MONROVIA – As we approach the much anticipated June 7 Protest, the ANC would like to admonish its partisans, partisans of the other collaborating opposition parties and all citizens, who wish to exercise their constitutional right, to remain peaceful and act within the confines of the constitution. The ANC wishes to reiterate its support for the rights of citizens to protest and petition their government to address their needs, especially during these hard times. We recognize and acknowledge the immense hardship being faced by our people. As we speak today, the exchange rate is 197 LD to 1USD, up from 127 in Jan 2018 when this government took over the leadership of our country.
Consequently, the prices of food and basic services have seen a drastic increase, significantly affecting the livelihood of our people. The poor continue to get poorer under the Pro-Poor Agenda of this government. The level of incompetence and broad daylight thievery accompanied by a deliberate impunity is nothing like we have seen before in this country. In less than two years, this President and his officials, while refusing to publish or declare their assets, have allegedly continue to amass unexplained wealth, build mansions, acquire valuable real properties, fly first class and private jets, all at the detriment of the suffering masses. Salaries people work for are no longer regularly paid and the value of the minimal salary has greatly decreased. Our integrity institutions like the GAC, LACC, PPCC, LEITI meant to fight graft have been underfunded and broken down by the clear disregard of their mandates, while the rule of law is threatened by interference in the Judicial System evidenced by the unconstitutional removal of a sitting Justice of our Supreme Court. This singular act has threatened the independence of our Judiciary and instilled fear in other justices and judges, who no longer feel covered by their judicial immunity as provided for by the constitution. It has further eroded public trust in our Justice System.
Fellow Liberians, these are real issues which affect the lives of every Liberian and as such, the ANC supports the people’s will to protest and petition their government to address these issues under the guidance of the Council of Patriots. We re-emphasize our admonishment that the protest remains peaceful and within the confines of the constitution. We call on our partisans and all protestors to be vigilant of any provocation from the CDC ruling party and/or government supporters/sympathizers intended to cause violence. We ask you all to avoid any such provocation and refrain from retaliation. We must maintain our peace, no matter how fragile, and show to the world that even in our hardship and suffering, we shall never forget what it took to get the peace we now enjoy. We implore you to be peaceful and lawful, as we must never compromise our peace.
Where we believe that this government has failed to honor their part of the social contract they have with us as a people who elected them, we must commit to channeling our anger, frustrations and disappointments through the ballot box by voting against them in the upcoming by-elections in District 15 and Montserrado County the Senatorial election, the Senatorial Election in 2020 and by voting them out in the Presidential election in 2023. This would be the greatest show of your lack of confidence in their ability to lead this country and improve your lives.
To the government, providing adequate security for our people for the duration of the protest, is not a personal choice. It is part of your responsibility to ensure the safety and security of our people and all others within our borders. We ask that you remain true to your promise to do so and ensure that the lives and properties of our people are protected.
In closing, we want to emphasize that the ANC remains committed to the collaboration of opposition political parties and strongly believes that in standing by our partisans, supporters and all citizens during this period, we acknowledge not only your anger and disappointment but your hopes and dreams for a better alternative, and we will do all we can to present that alternative to you in 2023. But today, we stand with you and by you, as you prepare to petition your government to do what needs to be done to curtail your suffering and improve your lives.