As political parties continue to position themselves in order to gain votes from the electorates ahead of the October 10 elections, the propensity for political actors to perpetuate violence cannot be overemphasized.
The Farmington River Declaration on the 4th of June this year in Monrovia bound 20 political parties out of the 22 registered parties to stick to clean politics thereby admonishing their supporters to “prevent electoral violence, impunity and injustice” which will serve as a platform in ensuring peaceful election. Sadly, despite the signing of the historic Farmington River Declaration, the convoy of the Vice President and Standard Bearer of the ruling Unity Party (UP) was recently attacked in Clara town where he went to attend his endorsement by some youths. This unfolding situation is quite worrisome, given the manner and form in which certain political actors took to social media heralding the Clara Town violence against Veep Boakai and his entourage as a healthy sign of our growing democracy. As a matter of fact, the Clara Town situation led the National Movement to Support Boakai (NAMBO) to openly accuse the main opposition Coalition/Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) to be the brain behind the fracas. This allegation was however debunked by Mr. Janga. A. Kowo, the National Secretary General of CDC. Despipte Mr. Kowo denial, it is noteworthy to know that CDC political leader George Weah has unequivocally condemned the Clara Town saga in the strongest terms. This medium believes that Mr. Weah must be commended for his bold stance for timely condemning the act which he said is not in the best interest of all Liberians. The Clara town incident is an unfortunate one but has sent strong signals to the security sector that more needs to be done to prepare for the challenges ahead. There should be no complacency. The security sector should be equipped with logistics to ensure that the electioneering process is manned without the eruption of violence. Political parties should admonish their supporters not to make their districts as buffer zones in order to deter other opponents from campaigning there. More emphasis should be placed on taking peace messages to the youths who perpetrate violence in trying to prove their loyalty to politicians. We can only make a better Liberia through peaceful, credible and fair elections.