MONROVIA – The dialogue for peaceful elections in Liberia was held on Thursday at the University of Liberia Campus in Fendall. The dialogue was interactive and entertaining with important life lessons regarding election-related violence prevention. The three-hour academic session was reflective of other peaceful elections around the world.
The dialogue which brought together students, staffs and faculty members across the Amos C. Sawyer College of Social Sciences and Humanities was organized by the Department of Political Science in collaboration with the office of the Dean of Amos C. Sawyer College. The purpose of the session was to create platforms for the students to deliberate on how students, politicians, candidates and electorates could ensure peaceful elections across the country.
The keynote speaker was Mr. Adeolu Okenla, senior counsellor, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The theme of the Thursday’s session was Dialogue for Peaceful Elections in Liberia: The Nigerian Elections – A Lesson for Liberia and Liberians.
The Nigerian diplomat cautioned students of the Amos C. Sawyer College of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Liberia, particularly the general students’ population of the nation’s premier University not to allow themselves to be used as instrument of violence to pose any threat to the peaceful conduct of the October 10 elections in country.
He warned UL students and others across the country to reject any form of violence, instead, should promote peaceful elections in the country.
Mr. Okenla thanked the leadership of the Department of Political Science, particularly the Dean of the College for invitation extended to the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to afford the diplomatic Mission to share the Nigerian experience regarding peaceful elections.
He said always there are disputes associated with the electoral process, but said such disputes should be challenged through the court for proper redress and not to engage into related violence.
In his welcome remarks, the Dean of the College, Prof. Dr. Josephus Moses Gray reminded students at the University of Liberia of the importance of their votes on October 10 and stressed that the result of the October poll will decide the future of the nation for the next six years. According to Dr. Gray, the Presidential Election should not be do or die affairs. He urged Political leaders and candidates to be in the forefront calming down tensions should they arise.
Dr. Gray urged students of the institution, political parties, and candidates to ensure that the upcoming elections are peaceful, and election related violence is prevented.
Dr. Gray expressed his concern of the persistent attempts by politicians to use University students as an instrument of violence to achieve their selfish goals.
The Thursday’s dialogue was organized by the Department of Political Science for peaceful elections in Liberia. Dr. Gray used the session to call on other departments in the college to engage in similar academic dialogue for the greater good of the institution and the nation.
He congratulated the leadership of the Department of Political Science and Political Science students for the dialogue which he described as timely and necessary. He, also praised the President of UL, Dr. Julius Julukon Sarwolo Nelson who he described as student-faculty centered person.
Also speaking, the Administrative Assistant to the President of the University of Liberia, Mr. George T. Wilson lauded the Dean of the Amos C Sawyer College, Dr. Gray and the Acting Chairman of the Department of Political Science, Assistant Professor Roosevelt Tule for initiating such needed Dialogue for Peaceful Elections in Liberia.
The overview of the Thursday’s dialogue was performed by the Acting Chairman of the Department of Political Science, Mr. Tule.
Meanwhile, the dialogue held at the Thelma E. Duncan Sawyer Faculty Lounge in Fendall was well attended and was marked by questions and answers.