When protesters demanding the unconditional release of Vandalark Patricks stormed the city on Monday, fear gripped Monrovia once again. The scene was a complete reminder of the gory days of the civil conflict, when law and order took the back seat and anarchy ruled supreme.
Protestors under the guidance of CDC stalwarts Mulbah Morlu and Acarous Gray blocked traffic around Capitol Hill, forcibly detouring vehicles while at the throwing stones indiscriminately at police and passersby. A businessman who had gone to the PPCC to sort out documents ended up with his vehicle stoned to smithereens. He nearly escaped with his life. Astonishingly, Vandalark Patricks, whose arrest seemed to have sparked off the riot, is now out on bail, having secured a cash bond reportedly secured by Mr. Benoni Urey, a 2017 presidential hopeful. Mr. Patricks was held for days beyond the regular statutory limitation after he accused President Sirleaf of complicity in Harry Greaves’ death. In the wake of the unfolding simmering tensions that have occasioned the mysterious death of the former LPRC managing director, the Capitol Times is of the stern belief that acts of violence and unnecessary tension will only help to push this country down the path of lawlessness. We’ve been down this road before. We can’t afford to travel there again, having made some clear cut gains over the last 12 years. For us, it is not about right and wrong, might or weakness. At this very crucial juncture in our history, when there is more at stake than ever before, as we draw closer to an electoral process that will determine consolidation or destruction of peace, every effort must be exerted to maintain the sanctity of democratic governance. The burden lies with government as much as the citizenry in ensuring that the hard-fought peace gains are sustained for posterity. As much as the government is aggrieved when people make reckless and baseless statements undermining its credibility, equally so, the onus of restraint rests with the governors. As responsible citizens too, we all have the abiding duty to see this process through to a logical conclusion. Any action that short circuits the democratic process will only send this war-torn country right back into another spiral of violence. We’re all in this boat together. Let’s ride the storm and stay the course.