Move for a Peaceful Election in Liberia
A peaceful transition of power through October 10th election process would be an impressive achievement for Liberia, fourteen years after the end of brutal civil wars. It is highly needed for all Liberian citizens, National Police and National Election Commission to commit themselves and work hand in hand to ensure adequate peaceful election process.
For peaceful elections, all need to commit in violence prevention. To prevent election violence we call for peace messaging and nonviolent actions from leading candidates and all Liberians, for we are all (Liberians and friends of Liberia) responsible for a peaceful election process.
Let us make of this election process, an opportunity to reinforce peace and harmony in our country. After this election process, Mama Liberia will need all her children for her sustainable development. Liberian and friend of Liberia commit to peaceful election if you truly love Liberia. In fact, we have suffered two civil wars (1989–2003) that claimed the lives of over 500,000 Liberians, and experienced an Ebola crisis (2014–2015) that killed around 4,800 of our loved ones. Let every Liberian say: “no more this in Liberia” and make it a commitment through non-violence in thoughts, words and actions.
Young people of Liberia let us challenge ourselves and the international community on the field of nonviolence, by showing that we can go through election peacefully. Let us not allow ourselves to be manipulated towards violence for at the end of violent actions, all will be victims and losers and our beloved country desolate. Let us be the responsible young people with great dreams of Positive Peace and Harmony conducive for all to actualize our potential, that Africa and the world need today. Yes, we can make it with no violence.
Members of the National Election Commission, you need to defend jealously your integrity and credibility by not giving in to manipulations and to portray transparency in all your moves even with the little means at your disposal.
Will prevention of violence work? The answer is yes if Liberians want it to work, for they will all become agents of prevention of violence in the election process, by combating hate speech between parties with love talks. The principle is: I understand, love and respect you as a fellow Liberian even if I disagree with you. The power of love that we all have and that we all use the least is for strong people. Violence and hatred are the tools of the weak. The tool of the powerful is Love, which can forgive and transform positively and non-violently. Let us all stand and be strong Liberians in this election period that runs from now to after elections with the acceptance of the results.
Finally, let it not be taken for granted that every Liberian at this point knows how to vote peacefully. In the peace messaging let us ensure that all have a summary of the voting process and can go through it with less stress and frustration.
Since God has already blessed Liberia, may he give to all Liberians the grace to welcome his blessings of Peace.
Rev. Fr. Michel Savadogo, SMA,
Executive director of Rest-Cor,