-LINU Chairman Describes June 7 Protest
By Jackson C. Clay, Jr.
The Chairman of the Liberian National Union (LINU), Nathaniel Blama has described as a political charade the planned June 7 protest expected to take place in the country.
Recently, some group of Liberians under the banner: ‘the Council of Patriots’ set June 7 of this year (2019) to stage a peaceful protest under the theme “Save the State.”
The group’s decision to stage the protest according to them is triggered by the manner and form the state of affairs within the country is being conducted under the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) government headed by former football icon George Manneh Weah.
Addressing a news conference Thursday, April 25, 2019 at LINU’s headquarters in Sinkor, Chairman Blama said that there are no substantive reasons being provided by the protesters for which they want to protest in the country.
“We are yet to hear the reasons for which the protest is being organized? There has been nobody stating that the reason for this protest is based on unfair labor practice or increase tariff on goods and services in the country for example which could be a reason for a good protest,” Blama said.
The Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) indicated that though he acknowledges that it is the right of every person to protest which is a tenants of a good democracy, he and his political institution do not support any form of protest by any group of Liberians.
Blama asserted that his party distances itself from such planned protest and it does not encourage any such protest within the country, thus, he does not see such protest as part of the peace building process of the country.
“Our attention as a party has been specifically drawn to a planned protest set for June 7 by some Liberians and some political parties. While we believe that it is everybody’s rights to protest, we like to sign up here as a party that the part distances itself from that demonstration, we are not part of the planning process of that demonstration and we do not encourage said demonstration,” he noted LINU’s Chairman furthered “we do not see it as part of the peace building process of our country. The United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) peace keeping mission ended in Liberia last year, Liberia is in charge of its own securities, to plan demonstrations in the streets could turn chaotic and right now the military and the police strengths are very low,” the Chairman told reporters at a news conference.
He also asserted that this planned protest could also scare away investors from coming into the country so as to help move the country’s economy forward and thereby creating more hardship in the country.
He called on the protesters to abandon their planned protest action because according to him this would in no way help move the country forward.
At the same time, Chairman Blama stated that has frown at what he called the huge wave of disrespect by citizens towards public officials including President George Weah.
He noted that though it is the rights of individual citizens to speak to national issue but cautioned those citizens to be very civilized in addressing those national issues void of insults or invectives towards government officials and the President.
“In recent times we have seen a huge wave of disrespect for public officials including the President some members of political parties and political groupings. While it is your right to address national issues, but I think we should be civilized as we address national issues,” he cautioned. TNR