Gbarpolu County – The Women Situation Room (WSR) is not giving up on their quest to ensure that 2017 election in Liberia concludes peacefully.
WSR is a non-governmental group as part of the Angie Brooks International Center for Women’s Empowerment, Peace and Security.
It recently engaged marketers in Gbarpolu County as part of an outreach campaign calling for tolerance and peace in the marketplaces as the political tension heightens in the country.
“We have come to let you know that selling peace in the market will help to promote peace amongst us as Liberians, especially in rural areas – in our homes, in our towns, districts and our county Gbarpolu,” Madam Grace T. Momo, Coordinator of WSR Gbarpolu County office, told over 2,000 marketers and passersby on Tuesday, November 7 in Gokaka market.
Gokaka is the major market in Goungbia Chiefdom in Bopolu District.
Momo said the WSR continues to contribute to Liberia’s electoral processes through outreach in rural parts of the country by promoting peace messages and observing the electoral process.
She said Liberians must do “everything possible to remain peaceful and await the NEC to look into the Liberty Party’s allegations”.
“Now that the big court [Supreme Court] in our country has asked NEC to look into Mr. Charles Brumskine case before they can finish with our election business, you and I need to be doing our normal business carefully and forget about talking about politics in the market,” she told the marketers.
During the 2014 Special Senatorial, the WSR actively served as peace messager while also observing the process.
The WSR, according to its Gbarpolu County coordinator, is again working as a complementary arm to traditionally observe and analysis election data and information coming from across the country.
Madam Dargber Marshall, head of marketers in Gbarpolu County, thanked WSR for the campaign and said it was a timely move to reach out to the marketers and she called on the communities to value messages of peace.
“The message here is simple: politic does not have profit in our markets; talking about court business and taking someone to court as a business person like you and myself will only make more credits to climb on our head,” said Marshall.
“Preaching deep political issues is not our portion; we’re business people. By the grace of God, this election will finish one day and our businesses will grow.”
Saah Joseph, a petty trader, added: “Our election is not delayed, by right we supposed to be voting today but that has been canceled by the Supreme Court.”
He added: “We cannot put the blame on Supreme Court for any delay; it [is] the NEC – they never wanted to look in Liberty Party case. So I think for us as business people this message that you people brought for us here is good and we will be doing our business and anytime they finish with their court business we are ready for them.”
For Marcus Dennis, it was his first time listening to peace messages in the market. He said the loudspeaker attracted him to the message.
“For me, we will keep doing our farming job and forget about politics in this election,” he said.
Like Dennis, most of the marketers described the WSR campaign as “timely and rewarding” for the business community.
Kpannah TokpaI said: “If they can resolve all the complaints in this election without confusion it will be okay for us as business people.”
Tokpal’s Martha Suah, she believes that the peace messaging should continue until Liberia can see through a transition of government that would be non -violent.
Report By: Henry B. Gboluma, Jr.