(LINA) -The Senior Pastor and Founder of the Liberty Christian Center, Simeon Dunbar Sr., has recommended death penalty for perpetrators of rape in Liberia.
The concurrence of the Liberian clergyman with the death penalty recommendation initially proffered by the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), Major General Prince C. Johnson, comes amidst an increase in Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in the country.
“The issue of rape needs to cease from being an everyday song on the lips of our people. We cannot continue to hear the cries for justice of our innocent girls.
“Your Excellency, the people who elected you as their Commander-In-Chief of this great nation do not have to get on the street and protest before you take an action,” Pastor Dunbar said.
He lamented that it is beyond sickening that while Liberians are battling COVID-19, they still have to deal with reoccurring cases of rape of teenagers and babies who haven’t even learned to talk.
“Rape perpetrated by inhumane men who claim to be citizens of this God-fearing nation needs to stop. It is sad and needs to stop. If that means introducing the death penalty on these evil perpetrators, so let it be,” the 173rd independence anniversary orator said during his speech at the Ministerial Complex in Monrovia.
Pastor Dunbar quoted former American President Abraham Lincoln as saying, “Those who deny freedom of others deserve it not for themselves.” He added: “These men shouldn’t rape today and be allowed to walk free tomorrow”.
The prelate also recommended the revamping of Liberia’s educational system to a level of producing graduates that are job creators and marketable as compared to being mere certificate holders.
“We need to invest in vocational and technical education; for example, the Booker Washington Institute model should be duplicated throughout the 15 counties, thereby empowering our youths with skills and tools to contribute immensely to the redevelopment of this nation.
He emphazied: “Our educational system should not be overlooked. Let us not allow the brilliant young minds of our children to go to waste.”
Also, Pastor Dunbar discouraged the issue of police brutality against lawful citizens, noting that the ill needs to stop.
“Our security sector should learn to adhere to the rules that govern this land and not abuse them. Press freedom also needs to be respected at all levels,” stated the 173rd Independence Day orator.
Meanwhile, Pastor Dunbar pinpointed that maintenance of roads in Liberia as a major challenge that is currently confronting revenue generation in the country.
“To boost revenue generation, special road tolls should be introduced at all our highways for all road users of this nation, irrespective of being a government official or not, and all funds generated from the tolls should be channeled towards road maintenance and creation of new roads,” Pastor Dunbar indicated.
He recommended renaming some of the streets as well as highways in honour of fallen heroes and heroines, as well as freedom fighters who fought to preserve the heritage of Liberia in order to foster national unity and integration.
“For example, the Monrovia to Ganta Highway could be renamed William R. Tolbert highway. Ganta to Zwedru could be named Jackson F. Doe Highway and from Zwedru to Harper upon completion could be named Samuel K. Doe Highway, and the list goes on,” noted orator Dunbar.
He also called for the reforming of prisons and the rehabilitation and subsequent reintegration of prisoners as a pivotal aspect of unity in the country.
“If we must stand together, prison reform and prisoners’ rehabilitation and reintegration into society must be a collective responsibility of the Government of Liberia and the private sector. Prisoners are still humans,” Pastor Dunbar observed.
The issue of prompt payment of salary and wages for all civil servants as it is due them, according to merit as a means of avoiding corruption, embezzlement and tampering with public funds meant for other intended purposes.