Press Statement for Immediate Release – Office of The Standard Bearer
We condemn unprovoked attacks on the youth and student community – SUP warns the Weah-led government to refrain from instigating crisis in the country
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, devoted cadres of SUP, conscious students of our nation’s premier center of higher education, solidarity forces, civil servants, teachers, farmers, market women, pen-pen riders, taxi drivers, petite traders, mine workers, slum-dwellers, rural inhabitants and the resilient people of the Republic of Liberia:
With just a day to the much-heralded June 7 Protest, it is an established fact that President Weah has unveiled his real self as a dictator with an iron fist. The ruthless and vicious scene yesterday on Capitol Hill is a testament of this tragic reality. Our Republic is in TROUBLE as it gradually falls flat on its belly in submission to this newborn dictator whose increasing appetite for excessive power and wealth remains unprecedented and mindboggling.
Our collective resilience and courage have been provoked by the continuous attack on the Rule of Law especially the Constitution by this President. The Weah-led government is not only corrupt and incompetent, but it lacks the conscientiousness to adhere to those basic and cherishable values of our democracy.
The democratic credential of Liberia is being disfigured and mutilated under this ex-Soccer Star. The State is gradually gravitating towards fascism, anarchism and an authoritarian rule. This is unacceptable and PATRIOTS of the land MUST unite now to avert potential democratic collapse. If not now, then when? We, patriotic Liberians in and out of Liberia, have an ultimate choice to either STAND UP in defense of this dying Republic or risk perishing in cowardice.
Ladies and gentlemen of the Press, the Student Unification Party (SUP) vehemently condemns yesterday’s brutal and vicious attack against unarmed and peaceful students as well as lecturers of the University of Liberia. Such an unprovoked attack in our opinion sets a fertile stage for the downfall of the Weah-led government. Probably they haven’t read history.
They need to read about the August 22, 1984 invasion of the University of Liberia by ruthless SATU under ex-President Samuel K. Doe. I encourage President Weah and his bandwagon of idol worshippers to read about the March 21, 2001 invasion of the University of Liberia by militias and ATU officers loyal to ex-President Charles Taylor.
These brutal incidents led to the downfall of the Doe-led administration and the Taylor-led administration. Today, the Weah-led administration has worn such dictatorial garment. Ladies and gentlemen of the Press, yesterday, PSU and EPS officers loyal to Mr. Weah viciously stormed the Capitol Hill campus of the University of Liberia.
These underpaid, salary-delayed and partisan police officers indiscriminately fired tear-gas at unarmed students, lecturers and peaceful citizens. They callously beat and brutalized our comrades and vandalized properties in huge quantity.
Furthermore, let me also inform you that the most powerful man on the campuses of the University of Liberia, comrade chairman Carlos T. Edison along with our militant chair Willie Bombo and co-chair of our women presidium Little Yealu was picked up and arbitrarily arrested around Jallah Town. Up-to-date, we are yet to know their charge.
This is an unprovoked attack on SUP and the entire youth and student community. It is our obligation as a mass-based student political movement to guarantee the rights, safety, security, survival and welfare of all students, youths and the Liberian people in general. The government is playing with FIRE. The actual intent of this corrupt regime yesterday was to arrest the entire leadership of SUP ahead of the June 7 Protest.
It has become glaring that the Liberia National Police under Inspector General Patrick Sudue is a partisan police force. We do not trust LNP under Col. Patrick Sudue. Going forward, SUP will not guarantee the safety and security of any police officer on the campuses of the University of Liberia. Let this serve as a warning to Inspector General Patrick Sudue and his ruthless men.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, after issuing a 1-hour ultimatum yesterday in demand of our comrades’ release, we want to reliably inform you that chairman Carlos T. Edison was released without any further delay. We have given the Weah-led government up to midday to release the remaining two comrades in their custody or else thousands of conscious militants and university students will demand their immediate and unconditional release through mass civil action. Let this caveat go forth that if anything happens to Cde. Willie Bombo and Cde. Little Yealu, Mr. Weah will be held liable.
As Standard Bearer of the Student Unification Party, I want to inform the press and the Liberian people that the Government of Liberia in cohort with the administration of the University of Liberia has for the second time in less than 6 months’ ban student political activities. SUP vehemently condemns this anti-democratic move and calls on the Board of Trustees and the Administration of UL to reverse this decision without any further delay.
We will not sit back and allow this regime to withhold our fundamental rights to practice politics – to speak freely – to assemble – to associate –and to move freely. We will resist any such attempt today and even tomorrow. It is important to also inform you that our lives have been at risk. The leadership of our party has been viciously pursued by thugs and ex-Rebel generals hired by this government to inflict causalities on. As standard bearer, I have been speaking to you from my hide out.
We also want to condemn the continuous harassment, intimidation and attack on the person of Hon. Yekeh Kolubah by this government. The government must refrain from repressing and targeting critical voices. The Weah-led administration must now focus on fixing the economy and stop boxing with its perceived enemies. President Weah and his officials must refrain from enriching themselves at the expense of the Liberian people. It will interest you to know that both the Legislature and Judiciary are completely DEAD.
A domineering Executive now presides over this failed State. What a SAD and TRAGIC NARRATIVE indeed. Instead of Weah sending thugs and partisan police officers to attack students and his perceived enemies, he needs to fulfill his “tuition-free” promise. The University is financially challenged as a result of this unfulfilled promise.
But June 7 will put an end to this national tragedy. This is why we want to call on all Liberians including students, youths, teachers, motorcyclists, pen-pen riders, marketers, tax-drivers, farmers, shoeshine boys, cold-water sellers, civil servants, rubber tappers, nurses, sand miners, rock crushers, women, religious and opinion leaders to join us tomorrow on June 7 as we make history together.
We are calling on all businesses and schools to close on June 7. We call on civil servants to join us. You are mostly affected by what is going on. Do not pretend. Join us in this peaceful protest. We reassure everyone including our international partners that we shall remain PEACEFUL as we were during The Bring Back Our Money Protest.
Come out Liberians – We can do it together – Yes, we must achieve it together for the good of our nation and the next generation.
Thanks you and may God bless our cherished land of Liberia
Long Live Conscious University Students – Long Live the Vanguard Student Unification Party.
Done and Issued on this 6th Day of June by Martin K. N. Kollie, Standard Bearer of the Student Unification Party (SUP.