Any form of violence at this time when the eyes of the world are watching, praying and hoping that Liberia ride through this crisis will send a bad signal and a message that Liberians are a bunch of unserious people in need of some serious political therapy.
EBOLA-HIT Liberia received a Doze of potential reality Wednesday when rival supporters of football legend George Manneh Weah and the independent candidate Robert Alvin Sirleaf clashed in the PHP Community, the headquarters of Sirleaf.
THE CLASHES came just days after the National Elections Commission declared open the start of the political campaign season for the upcoming Special Senatorial elections slated for December 16, 2014.
VARIATIONS OF WHAT may or may not have triggered the melee has been cluttering the social media circuits with supporters of both sides laying to their shares of the spoils of what has now set up a prelude to what many anticipate would be a rather contentious election.
MR. SIRLEAF, in a statement late Wednesday took aim at the CDC he blamed for the incident, he described as “a cowardly act of desperation and fear,” suggesting that the grassroots party is in a panic mode due to the increasing and overwhelming support his campaign is receiving throughout the county. “It continues to sadden us that an institution like the CDC are again being returned to the same "violence at all cost models." The perpetrators of this wanton act of violence must be brought to justice. Our campaign journey will remain a peaceful one throughout the entire democratic process, as we have faith in the good people of Montserrado County whom deserve a positive future.
WEAH ON THE OTHER hand riled up his supporters with jabs of his own at Sirleaf.
SAID WEAH: "The behavior here today show that Robert Sirleaf does not mean well for this country. The attitude should in no way discourage you from supporting CDC; but rather should motivate you to do more."
REPRESENTATIVE ACAROUS Moses Gray(District 8, Montserrado County) a former secretary general of the CDC told FrontPageAfrica late Wednesday that the party is saddened by claims from the Sirleaf camp. “It saddens us that Mr. Sirleaf and his team will Seek to shamelessly issue a Statement that seeks to shift blame instead of cutting off his brutal attack dogs who provoke a barbaric and uncivilized situation, throwing stones at our political gathering. “Their actions today to attack the vehicle off our flag bearer and senatorial aspirant, Ambassador. Weah is tantamount to an assassination and needs immediate redress.”
THE CDC is demanding an inquiry into the matter insisting that it was the Sirleaf camp which triggered the melee. “We wonder why the police took so long to arrive as all candidates need equal protection. We have instructed our supporters to remain law abiding but we want the Sirleaf team to know that this barbaric act on their part must be the last of its kind. The NEC must act now so as to avoid the further act on the part of Mr. Sirleaf’s handful of supporters. Also The PHP field is not for Mr. Sirleaf or his campaign team. The property belongs to the Government of Liberia and the field is intended for the community use like the one built in Slipway.”
THE INCIDENT while not as damaging as it could have been drawn riot police who quickly arrived to restore order, but not after several properties were seen damaged as a result of riot from supporters of both sides. A despondent Weah urged his supporters not to be discouraged, especially in their beliefs.
HISTORY HAS NOT taken too kindly to Liberia and elections.
AS FAR BACK as 1955, when S. David Coleman's Independent True Whig Party and its ally the Reformation Party were barred from participation in the presidential elections and took their appeal to the Supreme Court, tensions have been at the front and center of elections in Liberia. Coleman and other Independent True Whig and Reformation Party officials were charged with treason and sedition, after an alleged attempt on the life of President William V. S. Tubman. Coleman was killed in a reported shootout when security forces attempted to arrest him at his Clay-Ashland home.
COLEMAN HAD RISEN to the position of Chairman of the True Whig Party during the reign of President Edwin Barclay (1930 – 1944). But relations between the pair deteriorated to such an extent that the two became political opponents. Coleman then successfully joined the William Tubman’s campaign for the presidency, but in 1954 switched back to Barclay’s camp that rivaled with Tubman for the presidency. After the defeat of ex-President Barclay in the May 1955 presidential elections, the assassination attempt took place (June 22,1955). Coleman, one time Minister of Interior under President Tubman, was accused of being emplied in the assassination plot, was hunted down by security forces and killed on June 27, together with his oldest son under conditions that have never become very clear. The facts that surrounded “The Plot That Failed” have never been satisfactorily verified.
THE OCTOBER 15, 1985 election was the first since the April 12, 1980 military coup that brought Samuel Doe to power.
OFFICIAL RESULTS SHOWED that Samuel Doe won the presidential election with 50.9% of the vote, just enough to avoid a runoff and his National Democratic Party of Liberia(NDPL) won large majorities in both houses of the national legislature.
IRONICALLY, the polls were marred by allegations of widespread fraud and rigging that the current president who ran as a senator for Montserrado County rejected the results even though she was declared the winner.
IT WAS WIDELY believed that Jackson F. Doe’s Liberia Action Party, which officially finished second was the actual winner and that Doe had the ballots counted in a secret location by his handpicked staff.
THE SAD REALITY is the results of those elections triggered the events that led to years of a bloody civil war as multiple coup attempts, human rights abuses, corruption and ethnic tensions followed, leading to the 1989 civil war and subsequent death of Doe in September 1990.
SADLY, IT APPEARS that the death of Doe and the civil war has had very little impact on Liberians.
IN NOVEMBER 2011, Hundreds of protesters clashed with the police and United Nations peacekeepers leaving at least one person dead the day before a presidential runoff that the opposition has vowed to boycott.
ALL THIS AFTER international observers described the first round of the presidential election — the first since 2005 and only the second since Liberia emerged from its devastating 14-year conflict — as free and fair.
AT A TIME when Liberia already has its hands full dealing with a major health epidemic; a deadly Ebola virus outbreak, these elections must offer promise for a fragile democracy and hope for many languishing at the bottom of the economic.
ANY FORM of violence at this time when the eye of the world is watching, praying and hoping that Liberia ride through this crisis; will send a bad signal and message that Liberians are a bunch of unserious people in need of some serious political therapy.
WE HAVE COME too far and witnessed so much political turmoil; yet, life for many poor and indigenous people, remain the same.
THOSE WHO CLAIM to be seeking public offices in hopes of rescuing people out of poverty and suffering have been riding on the backs of voters and constituents for years.
THIS MUST NOT be one of those times when we see yet more deaths and chaos leading to the same results we are experiencing today.
LIBERIA HAS had enough violence, seen a lot of pains, sufferings and deaths.
WAR, EBOLA and multiple violent turns have taken a lot out of our existence; a lot from our mindset and taken us decades back. Now is the time to avoid the trappings of power and the errors of the past that has brought us nothing but trouble. A Hint to the Wise…