The Council of Patriots (CoP) has responded defiantly to the Government of Liberia position on the group’s planned December 30, 2019 protest, saying that the CoP will not disengage from its democratic quest.
“We want to state emphatically that we will not be coerced, intimidated or manipulated to disengage from our democratic quest,” the CoP said Wednesday in a communication to Justice Minister Frank Musah Dean.
The group, however, clarified that it is not embarking on a campaign to “ask the president of Liberia to step down or resign, and that such comment was not part of the communication written to the Justice Ministry.
It can be recalled that the CoP on November 11, 2019 requested the government to provide security protection to allow them hold a peaceful assembly in Monrovia beginning December 30.
However, the Government of Liberia in its response on Monday declined to honor the request from the group on grounds that the mobilization of individuals and resources within and without of Liberia by a group to stage a campaign dubbed: ‘Weah Step Down,’ is “unconstitutional and treasonous.”
The Ministry of Justice informed the CoP that it has “taken cognizance to several public pronouncements emanating from the hierarchy of the CoP, characterizing the assembly as the beginning of a ‘Weah Step Down’ campaign.”
The ministry further contended that it is not with the legal authority to grant permit, protection or approval to the CoP to undertake an act which is undisputedly in clear violation of the constitution and statutory laws of Liberia.
It further warned that individuals comprising of the leadership of the CoP will be held personally, individually and collectively culpable and liable under the law for consequences associated with their actions.
On June 7, it can be recalled, the CoP staged a mass assembly aimed at drawing the government’s attention to issues, they said, were related to governance and the economic climate of Liberia.
The assembly by the group, however, ended in deadlock as organizers refused to deliver their petition to the government, a move which ruptured the essence of the assembly.
The group was later plunged into subsequent confusion as issues of corruption and uncertainty over how monies generated for the assembly were expended, leading to the breakaway of key supporters, including former Montserrado County Representative Rufus Neufville, and sitting Margibi County Senator Oscar Cooper as well as the advocacy group, Economic Freedom Fighters.