political institution.

He said government should collectively work with everyone regardless of political affiliation or status if Liberia is to be on par with other countries around the world.

Bishop Brown lamented that the living conditions of citizens will continue to remain backward if leaders of the country do not desist from wrangling and exhibit a high level of maturity in moving the country forward.

"There is a difference between running a political party than running a state. Running a state, you work with all. Whether or not they agree or support you, you can try your best to work with all so that the country can move forward. What's wrong with the level of maturity of our political leaders-What is their focus because most times we hear wrangling in the media. We are acting like we are in a race to out-race one another".

"It's just about election and power. In the end there is no effect on lives and livelihood because of the high degree of immaturity that is driving our politics. Whether it is in the ruling party or the opposition, the discourse and arguments can sometimes be very troubling".

Bishop Brown called for the improvement of Liberia's governance process.

"The governance process needs to be more engaging and inclusive. The government does not have a choice on who it deals with. You have to deal with all stakeholders if you want to move the country forward".

Keep the focus

Meanwhile, the IRCL President has called on Liberians including political actors to stay focus on combating Covid-19, instead of creating more tension in the society.

According to him, the outbreak of the virus in Liberia has economically and socially weakened citizens, and as such, the eradication of the killer virus must be the prerogative of all.

"Liberians believed in their religious leaders; they believed in their Imams and Pastors. We as a religious community is trying to remain focus in fighting the Coronavirus and not to do anything to undermine the effectiveness of this fight".

"Let's undermine any incident of insecurity in our country. Let's work towards building a peaceful co-existence in order to fight the Coronavirus".

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