(MONROVIA, LIBERIA APRIL 18, 2017) Ahead of the pending Presidential and Legislative Elections scheduled for October this year, the Inspector General of the Liberia National Police Hon. Gregory O. W. Coleman has assured women aspiring for legislative seats of full police protection during their campaign processes.
IGP Coleman said the Liberia National Police was under obligation to provide an enabling environment that will encourage women participation in the pending elections, describing them as important contributors to the current peace the country is experiencing.
Coleman said the police will not favor any group of people over another but will provide equal opportunities for all candidates including women who are intending to participate in the electoral process.
According to an LNP Statement, the Police Boss admonished the women to be peaceful during the process of elections, adding that the upcoming elections were very crucial to the survival of the country’s emerging democracy.
He encouraged them to alert the police on issues of insecurity that they may encounter during the electoral period, stressing to deal with anyone that will want to create an atmosphere of insecurity for women.
“We will do all we can to protect you, but we also ask you to support our move of promoting peaceful elections, which is good for our country”, the Inspector General of Police indicated.
The Liberian Police Chief made the statement over the weekend in Gbarnga, Bong County where he met with over one hundred women who are aspiring for legislative seats as well as their campaign managers.
The training of the women was being done by the National Movement for Transparent Elections.
At the same time, the Liberia National Police has held discussions with citizens of Bong, Nimba, and Lofa Counties as part of its nationwide tour geared towards promoting peaceful elections in 2017.
The citizens of the three counties expressed their willingness to support the LNP in promoting peaceful elections, stating that the pending elections were historical and crucial to Liberia.
The Bong, Lofa, and Nimba citizens called on the Liberia National Police’s leadership to increase the manpower in their respective counties ahead of the elections
They said the lack of adequate logistics for local police officers is bothering the smooth operations of the police, and want the police leadership consider addressing the issues confronting the counties ahead of the elections.
For his part, Police Inspector General Gregory Coleman informed the locals of the three counties about the need to uphold the rule of law during the elections, as the upcoming elections were important for the future of the country.
He said the “YES TO PEACE, NO TO VIOLENCE” initiative undertaken by the police is intended to build the confidence of the public in the LNP.
He called on the citizens to support the initiative being promoted by the Liberia National Police, indicating that the moved by the police is not because of fear from the public, but is intended to take the police to the people for better cooperation and understanding. He called on the locals to report any form of police misconduct that they may experience while interacting with officers assigned in their respective counties.
He said gone are the days when law enforcement officers were lord unto themselves by abusing the public trust.
“You are encouraged to report any form of misconduct on the part of officers to the Professional Standards Division of the Liberia National Police in your county, and I can assure you that appropriate actions will be taken against any officer that will be found liable”, the police IG said.
The police-citizens dialogue was attended by local officials in the three counties; the officials reminded the citizens of the role they have to play in promoting the transition process which must be void of violence. They promised their fullest commitment in working with the police to promote a violence free elections in 2017.
Also in attendance were two of Liberia’s leading entertainers, Mr. Aaron Clinton, AKA Spider, and musical star, Faquama Deline, AKA F.A. Both stars in their performances encouraged the audience to take seriously the upcoming elections and support a nonviolent approach during the elections. They said they were confident that the successful conduct of the pending elections will cause the country to take its place among the comity of nations. The two Liberian stars promised to continue spreading the nonviolent message being promoted by the Liberia National Police nationwide.