A long time civil society activist and former official of the current government, has told the international community that it’s about time that they tell President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf to stay out of the political affairs of the country and stop interfering in the elections.
Samuel Kofi Woods, former Minister of Public Works, said it is important for the international community to confront her bluntly because the country finds itself at a critical crossroad.
He said while the electoral process has been temporarily halted, the international community must dialogue with all of the political parties to stabilize the elections.
According to him, Liberian cannot continue to be a problem child; therefore, he believes, the country must grow up and become responsible adult taking care of its own problems.
Mr. Woods spoke recently at the installation of the leadership of the National Labor Center in Monrovia. His statement followed recent allegation by the Chairman of the ruling unity Party, Wilmot Paye that President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was interfering in the election.
There have been speculations among supporters of the ruling party that President Johnson Sirleaf is supporting the Coalition for Democrat Change (CDC), and that her son, Robert Sirleaf, has reportedly pledged support to CDC Standard Bearer, George M. Weah.
In the statement, Mr. Woods said the hope of the Liberian people ultimately lies in the judiciary which must redeem the country at all cost.
“Our hope ultimately lies in our judiciary, which must now redeem our country. God give us men and women whose integrity will be unblemished, whose love for nation will be tested and whose faith in you will lead them to give purpose and meaning of their existence. All of us must respect the rule of law. The pursuit of no man’s ambition is worth a drop of human blood,” he asserted.
The Liberian Lawyer informed the gathering that the complexities the nation face will not require cosmetic solutions. Therefore, he emphasized that It requires radical and deliberate attempts to fulfill the ideals of nationhood; and that it will require a responsible leadership not led by those in the ‘shadows’.
Mr. Woods said it is important for organized labor workers to demand from those who want to lead the country to provide an agenda for workers, adding that “you must not agonize but organize. You must seek redemption and change. In this you must built strong institutions and develop an agenda to liberate the millions of workers in our country. You must be transparent, accountable and inspire. You will not be better off if you cannot work for the dignity of all.”
Mr. Woods condemned the recent arson attack on the home of journalist Smith Toby; the intimidating tactics meted out at Henry Costa, a Liberian Talk Show Host and Political Commentator, and the regular reports for scare tactics and intimidation allegedly being employed in the political environment.
“This must not be allowed to go unchecked. These cowards like Ku Klux Klan (KKK) members use the cover of darkness to hatch and implement evil in our society. This creeping menace is a threat to our democracy. An attack on any Liberian must be an attack on all of us. There must be no conspiracy of silence and Liberians will not be cowed into fear. We have a history of fighting tyranny. Where ever and from whosoever it rears its ugly head, we must fight it peacefully. I certainly may not agree with Journalist Smith Toby neither do I agree with what Costa may have said or continue to say but we must collectively defend their rights to say what they want to say. There are also allegations that political appointees and civil servants face intimidation and threats of dismissals due to political affiliations. This is wrong. If it is due to the violation of the law then it must be equally applied without discrimination. In this our collective liberties will be guaranteed and enhanced,” he noted.