Since the startling revelation made by Liberian Journalist, Mr. Philipbert S. Browne that there will be blood on the streets due to the outcome of the ensuing 2023 Presidential and Legislative Elections, Liberians have expressed fear over this latest revelation and are taking all necessary percussion to avoid being caught in any unforeseen situation.
Recently, Journalist Browne wrote on his official Facebook timeline, “There will be blood on our streets; parents should purchase dry goods, water, and medications before the October 10 elections. Regardless, no one will accept the poll results.”
This latest revelation from the veteran Liberian Journalist and Publisher of the Hot Pepper Newspaper has instilled fear in the minds of Liberians and also has the propensity to undermine voters’ turnout on Elections Day due to fear.
As a result, many Liberians were seen purchasing food assorted food items including bags of rice, Liberia’s staple diet, and water, various kinds of medication, dry goods among others as was revealed by the Liberian media Executive, Philipbert S. Browne.
An investigative journalist, Mr. Philipbert S. Browne is credited for being the journalist who broke the news of the missing L$16 billion for which several CBL Executives including former Central Bank of Liberia Governor, Milton Weeks and Charles Sirleaf, son of former Liberian President, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf were arrested.
“We are not overlooking such information because we witnessed what happened in our country before. Besides, this man is one of the respected journalists in Liberia who has reported several information that came to pass including the missing of L$16 billion from the CBL; so his information could be reliable,” Sampson, a businessman in the commercial hub of Redlight, Paynesville said.
“We can’t tell what may happen because these guys are up there and usually get sensitive information you and myself can’t get; so I’m buying enough food stuff and may not even go on the street to vote on Election Day,” Madam Estella Johnson, a classroom teacher told this paper.
Some shop owners who spoke to the TNR said in recent days people have been trooping to their various business areas asking for rice and other food items. “I had only 50 bags of rice in my shop but since yesterday, people have been coming for the rice and today I’m rushing to Freeport to see whether I can bring in more rice for my customers,” said Ma Mary, a shop owner in Bardnersville.
At the same time, the National Civil Society Council of Liberia (NCSCL) has rebuked the Publisher and Managing Editor of the Hot Pepper Newspaper, Mr. Philipbert S. Browne for his latest Facebook post, in which he predicted that there will be blood on the streets due to the outcome of the ensuing 2023Presidential and Legislative Elections.
With the elections just four more days away, the veteran Liberian journalist took to his Facebook to post what is termed a terrifying write-out, in which he insinuated that it would be difficult for the loser(s) to accept the outcome of the poll and that could bomb the country into serious chaos with blood spilled in the streets.
Journalist Browne wrote on his official Facebook timeline,“There will be blood on our streets; Parents should purchase dry goods, water, and medications before October 10th elections. Regardless, no one will accept the poll results.”
The post has since created fear in the minds of Liberians and has also received widespread condemnations from different spheres of the public on social media and some quarters of Liberian society, with the CSO Council, which is the umbrella organization for all civil society organizations in the country, being the first to release an official statement on it.
NCSCL in the statement signed by its Chairperson, Madam Loretta Alethea Pope-Kai, pointed out that the post from such a renowned media manager does not only instill fears in the minds of Liberians but also has the propensity to undermine voters’ turnout on Elections Day due to fear.
The Council indicated that such a comment, which comes on the heels of continuing electoral violence across the country, especially the Foya scenario in Lofa County, poses a serious threat of instability and security.
“No matter whatever interpretation Mr. Browne has to his post, we see it as counterproductive to the holding of a free and peaceful election that we all yarn for. The Council is taken aback by the latest post from Journalist Browne, in which he infers that the outcome of the ensuing elections would be greeted by violence because the parties won’t accept the result. This is scaring because many see Mr. Browne as an insider who is consigned with privileged information,” said the Council.
“With the post coming from a well-knowledgeable and informed personality, some Liberians, due to fear, might just decide to stay at home on Elections Day to observe the day’s situation. And what we get in the end is low voter turnout, which is not satisfying for our democracy that should encourage popular participation.”
“Mr. Browne must be mindful of what he posts on social media or write in his newspaper pages because he has many followers due to his high profile and long stay in the Liberian media. Whatever he writes or puts out in the public comes with different public reactions due to the different understandings that come with it. And so we encourage Mr. Browne to be a bit more conflict-sensitive in his public utterances and writings,” added NCSCL.