Stop Hiring Thugs To Breed Violence and Chaos:

By Martin Kollie

Friday was another dramatic scene on the Capitol Hill campus of the University of Liberia as dozens of strange men claiming to be members of the campus-based Student Unification Party abruptly appeared to create chaos at the University of Liberia.

These men who were seen with knives and other harmful objects were identified to be members of CDC-funded Sabu Unit and Zebra Unit. Some UL police who confided in us said they were not students of the University of Liberia but appeared to be ‘grona men’.

These strange men appeared on the Hill Campus by 5:00am according to our sources and began to vandalize the offices of SUP. The action of these men come at a time when SUP has been the lone and critical voice challenging the ills and odds in the government and at the same time demanding the President and other officials to declare their assets.

It can be recalled that SUP has held series of protest demanding President George Weah to declare his asset and demonstrate leadership is addressing the rising hardship that has engulfed the nation. SUP has also called for an end to increasing police brutality and violations of almost all the laws including the Constitution under Weah after 6 months.

Speaking to local radio stations (Prime FM 105.5 and OK FM 99.5) in Monrovia on Friday, the Secretary General of the Student Unification Party, Martin K. N. Kollie, out-rightly blamed the government of President Weah for trekking on an anti-democratic path in just 6 months.

Kollie accused Weah’s government of hiring ruthless thugs to harass, intimidate, and inflict casualties on peaceful students especially stalwarts of SUP.  He said that President Weah’s government is gradually walking in the brutal imprints of Doe and Taylor.

“Our party and its members have been constantly attacked by both CDC-hired thugs and the pro-CDC National Police Force under Col. Patrick Sudue. The only crime we have committed is to STAND UP for Liberia and Liberians in the midst of emerging contradictions. What have we done wrong to ask this pro-poor President to declare his assets in terms of monetary value and ensure that increasing hardship is reduced”? This is the third time they have sent thugs to create chaos at the University of Liberia”, SG Kollie said.

Kollie further stated that few militants of the Party were financially induced by the government to release a cash-driven press statement indicating that the chairman of the party is suspended. Cde. Daniel Sagbe, Prince Brown, Eddie Gbah, Mohammed Ghandi Kamara, Mustapha Dukuly, and Jacob Kollie willfully allowed themselves to be used. I think they respect their bellies more than they respect the true essence of the people’s struggle. They have shown their true color and planted renegades and regime stooges.

But as Secretary General of the party, comrade Butu Levi remains the legitimate chairman of our party. He enjoys the full confidence of more than 22 members of the 28-man Central Committee that has the exclusive authority to suspend any member of our party in the absence of General Congress. We just want to reaffirm our unflinching confidence in his leadership as chairman, SUP SG Said loudly.

“We know the conspiracy of this government is to undermine the dominance, control, and supremacy of SUP. If we could not bow down to Doe and Taylor, then it means that we cannot also bow down to Weah. Our institution is far bigger and structural than the CDC in terms of ideas, philosophy, and STRUGGLE. We fought for multi-party democracy in this country. Nobody can undermine our enviable legacy. The party remains united and integrated. Nobody can divide us. This is not the first time such action on the part of the government against SUP has taken place. We will defend our inheritance and legacy even if it causes death,” Secretary General Martin K. N. Kollie said in a loud tone.

“Let those accusing the chairman of succumbing to bribery bring the facts. We are interested in the prima facie (the facts), not mere propaganda that has been influenced by cash, external forces, and columnists of the fifth order. Planted reactionaries and regime renegades will not survive and succeed against our party. SUP will rise above this chicanery and concocted plot. The government needs to stop instigating violence at UL. We call on the International Community (UN, AU, ECOWAS, EU, American Embassy, et.) to intervene now in order to consolidate the democratic gains Liberia has made so far. Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Assembly are fundamental rights that this government must never deny. Any attempt to threaten these basic rights, we must be ready to painfully embrace the harsh realities of dictatorship and fascism,” Martin Kollie said.

The nation is turning into a police state under President Weah in just 6 months. Student leaders are being flogged, arbitrarily arrested, and imprisoned without any charge. Journalists and critical voices are being intimidated, harassed, and censored while almost all of our laws including the Constitution are being violated. These are early signs and symptoms of dictatorship and autocracy. We must STAND UP to these anti-democratic tendencies in order to save Liberia from reverting into its ugly past.

SUP will not back down or bow to any form of pressure or design. We will stand our ground to protect Liberia’s ultimate interest and future. We have been peaceful and proactive in all of our protest actions. It is the government that is breeding violence. We hope the religious community and all Liberians are watching how our rights are being trampled upon by a regime that claims to be ‘pro-poor’, ” Secretary General Kollie said.

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