LIBERIA: Mansion Says With Or Without Petition, Gov’t Working Harder In Nat’l Interest

Presidential Press Secretary Isaac Solo Kelgbeh

The Executive Mansion says the Government of Liberia remains open to hearing out and addressing “legitimate” concerns from any group of citizens.

Addressing a news conference on Monday, Presidential Press Secretary Isaac Kelgbeh said “with or without petition(s)” that propose socio-economic, human rights, transparency and accountability, governance reforms, the government was already moving forward with transformative programs in the interest of the State and people.

The government launched its development roadmap, the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) in October 2018, and believes that the framework answers cardinal sectorial development questions that could see Liberia make significant progress by the end of 2023.

Presidential Press Secretary Kelgbeh’s statement comes days after organizers of the June 7 protest called, “Council of Patriots” (CoP) failed to submit their petition, citing issues concerning developments in the country.

It can be recollected that the protest last Friday ended in a deadlock. The protesters had assembled on Capitol Hill but failed to read out and subsequently give a copy of the petition to top government officials, including the Ministers of Justice and Foreign Affairs.

They did not present the petition based on a dying minute demand to release a number of persons arrested two days earlier in a separate, non-CoP riot of pro-Representative Yekeh Kolubah loyalists who clashed with the police.

The Ministry of information labeled the demand as an attempt to undermine the rule of law, same that the CoP says it is requesting to be straightened through its petition to authorities.

Meanwhile, the protest leaders, nonetheless, invited the press at the weekend and read the petition leaked to the media the day before June 7, and say they are going to present an official copy to the office of President George Weah through Minister of State, Nathaniel McGill.

The post-June 7 protest reactions are mixed. However, many have expressed dismay over why ‘CoP’ reneged to turn out the petition, saying they have lost a “golden opportunity.”

Mediator ECOWAS, the West Africa economic bloc, said it was disappointed for the literally vain negotiation after immense efforts it made along with the United Nations and Africa Union (AU) to the way for a deal.

These partners of Liberia have been, and continue to emphasize the importance for citizens to sustain the hard-won peace being enjoyed in the country after a fratricidal civil war that spanned 14 years and claimed around 250,000 lives.

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