Liberia-October 9, 2023: A Liberian Feminist, Lawyer and ‘2022 US Woman of Courage’ is rallying Liberians to unite and maintain peace during the October 10, 2023 elections.
Atty. Facia B. Harris indicated that the reminders of the harrowing chapters in the nation’s history marked by a devastating civil war which left indelible scars should not be a path to travel on during these elections.
In her statement delivered during the launch of the Situation Room on Violence Against Women in Elections by the Women NGO Secretariat of Liberia and partner, Atty Facia noted that there a need for Unity and Responsibility during Liberia’s Crucial Election Day.
“As we approach this election, we must bear in mind the sacrifices made by our fellow Liberians who sought to build a better nation. We must honor their memory by upholding the values of unity, tolerance, and democracy. Our collective responsibility is to ensure that we do not allow history to repeat itself”, she noted.
She furthered that the country’s challenges are not confined to the ghosts of the past; as such, Liberians must also confront the pressing issues of today which include —sexual and gender-based violence, economic hardship, the scourge of drug abuse, and the underrepresentation of women and minorities in leadership positions both in the legislature and executive.
“Our children—both boys and girls—are facing unimaginable hardships, including the heinous crime of rape. This is a stain on our collective conscience, and it is our duty to protect the most vulnerable among us.
Atty Facia Harris however rallied Liberians to use their votes as a potent weapon in order to address key critical national issues within the Liberian society. “As we head to the polls, let us remember that our vote is our most potent weapon. It is the instrument with which we can address these critical issues and shape the future of Liberia. Let us not resort to stones and sticks to make our points, but rather, let our voices be heard through the ballot box”.
The Liberian Feminist further asserted that “We have but one Liberia, one nation that deserves our unwavering commitment to peace, progress, and unity. The scars of our history remind us of the cost of division; our actions today will determine the promise of a united and prosperous Liberia tomorrow. In unity, we find strength. In tolerance, we discover understanding. And in responsible citizenship, we secure Liberia’s place among the nations of the world. Together, let us ensure that our nation emerges from these elections stronger, more united, and more determined than ever to build a brighter future for all Liberians”, she added.
In closing, Atty Facia recommended that Liberians should take personal responsibility for the peace, democracy, and the security; thus leaving no room for violence.
“Do not spread fake or sensational news! NEC staff should ensure they are professional and respectful to voters and their votes. Security forces should ensure they deal fairly and professionally with any breach of the peace. Journalists should be respected when they do their work, and they should ensure to report responsibly”, she said.
Over 2million Liberians are expected to cast their ballot on October 10, 2023 to elect a president and Legislative leaders that will lead the country for 6yrs and more.
Calls to ensuring peace is maintained have been re-echoed based on the series of violence which characterized the campaign processes across Liberia.
Analysts say the Lofa Violence, coupled with the Japanese free way scuffles are recipe for chaos and the refresher of the 14yrs of civil unrest. “The scars of the past run deep, and they underscore the need for a peaceful, united Liberia”.