Press Release | ALJA: Weah’s Govt Must Stop Toying with Conflict
New Castle, Delaware- The Association of Liberian Journalists in the Americas (ALJA) has described as unfortunate the decision by the House of Representatives' plenary to subject Montserrado County electoral District #-10 Representative, Yekeh Kolubah, to a Justice Ministry sanctioned investigation in connection with the recent riot involving the Lawmaker, his family and supporters, and alleged thugs of the ruling Coalition of Democratic Change (CDC) in the Smythe Road Community in Sinkor Old Road, a suburb of Monrovia.
ALJA says it is intriguing that the House's plenary has hastily opted to form alliance with the Justice Ministry for the prosecution of one of its own members while at the same time refusing to publicly acknowledge and seek legal redress for the mayhem committed against the Lawmaker by some alleged CDC supporters on Sunday, January 20, 2019.
The Association in a press release issued on January 24, 2019, decried the action of the House' plenary and the Justice Ministry. ALJA says it is unfair for the House of Representatives and the Justice Ministry to begin an aggressive investigation against Representative Kolubah while at the same time making little or no efforts for the impartial probe of his allegations levied against the CDC and the Liberian government. The representative claimed that he as well as his family and supporters were attached and humiliated, and the party, which he organized for children of his constituency on Symthe Road disrupted.
He further alleged some of the children invited to the party were injured during the incident. The Representative also, claimed that his home was shot at in the early hours of Monday, January 21, 2019, by unknown gunmen. ALJA maintained the action of the House' Plenary and the Justice Ministry equates to the miscarriage of justice and political patronage.
ALJA notes the action further validates Representative Kolubah's earlier claim that the January 20th mob action against him, his family and supporters was stage managed with the acquiescence of some higher-ups of the Liberian government. ALJA further asserts, the attack was horrendous; and it poses another serious setback to the political governance of Liberia.
The Association says since the ascendency of the Weah administration to the leadership of Liberia a year ago, there have been two of such violent incidents in the country with accusing fingers being directed at some insiders of the CDC as the orchestrators. ALJA recalled on November 17, 2018, similar crisis erupted in District number-13 in Montserrado County when alleged supporters of the CDC left their assembly point in Iron Factory and marched into the New Georgia stronghold of then representative candidate Cornelia Kruah during a political rally in the District.
Then Monrovia City Mayor, Jefferson Koijee, who also, chairs the CDC's Youth Wing, was accused of leading the riot. Although the Liberian government at the time vowed to institute a probe into the crisis, which resulted to the public humiliation of several Liberians including Liberty Party (LP) Political Leader and Grand Bassa County Senator, Nyonblee Kangar Lawrence, and the destruction of private properties, the outcome of the probe remains in limbo.
On Sunday, January 20, 2019, alleged supporters of Mayor Koijee were again accused of spear-heading the Smythe Road Community onslaught against Rep. Kolubah, his family and supporters. ALJA maintains the reported failure of the Liberia National Police (LNP) to promptly intervene and contain the riot despite alleged repeated reach-out to the Director of Police by the Lawmaker for help was unfortunate.
Commenting on the reported discharge of fire arms at the home of the Representative during night hours by some unknown individuals, the Association notes it is deeply troubled by the report. The Americas based Liberian journalists say such action was awful because it endangered the safety and wellbeing of the Lawmaker and his family. ALJA further states the crisis had the propensity of derailing the prevailing peace and stability in the country.
ALJA asserts the attack is reminiscent of Liberia's ugly past, when individuals, groups, politicians and tribes then seen as opponents of previous administrations were denigrated, persecuted and in sometimes murdered for callous reasons. The Association notes such devious acts laid the foundation for the dreaded 14 years Liberian civil wars, which claimed the lives of scores of people and the destruction of millions of US dollars' worth of properties between 1989 and 2003.
The Association says the January 20th gruesome attack was meant to intimidate and silence the Lawmaker, opposition politicians and others the Weah government erroneously perceives as enemies and critical voices in the country. Meanwhile, ALJA is calling on the Liberian government to stop toying with violence in the country by taking corrective actions that would curtail the repeat of such lawlessness; and the brazen culture of impunity in the country.
ALJA says President Weah and the CDC administration have the constitutional responsibility of creating the enabling environment for the peaceful co-existence of all Liberians regardless of political, social, religious and tribal dispensations. ALJA notes Liberia is a neither a personal property of the ruling CDC nor any other political party. “Every Liberian has the right to live in peace and happiness in the country irrespective of social or political status,” the ALJA press release quoted the Association's National President, Moses D. Sandy, as saying.
ALJA called on President Weah and the CDC to demonstrate leadership by ensuring adherence to the rule of law in the country. The Association says no society the world over thrives when the laws of the country are not respected or adhere to by its citizens.
Akai Awulutey Glidden
National Secretary General
Moses D. Sandy