I was a member of the Cabinet on November 7, 2011, when the headquarters of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), then an opposition political party where the scene of violence and unwarranted bloodshed took place.
Attorney Samuel Kofi Woods, Founder- Liberia Law Society
Despite my position in government at the time and holding true to my values as a human rights advocate, I condemned the government’s actions, the senseless tragedy and bloodletting; and declared the act a bad omen for our democracy. I called for a full investigation of the incident, emphasized the need for accountability, and demanded the reopening of radio stations that were summarily closed in the aftermath of the incident. An independent Committee was later appointed, inquiry conducted and some of its recommendations implemented.
Today, in the wake of the recent election-related violence in District#13, I am painfully reminded of that November 7, 2011 incident and concerned that bloody political contests searing our conscience and decency might become the new norm.
I hereby condemn the Saturday November 17, 2018 act of lawlessness and call on the Government to conduct a comprehensive investigation and ensure that the alleged perpetrators are brought to justice. “There must be no sacred cows”.
The violent incident over the weekend casts a cloud over the elections in District #13 undermining faith that theprocess and its outcome will be free, fair and transparent. It also puts a dent in the gains made over the years in consolidating our nascent democracy. This is an onslaught on human rights and a threat to peace and stability. However, it is convincingly reinforcing the case for accountability in Liberia. The indifference and disdain for human dignity persists due to the level of impunity indulged by our government and people.
Liberians have suffered over the years and would spare no price to resist attempts to intimidate, harass and impose inhumane treatment against those whose only crime is to freely associate and participate in a democratic competition and fulfill the full enjoyment of their fundamental rights
Flag of Liberia
We have had Two dark Novembers where blood has been shed and people killed for exercising their rights and civic duties. With victims of the previous incident now governors of the state, a repeat of this act of violence is unconscionable and unacceptable. Liberians look forward to a redemption of history and a conscious effort by the current leadership of this country to demonstrate its commitment to the tenets of democracy and peace. Government must realize that it is the agent responsible to protect all Liberians, not just some Liberians.
In view of these unfolding developments, I call for the following:
7. Any investigation must consider the violation of the code of conduct for public officials and the extent to which it has been violated.
The Liberia Law Society is open to participate as a full partner to ensure that these recommendations and other suggestions are considered and implemented. IF IT WAS WRONG THEN IT IS WRONG NOW!
Atty. Samuel Kofi Woods, II
Legal Consultant & Founder
Liberia Law Society