Source: www.africanakua.com | Forgbe Kloh, Liberia.
Protestors in the Liberian capital, Monrovia are demanding the presence of either President George Weah or his Vice Jewel Howard Taylor before they present their petition to the government.
A group under the banner Council of Patriots (COP) earlier in May disclosed plans of protesting on June 7 with a slogan “Save the State”.
The Chairman of the group Abraham Darius Dillon said the intent of the planned protest is to demand a meaningful reform of the government; address the rapid decline of the Liberian Dollars; seek clarification on alleged corrupt practices; petition for the redress of severe economic hardships and a host of other problems which have damaged the country’s image internationally among others.
It is June 7 today and the COP have hit the streets to petition the government at Capitol Hill where the Executive Mansion and the Law Makers offices are located.
President Weah on Monday designated Vice President Howard Taylor in the presence of representatives of ECOWAS, AU and other international organizations to receive the petition because it would not be safe for him to be out there with the protesters. The government also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the leadership of COP agreeing on some terms for the demonstration.
Surprisingly during the protest this afternoon, it was announced that the Vice President would not be able to receive the petition because she was indisposed.
The COP argued that they have gone by the terms of the MOU and it behooves on the government to do their part of the bargain insisting that they would not read or present the petition without the presence of the President himself or his vice.
In the MOU, there was an agreement made to present the petition at 3 o’clock and then leave the streets peacefully, soon after that.
But the President who was in his office during the protest designated Justice Minister, Musa Dean and the Foreign Affairs Minister, Gbenzongar Findley to receive the petition.
The COP contended that they were not going against the MOU. They were demanding the presence of the President or his Vice else they were not leaving the streets.
The tension became high leaving Liberians panicking. Social media could not be assessed as the telecommunication companies shut down their servers. Most of the people observing wonder what would happen should protesters linger around till midnight. The protest started peacefully and observers are worried violence may erupt.