Monrovia – With few days remaining to the staging of the June 7th Save the State protest march, Liberia’s award-winning medical scientist and social activist, Dr. Dougbeh Christopher Nyan, has averred that, “citizens’ rights to protest is constitutional and must be respected by the Liberian government.”
Article 17 of the Liberian constitution of 1986 states that “All persons, at all times, in an orderly and peaceable manner, shall have the right to assemble and consult upon the common good, to instruct their representatives, to petition the Government or other functionaries for the redress of grievances and to associate fully with others or refuse to associate in political parties, trade unions and other organizations.”
Dr. Nyan, a biomedical scientist and inventor who is also Vice Chairman for International Affairs for the National Democratic Coalition – the NDC (Liberia’s social democratic party) – has averred that, “the June 7th Save the State Protest against the Weah government will be peacefully held despite the government’s perceptions, mere apprehensions and unjust attempts to stop the protest through the Liberian supreme court and the ministry of justice.”
“Unjust rulings and laws are like cancers to good governance and threaten our growing democracy and must be peacefully resisted by the peoples’ civil actions; only a dictatorship will prevent citizens from expressing their grievances in violation of Article 17 of our constitution,” the Liberian biomedical scientist said.
“Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela challenged unjust laws and brought changes to their countries, so we must do same by protesting our unjust laws and deplorable social economic conditions,” Dr. Nyan stated.
Speaking to journalists over the weekend, Dr. Nyan, the globally acclaimed scientist, stated that, “the government of Liberia should also stop spreading unnecessary fear among peaceful citizens about the planned June 7th protest, instead it [government] is under obligation to provide security for the protest and protesters.”
Asked about his opinion on the government referring to critics as “enemies of the state,” Dr. Nyan said that, “the Weah government should stop demonizing the organizers, instead, it should address the enemies of our democracy which are corruption by government officials, those who engage in bad governance and mismanagement of the country’s resources, and those officials and a government that neglects the declining status of healthcare, education, the economy, and other sectors, while the Liberian people are suffering and going to bed hungry every day.”
“The organizers of the June 7 protest march are following the constitution of Liberia which guarantees the right to assemble and petition the government if it [the government] is not fulfilling its promises to the Liberian people, developments partners, and the international community; therefore, any attempt by the Supreme Court and the police director to stop the protest will be a violation of the constitution, human rights and a disgrace to the court itself,” Dr. Nyan added.
Dr. Nyan is globally recognized for inventing the Rapid Multiplex Pathogen Diagnostic Test (now called, the Nyan-Test), which detects multiple infections in less than an hour. He recently received a US Patent for the invention from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). He is also a former student activist at the University of Liberia and an executive of the Liberia National Students Union who was arrested for pro-democratic activism, imprisoned, and exiled by the Samuel Doe government in 1988.
“All over Africa, our generation has the current responsibility to challenge the governments into doing the right thing; here in Liberia, we [NDC] will advocate with the Liberian people and true patriots in putting forth a clear vision for good governance, and strategic and practical national developments plans that will revive the economy, healthcare, education, science and technology, agriculture, and drive Liberia into prosperity again,” Dr. Nyan stated.