Bill W. Cooper
The Liberia National Police (LNP) on yesterday disrupted the planned protest by the Council of Patriot (CoP) on grounds that they were not given permission.
Making the disclosure to this paper via mobile, police spokesperson, Moses Carter admitted that the police was constrained to use tear gas to dispersed protesters on grounds that they refuse to adhere to the orders to leave the principal of street of Monrovia.
According to him, though the police have the responsibility to protect peaceful assemblies, he stressed that such should also be done within the confines of the law in order to avoid infringing on the rights of other citizens.
Carter who did not deny nor confirm whether or not the government received any request from the CoP concerning their planned protest action, stated that the LNP did not receive any communication from the Ministry of Justice informing them about any pressure group wanting to the protest on yesterday.
He further stated that there was no arrests made nor was any protester wounded by officers of the LNP, adding, “As it is always upon the LNP to protect lives and properties of every Liberians; the LNP will also ensure that the citizenry act in the confines of the laws that govern the country.”
Yesterday, scores of Liberians believed to be members of the CoP gathered in the streets to demand the government to address several of their counts ranging from the full report of the COVID-19 stimulus package, the US$25 million mop-up exercise intended to stabilize the country’s economy including the removal of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) boss, the three missing boys, among others.
The CoP’s Secretary General, Mulbah Yorgbor describe the LNP’s action as being insensitive to the plights of the ordinary citizens; and vowed to not stop protesting until the government addresses their concerns.
He added that though they were intimated by the huge police presence during the early morning of their assembly, their gathering in the streets yesterday further sent out a clear message to the international community that Liberians are resolved and are yearning for a better leadership.
Late yesterday evening, the government release from the Ministry of Information said, “The government of Liberia attention is drawn to plans by a group of people to agitate before the Capitol Building offices of the National Legislature, when lawmakers are on their annual constituency break. There has been no notice of such protest to the government including the legislature.”
The government release added, “As the government reiterates its commitment to upholding the fundamental right to peaceful assembly; it also emphasizes that all such gatherings must be done in keeping with law.”
“At this point, no authorization has been requested or granted to protesters for a march. The government therefore calls on the public to go about its normal business, while cautioning potential troublemakers to refrain from testing the limits of the law,” the government stated.
Police Calls Off CoP’s Protest …Says There Was No “Permit,” But..
Bill W. Cooper