In the wake of ensuing controversies relative to the prohibited certification of former Defense Minister Brownie J. Samukai upon his election as Senator of Lofa County, the exiled Chairman of the Council Of Patriots (COP), Henry P. Costa has rallied all of those he referred to militants as well as supporters and well-wishers to accompany Mo Ali, Secretary General, Unity Party (UP) and member of the National Advisory Council (NAC) of the COP Friday, March 19, 2021 for a conference at the police headquarters over a Facebook post during the week.
Ali in a March 16, 2021 social media post said: “If you think the conditions that precipitated the December 8, 2020 election results in favor of the opposition have dissipated in thin air, then we are all happy.”
A day later, the UP official posted: “Dear NSA, We will be escorting Rep. Francis S. Nyumalin tomorrow. Ehn your say he should come for questioning, we coming along with him.”
Police spokesman H. Moses Carter has already confirmed the invitation offered to the Unity Party Secretary General in relationship to the arson incidence at the headquarters and what he referred as a threatening social media post against Commissioners of the National Elections Commission (NEC).
Costa on went to allege that Nathaniel McGill, Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, has ordered the National Security Agency (NSA) to arrest Ali over a “harmless Facebook post from a few days ago.” According to Costa, two NSA vehicles (a black Nissan Patrol SUV, license plate NG30207 and a gray Corolla) have been tailing Mr. Ali to pick him up quietly. But, Minister McGill has not responded yet.
Regarding the invitation to Ali, COP Secretary General Mulbah K. Yorgbor, Jr. posted on social media: “George Weah’s Liberia is a Liberia in which we all have to suck up to the whims and caprices of this kleptocracy. As Secretary-General of the COP, I will be there leading men and women. It’s on!”
Meanwhile, UP Chairman Amin Modad also took to social media to personally and on behalf of the Unity Party condemn the recent arson attacks at the headquarters of the NEC and that of the home of Associate Justice Joseph Nagbe, who placed the prohibition order on Samukai’s certification.
He said: “We are deeply concerned by this ‘new form’ of threat to peace and security and hereby call on the authorities to conduct a swift, judicious, and impartial investigation so that the culprits can be apprehended and held accountable.”
The UP Chairman went on to state that his party believes in the rule of law and innate right of everyone to coexist peacefully and fearlessly despite “our differences.
In a position statement during the week, CPP pointed out that it is aware that the NEC, which itself declared Senator-elect Samukai as winner, contrived to delay the clear and unambiguous decision of the Supreme Court to proceed to certificate.
The party thinks this contrivance has not only denied the people of Lofa County the fullness in representation to which they are entitled like all other counties, but has also compelled it to draw into reasonable question, the constitutionally-required independence and autonomy of the NEC.
CPP therefore concludes that the current composition of the NEC is without the capacity nor competence to deliver on its constitutional mandate to conduct free, fair and credible public elections in Liberia void of political interference.
“For the CPP, and all well-meaning Liberians, this is unacceptable! Enough is enough! The duty to protect our democracy is not one the CPP takes lightly. Commitment to the rule of law is not one we will accept that anyone or group can either trivialize, or elect to disregard when it does not conform to their selfish political interests.”
CPP announced that it stands with the Supreme Court in a call for the full enforcements of both of its final decisions – the first to finally determine guilt and the satisfactory punishment therefor, and the second to finally determine the winner in the Midterm Senatorial Elections in Lofa County, as well as the attendant instructions to proceed to certificate the winner without further delays.
To the best of its abilities, the CPP said it will strongly resist, by a combination of political and legal actions, any nefarious effort to undermine the rule of law by “cherrypicking” decisions of the nation’s highest court that are enforceable, and thereby risk the country’s peace, security and democracy.
CPP stressed that it stands with the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) as the body must who must be justly reimbursed as directed by the highest court.
Similarly, CPP said it stands with the people of Lofa County whose overwhelming election of a Senator of their choice is without legal dispute and has been finally determined by the Supreme Court.
“The CPP, and all well-meaning Liberians, cannot afford to stand idly by and watch the slaughter of the soul of our democracy.”
The party indicated that its duty to act is one it considers to be nationally compelling as Liberia cannot simply claim to be democratic, and at the same time, permit the actions of its courts and democratic institutions to bend the rule of law selectively, out of convenience, or be engaged in lawless behavior.
CPP noted that it is also true that those into whose hands it has entrusted the power to govern democratically will not likely do so without its willingness to continuously ensure that they respect the laws.
“The painful fact is that too many in our country have suffered, bled and died for the creation of a democratic order in Liberia. We are deeply concerned that if allowed to go unchecked, the current infantile maneuvers and political collusions will grow to seriously threaten our democracy, the authority of the Constitution, and thereby, risk the peace and security of the Republic.”
CPP wants the word go forth that the CPP will resist the continued corruption of the courts, and the continued use and/or abuse of judiciary to the detriment of the country’s peace, security and stability.
As already indicated, CPP revealed that it is commencing a number of political and legal actions against the continued abuse and corrosion of the independence and autonomy of the NEC and has instructed the membership of its legislative caucus to begin the drafting of electoral reforms intended to address evolving issues in the qualification of candidates as well as protect the expressed will of the people in choosing their leaders, in a timely and credible manner that is not disruptive to the normal flow of government activities and functions.