Kofi Woods say no justice no peace

Monrovia – Human Rights lawyer, Atty. Samuel Kofi Woods says peace in Liberia is illusive unless the government changes the way it is dealing with the citizenry by protecting them, providing basic services and doing what is right. He says a government that discriminates is unjust to the people and cannot have total peace. “A government, which discriminates, is an unjust government. A government with untouchables is an unjust government”, says Atty. Woods

Speaking at the Juah Sarwee Memorial Institute, Borough of New Kru Town during the induction of Student government, he cautioned Liberians not to remain silent in the wake of unfolding events including mysterious deaths, arrest of people for free speech, amongst others. “Liberians must not remain silent. If your neighbor house is on fire and you don’t help to put it off. No one will be there to help you when yours is on fire”, says Atty. Woods.

“There have been several “suspicious and unexplained deaths in Liberia. This has generated a lot of fear and insecurity in our country. The case of the late Keith Jubah, Fayiah Gbolie, Victoria Zayzay. Michael Allison, Harry Greaves and many others throughout the country should concern all of us”, he recounts.

Atty. Woods says the government is under legal and constitutional duty to resolve the cases of suspicious deaths. He adds: “There are also many cases of rape that has led to death in some cases. Our government is under a legal and constitutional duty to resolve cases of suspicious deaths. This is not about the families involved. You do not satisfy families! You satisfy your duty to our country”.

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“We cannot borrow the same script used more than 40 years ago to govern our people and expect a different drama. It is this same script that landed us in prison or in exile. Our government is on the wrong side of history by this act. We join others before us by the way we conduct ourselves on this matter”, says Woods.
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No justice, no peace

The human rights lawyer says if the government cannot seek justice for its citizens it cannot know peace. “A government that does not seek justice for its citizens will not know peace. Our government should be ashamed of its failure to respond to such constitutional responsibility to its citizens. Our people feel neglected and abused. The future of our young girls is being jeopardized. These things cannot be ignored. We must speak to them and act. The manner in which our government proceeds with these matters does not tell well of a government that “cares”, he cautioned. Speaking on numerous unfolding events including suppression of Free speech Atty. Woods is warning that Liberians will not be intimidated or cowed into submission due to arrest.

“Liberians will not be intimidated or cowed into submission when you choose to arrest individuals and/or frightens them. The recent arrest and detention of Vandarla Patricks, the invitation to Mulbah Morlu and the case of Mr. Simeon Freeman are tragic signs for a country struggling to consolidate the gains of democracy. I urge our government to drop all charges and/or any intent to charge anyone and provide all guarantees that Mr. Freeman will not be arrested or harass if he returns to Liberia. There are moral and legal basis for this request. None of these individuals “can kill a fly”. They possess not threat to our nation”, he stated. He says Liberia cannot afford to borrow the same things done years ago.

“We cannot borrow the same script used more than 40 years ago to govern our people and expect a different drama. It is this same script that landed us in prison or in exile. Our government is on the wrong side of history by this act. We join others before us by the way we conduct ourselves on this matter”, says Woods.

Changes loom

Atty. Woods is predicting that in the next few days there will be changes at two key financial institutions including the Central Bank of Liberia and the Ministry of Finance and development Planning. He says it is [not] wrong to request a comprehensive audit and conduct the necessary hearings to address the state of the country’s economy. Atty. Woods says Liberians need to understand the state of these institutions and the state of the country economy. “If our people cannot get economic justice, we will not have peace! If we seek sanctuary, live in sky scrapers and think all is well, we are mistaken. If our children go to privileged schools and deprive others, We will not know peace!.” He is warning that those compromising public trust will not escape proper scrutiny.

Atty. Woods is warning: “If we compromise the public trust and think we can escape proper scrutiny, we will not know peace! No matter how far you run, you will not have peace and your generations will not have peace. A government, which discriminates, is an unjust government. A government with untouchables is an unjust government”. Atty. Woods served the current government in two capacities including the Minister of Labor and Public Works. Since his resignation, he has been a strong critic on many national issues and he is currently heading the Liberia Law Society. source www.frontpageafrica/Samwar Fallah

Samuel Kofi Woods pic: www.liberianobserver.com

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