By Our Staff Writer
BONG/NIMBA: Since President George Manneh Weah begun his first Nation-wide in his fourth year of incumbency as the country’s Chief Executive, on February 12, 2021, he has been heavily campaigning against activities and calling on all to respect the rule of law and be civil in seeking redress. Although, President Weah starting his tour with lunching of the National Agricultural Fair in Centre Agricultural Research Institute (CARI) compound, Bong County, Friday February 12, 2021, he has been traveling with non-violence messages in the two counties visited so far.
During President Weah first Town Hall meeting held in David Dean’s town in Kokoyah Statutory District, Bong County, the Liberia said violence has no place in 21st Century Liberia. The President said he has noticed in recent times; Liberians are getting back into violence by burning car and police station resulting from a mare accident, which he adds, is not good for the country that is asking the friendly countries to assist in its development drive.
President Weah was responding to citizens of Kokoyah plead for the President to pardon some 55 people who allegedly vandalized the facilities of a controversial mining company, MNG Gold Liberia in 2018.
In a three-page petition presented to President Weah by the citizens on Saturday February 13, 2021, the petitioners said among several concerns that President should grant those arrested as a result of the MNG Gold Liberia violence that destroyed thousands of dollars’ worth of properties.
But responding to the citizens called to grant amnesty to those 55 people who were mostly youth, President Weah said people who are involved in violence will face the law. He added his government will not encourage any act of violence and cautioned parents to warn their children against violence.
The President asserted that violence is not good and he will not support violence, saying lawlessness is not heathy for Liberia after a prolong period of bitter civil conflict, adding that, dialogue is the best way forward.
The President frowned on the burning down a police station or vehicle as a result of accident between, or seeking redress of their plight.
He lamented that people burning police station or taking the law into own hands does not augur well for the country with many developmental challenges. He further that police represents the country, and anyone burnt it, that person is also burning the country, stressing that anyone found involved in such act of violence, with face the law.
He warned the citizenry to desist from violence, adding “tell your children what they doing is wrong”, thus making reference to his recent incident with the Police in Paris, when his son, George Weah Jr. (Champ) violated that country curfew regulation. He narrated that his 33-year old George Weah Jr. he from few questions posted to his son, he told Champ why did you violate the people’s the country’s curfew law?
Also, in the second county of his tour on Monday, February 15, 2021 in Ganta Nimba County, after President had promised to fulfil his Pro-Poor Agenda for the development of Liberia including the construction of City Hall in Ganta, he clearly told the people of Nimba to warn their children against violence activities.
At the jammed packed sport pitch in commercial city of Ganta, the President said peace is essential for development and violence impede growth, as such Liberian should do away with anything that has to do with violence because violence has taken this anyway instead backward.
In September 2015, angry mob burnt down two Alvino hotels in Ganta, Nimba county. The riot was triggered by the death of a motorcyclist after Prince Howard, owner of the hotel was accused of contracting the murderers to kill the motorcyclist for ritualistic purposes but following months of investigation, the Liberian National Police reported that they found evidence linking Prince Howard to the crime.
In Karnplay Nimba County, President assured the citizens of part of the country that his government with work with members of the County Legislative Caucus and county officials to improve their living condition through microfinance loan for market women and basic social services including health, education among others.
Interestingly, again the President took nearly thirty-minute to explained the importance of peace as compare to violence that has kept Liberia underdeveloped for 173 years of existence.
He reechoed the need for people to seek redress through the law and not by taking the law into their hands at the disadvantage of other innocence people. He wondered how would a motorcyclist as a result of an accident with bus carrying more than 50 persons set at blaze by angry motorcyclists. He said that unacceptable and anyone found involved in that, the law will take its course.
The President then urged parents to warn their children to desist from acts of violence in any form or manner because, according to him, violence scare development that they (citizens) are yielding for over the years. The best way for the country to go now is dialogue and peaceful settlement, President Weah emphasized.
As the President climax his tour in Nimba, he also visited the Ivorian refugees camp in Bahn where he dedicated housing units for the refuges. During the dedication program, President told the Ivorian refuges that he does want any trouble in Liberia. He said if the refugees want to stay in Liberia, they must remain law-abiding, adding Liberians too were refugees in Ivory Coast and respected the Ivorian laws and policies.
The President who spoke to the refugees in both English and French also warned the refugees to not create problem between Ivory Coast and Liberia, stressing that he had spoken to President Alassane Quattara about the refugees in Liberia.
However, as the President begins his tour in Grand Gedeh today, it is not clear whether he will continue with his non-violence campaign in the remaining counties in Southeastern Liberia; Grand Gedeh, Maryland, Rivergee and Grand Kru, as more development demands have already full his files just from two counties.