Home Politics Donning Of CDC T-Shirts By EPS Officers Backfires … Gov’t Slams Move As Lack of SOP Knowledge

Donning Of CDC T-Shirts By EPS Officers Backfires … Gov’t Slams Move As Lack of SOP Knowledge

by News Manager

MONROVIA: The Government of Liberia says it has taken due cognizance of concerns coming from local and international quarters as it relates to the donning of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) political paraphernalia (T-shirts and berets) by some members of the state security, under the umbrella of Executive Protection Service (EPS) during the party’s “One Million-Man Rally” held in several counties.

The rally was organized by the ruling CDC to petition incumbent President George Manneh Weah to seek second six-year constitutional term of office.

According to an Information Ministry press release, issued on Monday, February 6, 2023, the Government described the expressed concerns as legitimate.

The Government, in the release, terms the Executive Protection Service (EPS) Officers’ behavior as “embarrassing.”

However, the Government attributed such behavior by the EPS Officers to “over-exuberance and lack of knowledge of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) of the service.”

The Information Ministry release added that the Chairman of the Joint-Security of Liberia, Justice Minister, Cllr. Frank Musah Dean Jr., has mandated the EPS Director, Trokon Nathaniel Roberts, to ensure that henceforth, such unprofessional display by any member of the EPS does not recur.

According to the Government’s release, in a mandate to the National Security Forces of Liberia, Justice Minister Dean reminded all military, paramilitary, and other related security institutions of their oath to defend and protect all citizens and residents of the country in a manner that demonstrates neutrality, professionalism, and decency.

Moreover, the Government of Liberia reiterated its commitment to the conduct of free, fair, transparent and democratic elections in an environment that is secure and open to all stakeholders and participants regardless of political affiliation.

The government further said it will not allow the regrettable action which occurred on Saturday, February 4, 2023, on the part of some members of the EPS to put a dent in the enviable record of the Weah-led Administration of successfully conducting several elections in the country, the release, signed by Information Minister Ledgerhood J. Rennie, concluded.

Meanwhile, following the CDC rally over the weekend, the Standard Bearer of the Rainbow Alliance (RA), Reginald B. Goodridge, Sr., described as extremely worrisome the display of para-military force throughout the city of Monrovia during the political rally held by the Coalition for Democratic Change, (CDC), on February 4.

Rainbow Alliance is a conglomeration of more than five opposition political parties accredited by the National Elections Commission (NEC).

Mr. Goodridge noted that the military tactics used by the CDC is an attempt to intimidate the opposition community and put fear in ordinary citizens in advance of the 2023 elections. He warned the Liberian people not to take this matter lightly.

From the early dawn on the day of the CDC rally, countless numbers of armed militia wearing party T-shirts and red berets were seen in strategic parts of the city under the pretense of carrying out clean-up campaign, while others were spotted mingling with the crowds. It was difficult to determine whether the para-military personnel were members of the EPS or selected armed militia.

The Rainbow Alliance adds that the military intimidation tactics, coupled with the illegal political campaign being conducted by the CDC should claim the attention of the National Elections Commission, but importantly, the Embassy of the United States of America, the European Union, ECOWAS and the United Nations Peace Building Mission in Liberia.

According to the RA, these early warnings signal possible violence in the 2023 elections, as such, they should not be ignored by the international community. A strong warning must be sent to the leadership of the CDC, including the imposition of additional sanctions to ensure that the investment made by the international community in peace and security in Liberia over the past two decades is not wasted, the Rainbow Alliance asserted.

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