Monrovia – A group under the banner “Coalition for the Restoration of Liberian’s 5% Equity Interest in Petroleum Products” says it will pursue legal action against the Government of Liberia in an effort to ensure that all Liberian citizens benefit from the country’s resources.
The group through its Secretary General Matthew Nyanplu, speaking at a Press Conference Monday in Monrovia disclosed that the secret 2019 amendment of the petroleum law of Liberia by the National Legislature was in violation of the Constitution of Liberia.
“We have maintained that the secret amendment in 2019, of the petroleum law of Liberia by President George Weah and all members of the 54th National Legislature is a betrayal of the people of Liberia, a violation of the sacred oath of office to which they swore to uphold, protect, and defend the constitution and laws of the Republic of Liberia,” Nyanplu said.
According to him, the Constitution of Liberia requires in Article 7 that the Republic shall ensure that the Country’s natural resources are managed in a way that will involve the participation of all Liberian citizens.
Nyanplu added that the 2019 secret amendment of the petroleum law, section 36, which allegedly denied Liberians of their right to benefit from the resources, is not only a violation of the Constitution, but it is a calculated ploy by the Government to keep Liberians in poverty.
The “Coalition for the Restoration of Liberian’s 5% Equity Interest in Petroleum Products” Secretary General wants the Liberian Government to engage in initiatives that will mitigate the economic difficulties Liberians are undergoing.
“I have been away from the country for the last 20 months in Europe and the United States pursuing studies. I have been shocked that prices of ordinary commodities have increased very close to or in some cases, more than 100%,” Nyanplu stressed.
“What this means is that the real value of income has been wiped out by the monster inflation pervading the economy. As inflation creeps up, wages must keep up so that the people are left in no worse economic position if the government is unable to pursue monetary policies to bring down the inflation, but this has not happened.”
However, he said the wages of people have now been stolen; others stagnated and, in some cases, sliced downward, thereby making life further difficult for ordinary Liberians.
He added that government is making no efforts to bring down the inflation; a situation he believes will not end the suffering of Liberians.
“With other government in the West African sub-region, for example, are taking actions to mitigate the economic difficulties on their people, our government is making life more difficult for us Liberians. Our government is acting to keep Liberians very poor, taking away what belongs to all Liberians and giving it to a few businesses, who in effect, represent interest government officials is not only evil, but hateful,” Nyanplu lamented.
Meanwhile, Nyanplu wants Liberians to join the struggle to halt what he calls, secret amendment the Petroleum Law of Liberia against the interest of citizens.
Declaring the 2019 amendment unconstitutional, Nyanplu said a team of legal practitioners, to include Cllr. Finley Karngar, former Minister of Justice Benedict Sarnor, Veteran Human Rights Lawyer Atty. Kofi Woods and Law Professor Kabineh Ja’neh are all in readiness to seek legal redress to the citizens’ plight.