By: Matalay Kollie, Bong County Correspondent
Gbarnga City, Bong County- February 17, 2023. Bong County Electoral District 3 Representative Josiah Marvin Cole has vowed to impose night curfew in his Cutton tree community in Gbarnga over reports of increased ritualistic activities.
The assertion of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) Representative violates Article 86 (a) of the 1986 Constitution of Liberia which provides that only the President may, in consultation with the speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro Tempore of the Senate, pro-claim and declare the existence of a state of emergency in the Republic or any part thereof, Acting pursuant thereto, the President may suspend or affect certain rights, freedom and guarantees contained in this Constitution and exercise such other emergency powers as may be necessary and appropriate to take care of the emergency, subject, however, to the limitations contained in this chapter.
Addressing news reporters recently in the County, Rep. Cole said under his watch as representative of Jorquelleh electoral District#3, he will not allowed anyone to execute ritualistic activities in the district, especially where he resides.
The Bong County lawmaker intuition is that people might accuse him of being involved in the act of it continues within the community he lives, as such, the institution of curfew could shut off the accusations.
The CDC Lawmaker noted that the government of President George Weah is committed to providing the needed security for every Liberian; adding that the government will not allowed would-be ritualists to undermine the peace process of the oldest African Nation.
Representative Cole told residents of Cotton Tree and nearby Communities that in the next fifteen days, a community task force will be organized to take night patrols in the Cotton Tree community in order to have the area monitored during night hours.He said the task force members will start patrolling the community by 11:00 PM until 6:00AM.
“When anyone is caught in the Cotton Tree community after 11:00PM, we will scrape that person naked and said person will not return to tell the story.” Rep. Cole noted.
Meanwhile, the controversial Bong County lawmaker has promised to serve as commander for the task force; adding that the exercise will be extended to other parts of Gbarnga in the coming months.
But, a popular Human Rights Defender in Bong County is rallying citizens to resist the Lawmaker’s decision to impose a curfew.
The Chief Executive Officer of the DELTA Human Rights Fundation, Jesse B. Cole noted that his decision is squarely on grounds that the lawmaker does not know his legislative functions. “Only the Executive Branch of government is clothes with the authority to impose curfew so why will a lawmaker subject the citizens to a draconian rule. Thank God that I’m living in the same community, I will patrol the community even at 3:00AM, let me see anyone arresting me. Since Rep. Cole doesn’t know his legislative functions, I Jesse Cole will teach him his functions.” he noted.
Analysts say the move by the lawmaker is only intended to subvert powers into himself against the people.
Article 86 (b) also states that a state of emergency may be declared only where threat or outbreak of war or where there is civil unrest affecting the existence security or well-bing of the Republic amounting to a clear and present dagger.