ADDRESS TO THE NATION REGARDING “CDC MASSACRE DAY” AND November POLLS
CLLR. WINSTON TUBMAN, STANDARD BEARER
CONGRESS FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (CDC)
My Fellow Liberians;
Let us observe a few seconds of silence for those killed at our headquarters on Monday, November 7, 2011 (“CDC Massacre Day”) by members of the Emergency Response Unit(ERU) and Police Support Unit (PSU) of the Liberian National Police. Thank you for observing the silence.
What occurred in our compound on Monday, I am convinced, was an assassination attempt on my life and that of my Vice Standard Bearer. This is because for more than an hour on that day, our partisans were gathered on the street in front of the Lone Star Cell Company on Tubman Boulevard and the ERU and PSU did nothing until shortly after I arrived, together with my Vice Standard Bearer. A few minutes after, we were approached by a Nigerian General of the UNMIL contingent who admonished us to turn around and go back into our compound because he feared what awaited us down the road and further in town by the ERU and PSU. While listening to the General’s advice, we came under attack by the ERU and PSU who began heavily tear gassing us. They followed us into our compound and began shooting live bullets at the crowd. When I disembarked from the vehicle and attempted to head into the building, I was instantly pushed back by one of our young Security Guards; unfortunately for this young comrade, he was hit at that very moment by an assassin’s bullet that we believe was intended for me. May his soul rest in peace!
My Vice Standard Bearer and I were hurriedly ushered into the building and were held hostage on the floor and in the closet of my office by attacking ERU and PSU officers for over two hours as they continued to shoot live bullets and tear gas into the building. Eventually, we secretly left the vicinity for a secure area.
Today, my fellow citizens, we still do not yet have a total figure about our casualties because wecontinue to receive news of missing partisans who have not been seen or heard from since the day of the “CDC Massacre” when they departed home for our headquarters. So far, I know of at least three (3) dead and over 150 wounded. As we speak, some of our partisans are having bullets removed from their bodies at local hospitals. In fact, there is a most horrible scene in my mind when an ERU officer pointed his gun and fired point blank range at the head of one of our partisans who was instantly killed. Over 150 of our people were arrested and locked up at the Monrovia Central prison and in containers around town, among others.
Initially, the Justice Minister and Police Director both misled the world about this attack by the Liberian government on our headquarters; Justice Minister Tah accused us of exchanging fire with the ERU; Director Amblard accused UNMIL of shooting Liberian citizens; Director Amblard, however, has since retracted his statement and admitted that his forces used live ammunition against our people. One can only hope that the Justice Minister and President Sirleaf would follow the route of honesty and humanity.
After the first round of the elections, we immediately began engaging with our international partners and all stakeholders involved, informing them of the massive fraud which we believed were being perpetrated in the tabulation process by the National Elections Commission. They all said that there was insufficient evidence to support our contention of cheating, but what they all either missed or ignored was the fact that President Sirleaf and her UP controlled the entire machinery that conducted the process; thus, we would have had to rely on them to give us the evidence necessary to prove their complicity and guilt in the cheating that went on and this would have been a difficult task; Thus, we called the boycott of the runoff to demonstrate to the world and all Liberians that President Sirleaf and her UP lacked the numerical strength they had claimed after the first round and since elections are won by votes and not on the strength of political endorsements by observers. Thus, our boycott would have compelled them to either display their strengths with their numbers or be proven to be the electoral hijackers that we all now know them to be.
They have now announced some highly inflated figures that give President Sirleaf a victory—or as she calls it, “a renewal of her mandate”; what mandate can this flawed process give her? What mandate did she ever have in the first place—the 19% of the vote she received in 2005? What a national calamity!!!
However, it is our current position in the CDC that we will NOT accept the results of the process—not just that we disagree that President Sirleaf is the declared winner, but that the numbers as we and everyone else who followed them on Monday all agree were too low to justify the inflated figures they are now releasing. Therefore, we still stick to our original position and unequivocally reaffirm that we will NOT accept the results from the runoff elections held on November 8, 2011. It was a political farce of the highest order and, therefore, must not be allowed to stand.
Fellow Liberians, as we speak here today, our lawyers are busy working on all our legal options:
A) We believe that everything that flows from Tuesday’s elections must be annulled and a new round of elections scheduled within a month;
B) We are more determined than ever to press our claims especially after the lethal force unleashed by the President’s Security apparatus on our unarmed, innocent people on Monday, November 7, 2011.
Thus, how can the President pretend to be seeking to reconcile Liberians while ignoring the deaths and wounding of innocent Liberians by her ERU at her directive?
Our position to not recognize the results from the runoff remains unchanged; we will NOT recognize the so called win by President Sirleaf as a result of the very flawed process leading up to the second round of the elections; our party will meet shortly to revisit and re-examine our position and if there’s either an enhanced or mitigated position, we will announce it to all;
This tragedy was totally unprovoked; our hearts go out to all of the families that were affected, most especially the families of our fallen martyrs;
In the next few days, we will give them the proper burials befitting their ultimate sacrifice and will call on all CDCians to assemble and pay homage to their fallen comrades and we will hope then that our people will NOT be met by live bullets from President Sirleaf’s ERU as they did on the day of the “CDC Massacre”, November 7.
Likewise, we deplore and categorically condemn the government shut down of media institutions; the President’s remarks that this unconstitutional act was done in keeping with “Due Process” is nothing but another one of her intentional distortions, that are often in contrast with reality. These media institutions were raided after mid-night on the day of the “CDC Massacre” by the ERU as they sought to seize the evidence that these media houses had of what occurred at our headquarters; What “Due Process” gives them the right to raid offices at such odd hours of the night?
We call for an investigation headed by independent, international dignitaries into the tragedy that shall forever go down in our history as a (national) “Day of Shame” in our country. The President cannot appoint her Partisans or supporters, who are on record as being very critical of our party and cause, to then pretend to be neutral investigators or impartial peacemakers in this process. Our dead brothers and sisters deserve better!
Oh yes, we need peace. CDCians, like all patriotic Liberians, are committed to a peaceful, united and modern Liberia. But this peace must be accompanied by justice and fair play. It must be a peace for government officials; but it must also be a peace for ALL Liberians, including CDCians.
May God continue to protect the works of our hand and save our noble party, and country!
I thank you!