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Thursday, May 23, 2024

UL ADMINISTRATION HAS BECOME A POLITICAL PAWN – MARTIN KOLLIE

Date:

MONROVIA – Martin K.N. Kollie, a former student leader has expressed displeasure with the administration of the state-run University of Liberia’s recent decision to ban student politics on the campuses of the University.

Mr. Kollie, an activist based in exile and a former Chairman of the University campus-based political party, the Vanguard Student Unification Party (SUP) said to ban student politics is to ban freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.

The exile activist expressed that the UL administration’s decision violates Article 15 and Article 17.

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Prof. Dr. Julius Julukon Sarwolo Nelson, Jr, President, University of Liberia

Article 15 of the Liberian constitution states: Every person shall have the right to freedom of expression, being fully responsible for the abuse thereof. This right shall not be curtailed, restricted or enjoined by government save during an emergency declared in accordance with this Constitution.

While Article 17 states: All persons, at all times, in an orderly and peaceable manner, shall have the right to assemble and consult upon the common good, to instruct their representatives, to petition the Government or other functionaries for the redress of grievances and to associate fully with others or refuse to associate in political parties, trade unions and other organizations.

The former SUP Chairman who posted his displeasure on his Facebook page further said, “Why teach politics when it cannot be practiced? The STUDENTS must not allow this. UL administration has become a political pawn.”

Last week Monday, the University Capitol Hill campus was a scene of bloody clashes when thugs connected to Montserrado County District 8 Representative Acarou M. Gray accompanied the lawmaker on the University campus to “face up to campus-based student political party, the Vanguard Student Unification Party (SUP).

The ruling party ideologue’s motivation was to allegedly stop SUP activists who have been naming and shaming suspected corrupt public officials in the ruling CDC Government. The Montserrado County District 8 lawmaker’s visit later turned bloody, disrupting normal academic activities for which the UL administration, the following day issued a statement through its President, Prof. Dr. Julius Julukon Sarwolo Nelson, Jr. Below is the University’s statement…

As of today, March 16, 2023, student politics on all UL campuses are hereby suspended until further notice.

The suspension comes in the wake of the many violent disturbances on the University of Liberia campuses.

Students are mandated to keep in strict conformity to this pronouncement. Violators would be severely sanctioned in keeping with the UL Revised Student Handbook.

Accordingly, no political group shall assemble or hold meetings or engage in any politically-related activities on any of the University of Liberia campuses during this period of suspension.

The suspension affects political/solidarity marches, political gatherings, the wearing of symbols and emblems depicting and promoting campus-based political groups, and student protests, among others.

At the same time, the UL Administration condemns in the strongest possible terms the violent disturbances that erupted on the UL Capitol Hill campus on Monday, March 13, 2023, and by extension all such incidents.

Additionally, the UL Administration commissions an immediate independent investigation to probe the Monday disturbances, which led to the cancellation of classes and injuries to students and others.

The committee is headed by Professor T. Debey Sayndee, Director, Kofi Annan Institute for Conflict Transformation (KAICT).

The UL Administration ensures and commits the full protection and safety of all students/staff/faculty and users of the facilities and services of the University.

Meanwhile, UL students are reminded that the Revised UL Student Handbook strictly prohibits the use of disruptive noises, violence, and vandalism on all its campuses.

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Smart News Liberia is an online news outlet and a product of Smart Media Group Inc. Our website, smartnewsliberia.com, covers a broad spectrum of news content. For inquiries or information, you can reach us at 0777425285 or 0886946925, or email us at smartnewsliberia@gmail.com or info@smartnewsliberia.com.

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