SUP strongly denounces ban on student political activities and calls for immediate revocation

With outright discontent and disillusionment, SUP vehemently cautions and calls on authorities of UL to immediately reverse or revoke its unlawful decision to suspend political activities at the State-run University of Liberia. The rushed, ill-informed and unwarranted move to suspend student politics on Friday, January 11, 2019 is a vicious crackdown on those cherished ideals of our nation’s nourishing democracy.

SUP considers such unjustified action, which was mainly influenced and engineered by government and pro-regime stooges, as thoughtless, undemocratic, and a provocation for mass civil disobedience and uproar across Liberia. Our striving democracy is under attack and those democratic gains made so far are fast diminishing under President George M. Weah – a Head of State who has grossly violated almost all of our laws including our Constitution in less than a year.

In this 21st century when freedom of speech, freedom of association, and political freedom have become indispensable democratic values, it is unreasonable and inconsiderate for any university or regime to callously cease the political rights of over 19,000 conscious students. The banning of student political activities reechoes Liberia’s gloomy past and there are enough signs to prove that dictatorship is virulently evolving.

The latest resolution does not only disenfranchise emerging leaders of our country from participating in politics, but it grossly violates these sacred Laws and Statutes which guarantees political freedom and free speech:

  1. The 1952 Charter of UL
  2. The 2012 Student Handbook of UL
  3. The 1986 Constitution of Liberia
  4. The 1986 African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights
  5. The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Furthermore, this indefensible and anti-democratic tragedy abrogates/invades Article 15 and Article 16 of our 1986 Constitution. This tragic contradiction is emerging after 39 years. The disgusting odor of military junta and authoritarianism is resurfacing in a kangaroo form. SUP has a historical and revolutionary obligation to disfigure and deconstruct any form of dictatorial predisposition and conspiracy.

We therefore caution UL along with GoL to abandon this premature plot and feeble gimmick which may soon backfire and degenerate into unintended consequences. Since Cde. Martin K. N. Kollie was overwhelmingly elected as Standard Bearer of SUP through a democratic process, there have been increasing contradictions and uproars especially fueled by pro-regime elements and renegade groups. The root cause of this illegal ban is the fear of comrade Kollie ascending as President of ULSU.  The government is unsettled by his resilient courage and prowess. Upon hearing his ascendancy as Standard Bearer, GoL has been uneasy and belligerent.

The commotion on the campuses of the University of Liberia this gone Friday was orchestrated by thugs and renegade groups hired by Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson Koijee, Minister of State for Presidential Affairs Nathaniel McGill, Representative Acarous M. Gray, and Finance Minister Samuel D. Tweah, the brother of Atty. Norris Tweah under whose signature the release to ban student political activities was issued. After consistently attacking the Media, they have now turned to the student community.

It is glaring that SIM, STUDA, ‘FENSA’ and CDC LINSU have become hired guns of this pro-poor government. SUP will not accept any further provocation in such manner. While we remain peaceful and proactive in pursuing this matter which serves as a recipe for democratic disorder and national upheaval, we want to call on all international bodies especially the UN, AU, US Embassy near Monrovia, ECOWAS, and EU to promptly intervene.

We are also calling on the Board of Trustees of UL, the National Legislature, the Liberia Council of Churches, the National Muslim Council, the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Justice to step in before this situation goes out of hand. It is our right to participate in politics – it is our right to assemble and associate – it is our right to speak freely – it is our right to critique. And no one can take these rights from us or freeze our political freedom, not even UL or GoL. We will defend these fundamental rights to death.

In addition, we want to reiterate that SUP and ULSU do not recognize the current leadership of LINSU – a once independent student organization that has fallen prey to this regime. CDC LINSU will only represent students who are diehard partisans of CDC. Therefore, we are pleased to announce an Ad hoc Leadership of the newly formed alternative voice of all students across our Republic, the Liberia National Conscious Students Union (LINCSU):

  1. J. Butu Levi – President
  2. Clint Paawah Layweh – Vice President for National Affairs
  3. Jusu Kamara – Secretary General

This acting leadership will work closely with SUP, solidarity forces and other prominent student organizations to carry out the following mandates:

  1. Conduct a free, fair and democratic National Congress in four (4) months
  2. Temporarily fill in all other executive member positions required until National Congress
  3. Establish High School, University, Vocational Institution, District, Community, and County Leaderships
  4. Begin mass mobilization of universities, high schools, vocational institutions, and student organizations
  5. Engage the National Legislature to enact LINCSU into Law.

SUP will remain engaged with all stakeholders to ensure that the democratic credential of Liberia is not mutilated by pro-fascists and opportunists. We will stand in defense of the rights of all students and Liberians in general. From banning student politics, national politics and political parties will soon be banned. The ban on student political activities is the beginning of a new revolution – a revolution that will subvert any intent to even ban national political parties. We call on all patriots to join us against this NIGHTMARE.

Long Live SUP – Long Live Massescracy. In pursuit of social justice, academic freedom and peace, the STRUGGLE for an equal and a just society remains unceasingly progressive.  Done and issued on this 16th Day of January A. D. 2019.

 

Signed ________________________________            Approved: _________________________

Cde. S. Ephraim T. Nyumah                                           Cde. Carlos Tingban Edison

Secretary General, SUP                                                        Chairman, SUP

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About Cholo Brooks 13364 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.