Liberia: Political Science Lecturer Warns Weah-led Gov’t of Dangers Attached to Banning Student Political Activities

MONROVIA – Professor Alaric Tokpa, a prominent former student leader has condemned the suspension of student political activities on the campuses of the University of Liberia.

Report by Alaskai Moore Johnson,

Responding to request by journalists to comment on the recent ban on student political activities at the university, Prof. Tokpa, who is also former head of the Political Science Department at the University of Liberia, said that the interference of University authorities with the legitimate and constitutional rights of students to associate, speak freely, and take actions in their own interest and the interest of the larger Liberian society, is a trait of dangerous dictatorship.

“Dictatorships atomize society and reduce it to very small units by removing organizations and institutions from between individuals and government. In that way, the government is able to brutalize and destroy individuals without hindrance or any difficulty,” he stated.

According to him, this is exactly what the dictatorship did to the Liberian student community in the 1980s.

He lamented that the same scary scenario is now again showing up under this regime and it is counterproductive.

“And the same thing is what the cheer leaders in the George Weah Government are seeking to do to the student community today. However, that is an old strategy that is usually counterproductive.”

According to the Political Scientist, silencing the student community is a strategy that never works; it only provokes disobedience and chaos in society.

He asserted that no student leadership or community is able to successfully lead negative campaign against a government that is doing the right thing; adding: “The present challenge therefore before the George Weah government is to stop searching for imaginary enemies everywhere and focus on doing the right thing.”

Prof. Tokpa, who in the 1980s when former Samuel K. Doe ruled by military degree had him and others thrown in prison at the famous Belleh Yallah, deep in the Lofa Forest, therefore called on all well-meaning Liberians in and out of government as well as at home and abroad to advise the government to halt the interference with the legitimate and constitutional rights of the student community; as the suppression of legal forms of struggle usually provokes illegal forms of struggle.

He insinuated that when students’ political activities are banned openly,…

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.