By: H. Richard Fallah
MONROVIA: Ahead of the much talked- about Presidential and Legislative elections, scheduled for Tuesday, 10, October, 2023, former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, alias “EJS,” has cautioned Liberians to exercise wisdom in voting for their prefer Presidential and Legislative candidates.
Addressing scores of Women while unveiling the Women’s Situation Room (WSR), an initiative spearheaded by the Angie Brooks International Centre (ABIC), on Tuesday, August 29, 2023, at Monrovia City Hall in Monrovia, the former Liberian leader urged electorate to be wised in casting their ballots.
“Your vote is your power, so exercise caution in your choice of candidates,” Madame Sirleaf maintained.
EJS who is also a Nobel Peace Laureate noted that the importance of informed voting among women and young people would have an impact on the nation for the next six years including, among others, influencing governance that caters to the marginalized and the vast majority of the common people.
Former President Sirleaf: “As the real promoters of peace, women hold the key; let’s persist in our efforts for the betterment of the nation.”
Sirleaf, the first elected African female President, at the same time, encouraged Liberians at home and abroad to maintain the prevaling peace in the country during and after the October polls.
She told a diverse gathering inclusive of women, youth, motorcyclists, and others to remember that the Liberian nation does not deserve going back to its dark Days.
As a means of making her message of peace stronger to the country, the Nobel Peace Winner said, she has taken a significant step towards maintaining peace in Liberia by inaugurating the Women’s Situation Room (WSR), an initiative spearheaded by the Angie Brooks International Centre (ABIC).
The Initiative in its 2023 edition aims to engage women and youth actively in championing peaceful electoral procedures.
Madame Sirleaf used the time to extend commendation to the Angie Brooks International Centre (ABIC) officials for their enduring commitment to peace-building over the years especially in Liberia.
For her part, the Chair of the ABIC Board of Directors and former Foreign Affairs Minister of Liberia, Madam Olu Banke King-Akerele, condemned a recent electoral violence involving supporters of the governing Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), and the opposition Unity Party.
She noted that such violent incidents contradict the spirit of the Farmington River Declaration, a framework through which political parties and presidential candidates committed to ignoring all forms of violence throughout the electoral process.
The former Liberian Diplomat disclosed that any acts of aggression during these crucial periods should be vehemently condemned, noting that violence has the potential to endanger the peace that Liberia currently enjoys.
The Farmington Declaration framework mandates presidential candidates and leaders of political parties, Coalition s and Alliances to encourage their followers to exercise tolerance, uphold the rights of others, and maintain decorum and serenity during electioneering process.
Madam Akerele has called on the Liberia National Police (LNP) to conduct an inquiry into the violence that claimed a life of a young man in Nimba County recently.
She noted that there should be an arrest and proper legal proceedings against the perpetrators, in line with the principles of law.