State of Dilemma: EFFL Withdraws, Picks Bone With COP
The Economic Freedom Fighters of Liberia (EFFL) was one of those major groupings that collaborated with the Council of Patriots (COP) to stage one of Liberia’s biggest protests that drew the attention of the Government of Liberia but has decided to officially withdraw its support from the COP and has also decided to pick bones with them, citing several malpractices and ill-treatment against one of their colleagues.
This is the second time since the protest ended on June 7, 2019 for a prominent individual and a group to exit the COP with serious criticisms ranging from financial corruptibility to greed for power.
The COP has since been attacked by Liberians, international partners and CSOs because of their inability to speak truth to themselves.
EFFL in a well-prepared statement said its decision is predicated upon COP’s failure to appropriately exonerate the group from allegations of financial malpractices: for failing thus far to have by now transparently clear itself of tons of allegations of corruption brought against it by multiple accusers from several quarters of the society.
Since June 7, 2019, it has been more than two weeks, in our estimation, more than enough time, for the COP’s leadership to have made public a comprehensive and a proper financial report. Instead, what we have seen is a questionable report out of which oozes half-truths and smells with corruption as well.
The Economic Freedom Fighters of Liberia (EFFL) has with immediate effect withdrawn its support to the Council of Patriots (COP), highlighting several disappointments and frustration.
EFFL also noted that out to what it calls disrespect and wanton disregard for the people’s popular will: for utterly disrespecting the mass of the Liberian people who turned out on the protest day and the thousand others who supported the protest, but could not attend, and for disregarding the energy of our people, as demonstrated by the COP’s leadership when it unjustifiably refused to have presented our petition statement to the Government of Liberia’s representatives present at the protest site that day or to the ECOWAS Ambassador and his team that turned out to monitor the protest.
“We see this act on the part of the leadership of COP as being disrespectful and anti-peace; undemocratic tendencies that the EFFL will not embrace, because what such tendencies do is to only send forth a message of undermining our country’s hard-earned peace that we continue to enjoy in this democratic space in spite of the current dingy and stuffy economic dilemma the country is engulfed in,” EFFL noted.
The group also pointed to what it describes as self-glorification and popularity seeking, adding that there are some members in the COP’s leadership who think it’s because of their popularity that the Liberian people gathered on June 7, 2019, and that without their involvement the protest would have been a failure.
“Hence, they see themselves as not being answerable to anyone, as regards issues of transparency, accountability and fair play. Let the word go forth that the EFFL says it is absolutely no single individual’s popularity that made Liberians to come out in their droves. As a matter of fact, the people assembled to register their dissatisfactions over bad governance and economic stagnation as a result of national leaders who are misfits and corrupt. The people assembled because they are being confronted with excruciating economic paralysis, wanton violation of our country’s organic law, the 1986 Constitution, the increase in injustices in the country and deliberate efforts being exerted by the power-that-be in frantically working under the cover of darkness and even at times in broad day light to silence critical voices in the country.”
The people assembled because the government is infringing on the people’s freedom of speech and the freedom of the press, by jamming frequencies of radio stations, while denying others operation license, but at the same time issuing licenses and broadcast permits to other institutions that are government-friendly, and are prepared to dance to rhyme of the autocratic drum-beats of a government headed by President George Manneh Weah.”
The group further noted that the current COP’s leadership steps down. According to EFFL, on June 9, 2019, there was a meeting held at the Old Road, Sinkor headquarters of the All Liberian Party, out of which grew several decisions, including a unanimous decision for the current COP’s leadership to step down and make way for a new team of leaders.
“To our utmost dismay and complete disappointment, to date, the COP’s leadership remains adamant to call for it to step aside, and moreover, the leadership has uncooperatively reneged on decisions reached at the Old Road meeting, to among others, make officially a comprehensive financial report of funds collected.