Liberia Minister of Information, Lewis Brown and one time confidante of war crime convict Charles Taylor who is on official visit with President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf attending the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly in the United States, has unequivocally warned that the Liberian government will not allow anyone to take his country back to the past.
Minister Brown, in a staunched tune issued his warning last night when he appeared on the Destiny Debaters Show to debate leaders of the planned protest against corruption and the resignation of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf . The debate was hosted by the Destiny Debaters via teleconference, and appearing on the show to debate the Minister were Mrs Tarloh Quiwonkpa of the Movement Against Corruption in Liberia (MOLAC) and Mr Jerry Wion, Communication Director of Concerned Citizens of Liberia Against Corruption and Impunity (CLACI), umbrella organizations that are leading the protest.
In the feisty five hours debate, Minister Brown assured the leaders of the protest that the Liberian government welcomes the protest at the United Nations because it is the constitutional right of Liberians to protest but pleaded that the calling for the resignation of President Sirleaf was wrong because she was elected to a six year term and that protesters should instead wait for the next presidential election in 2017 when her term expires.
The leaders of the protest on the other hand insisted that corruption has engulfed Liberia and President Sirleaf has refused to prosecute public officials who had been found in over seventy audit reports of corruption but rather those accused corrupt officials are not prosecuted, “the President re-cycles them from one Ministry or agency to the next, they said. The protest leader told Minister Brown that it is not written in stone that when one is elected to power, the only way they can leave power is to wait until the next election but instead, the constitution provides that if their leaders failed to perform the duties and responsibilities for which they were elected, the very people who elected them have the inherent right to take them out of power and President Sirleaf and her government had reached the constitutional quicksand to be asked to resign.
But contrary to his earlier assurances to the organizers of the protest who had previously called on the Liberian government not to temper with the rights of Liberians to peaceful protest in Liberia as they stage a simultaneous protest in the United States and Liberia on September 24, 2013, the Liberian Information Minister closed by warning that the Liberian government will not allow anyone to take Liberia back to the past, warning , “you can take this and put it in the Bible, it will not happen” because the government will do everything in its power to make sure it will not happen and “you mark down this date , it will not happen”, the Liberian Information Minister warned.