WE THINK OF THE FUTURE AND HOPE FOR THE PROGRESS
STATEMENT BY THE LIBERIA INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY STUDENT UNION ABOUT THE RECENT RESIGNATION OF PRESIDENT WILLIE BEE TINGBA AND THE PENDING JUNE 7 PROTEST CONCERNING INTERNET SHUTDOWN

STATEMENT BY THE LIBERIA INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY STUDENT UNION ABOUT THE RECENT RESIGNATION OF PRESIDENT WILLIE BEE TINGBA AND THE PENDING JUNE 7 PROTEST CONCERNING INTERNET SHUTDOWN

Comrades and friends, enlightened youth and student activists, pundits and petty traders, ICT students, educators and professionals, fellow Liberians, members of the press:

We bring you heartfelt digital revolutionary greetings with high esteem from the most conscious and prolific mother organization for all Information and Technology students in the Republic, the Liberia Information Technology Student Union (LITSU).

The Executive Committee and members of LITSU, sadly, would like to begin by making it known to the public that the President of Liberia Information Technology Student Union Captain Willie Bee Tingba has resigned. According to our former President Resignation letter, He resigned because he wants to focus on his graduation and his tasks given to him by his educational sponsor. On June 3, 2019, the board confirmed and accepted Captain Willie Bee Tingba Resignation letter and designated the Vice President Foldestine Paye as President to steer the affairs of the Liberia Information Technology Student Union. To be clear, the bureaucracy of LITSU has change and nobody should do business with Captain Willie Bee Tingba under the banner of the Liberia Information Technology student union.

We want to use this medium to commend the Former President Captain Willie Tingba for making unremitting efforts by pushing the issue of ICT for Liberia to be in alignment with the digital revolution. You fought a good fight Leader and you have made significant achievements in improving the role of ICT as an enabler of economic and social development, thus laying the foundation for the future work of the new management.

Even though it is very hard to let you go but it is your decision and we promise to keep the Movement flourishing. We call on all members of LITSU to work together for a common goal and better information and communication Technologies for a better life for all in Liberia.

June 7, 2019, the council of patriot will be protesting which is their right under Article 17 of the constitution of Liberia and there is a rumor in the corridor of Liberia that during the protest, the Government of Liberia will shut down the Internet which is very precarious. We from the Information and technology student community will not take this rumors for granted because there have been many internet shutdowns in Africa this year (2019) during protest and demonstrations, such as follow, Zimbabwe “total internet shutdown” this year during protests over a dramatic fuel price increase and a resulting deadly crackdown.

The Democratic Republic of Congo this year shut-down Internet during the disputed presidential election, as a court moved to declare the winner. Gabon shut off service during an attempted coup, and Sudan earlier blocked social media amid growing calls for its longtime president to step down.

We are aware there is a clause in the Telecom regulation law of Liberia that gives the communication regulator the power to order service providers to restrict access to the internet or block social media apps at the regulator’s request. These clauses usually indicate that regulators can order shutdowns in times of national security or public safety concerns. We are also aware of Filtering apps, a popular tool can be used to block access to selected social media.

We call on the government to keep the internet on during the June 7 protest because it is the right to communicate as it is a basic human right. Shutting down the internet will not only stop hate messages, but it will also hurt the people, the economic and the government of Liberia.

Young people are the majority in Liberia and have the highest rate of unemployment. Access to the internet is essential to their education and employment, as well as their right to be informed citizens. As a movement for Internet freedom and Digital right, we demand that the Pro-Poor government and the telecommunication companies become responsive to the needs of citizens, and youth in particular during the protest.

Finally, the same rights that people have offline must also be protected online. LITSU call on the government to take all measures to guarantee, respect and protect the right to freedom of expression and access to information through ensuring access to the internet and social media services during the Protest.

LITSU call on the Government to thoroughly protect the rights of the people to free speech, free press, free assembly, and free movement. In this regard, LITSU calls on the organizers of the protest to ensure that no notch of violence is associated with the protest.

Let’s protect and maintain the peace we are enjoying today because in union success is sure.

The fight for digital Liberia is on!

We will not rest until Liberia get transform through technology

Long Live the Liberia Information Technology Student Union!

LITSU will never fall!

The Digital Struggle continue!

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