‘ECOWAS Will Come After Trouble Makers’

first_imgMr. Osunlalu,representative of ECOWAS Ambassador to Liberia. — Assures Representative of ECOWAS Ambassador to LiberiaA representative of the Ambassador of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to Liberia on Wednesday, May 15, 2019, assured national security personnel in Monrovia of organization’s preparedness to go after anyone who would make an attempt to destabilize the country’s peace.Ambassador Lola Osunlalu’s warning came barley a day after the scheduled dialogue between President George Weah and organizers of the planned June 7 “peaceful protest” ended in a situation of misaligned expectations.Although Amb. Osunlalu did not identify any group as the would-be troublemakers, he assured the officers that ECOWAS is prepared to come after anyone that would want to destabilize Liberia’s peace.He gave the assurance when he proxied for the Ambassador Babatunde Olanrewaju Ajisomo at the 25th anniversary of the Liberia National Law Enforcement Association (LINLEA), held at the Monrovia Christian Fellowship Church in Monrovia.Osunlalu also cautioned the law enforcement officers not to engage in any activity that would tend to undermine the peace Liberia is enjoying. “Countries in the sub-region are not willing to accept any more refugees,” he noted, “so do not join anything that will take Liberia back to war.”He then called on them to promptly inform ECOWAS about anyone wanting to participate any act that could undermine the country’ hard earned peace.“Do not listen to them, but please let us know of anyone that would wants to use you to destabilize your own country’s peace and security. Let us know their plan. Do not join them, but do expose their plan to us,” Osunlalu said.Also, the president of LINLEA, Cecil B. Griffiths reminded his audience that those political leaders and the managers of the country’s resources need to promote peace, social justice, human rights and accountability.Griffiths, himself a former police officer, said that impunity undermines democracy to the extent that the economy will continue to decline if the government does not take serious actions to combat corruption.“And you can imagine warlords, ex-rebel generals demanding a seating lawmaker to report to them. This is what impunity does,” Griffith told the cheering officers.LINLEA is a nonpartisan and nonprofit organization established in March 1994 to represent the interests of Liberian law enforcement personnel, both current and retired officers from immigration, fire service and other related security personnel and private security guards to provide a national platform for the exchange of information, analysis and recommendations on the security sector governance.Through its core program, LINLEA promotes and enhances professionalism in Liberia’s security sector, monitors compliance with accepted standards related to professional conduct and respect for human rights, advocates for improved working environments for security sector and protects the rights of Liberian enforcement officers.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Middle Tennessee Busts Brackets

first_imgST. LOUIS — His voice strained after 40 minutes of yelling, Michigan State coach Tom Izzo remained steadfast that his second-seeded Spartans had the makings of a national championship contender.If only they could have survived Round 1.“We just got beat,” Izzo managed to croak out after a 90-81 loss to No. 15 seed Middle Tennessee State on March 18 ended their pursuit far sooner than expected. “But I want everybody to know this team had a chance to win a national championship. I don’t feel one bit different.”In that case, what does the future hold for the Blue Raiders?Reggie Upshaw had 21 points and Giddy Potts finished with 19 for Middle Tennessee State (25-9), which became the eighth No. 15 seed to knock off a No. 2 since seeding began in 1985. The last time it happened was 2013, when Florida Gulf Coast beat Georgetown on its way to the Sweet 16.The Blue Raiders will try to do the same against No. 10 seed Syracuse on March 20.I’ll be honest with you, in my wildest dreams I didn’t think they’d hit some of the shots they hit,” Izzo said. “We didn’t guard them good, but man, they made some shots.”The Spartans (29-6) were a trendy pick to win it all after capturing the Big Ten Tournament title. Part of it had to do with the experience of Denzel Valentine and the seniors, and part of it had to do with Izzo’s impressive postseason pedigree.The got sent home without ever leading in their only game. “I’m more mad and disappointed because I know what this team could accomplish,” Valentine said. “It kind of fell apart, and it just stinks right now because I know the capability our team had.”The Spartans’ Matt Costello matched a career-best with 22 points, but it wasn’t enough to offset Valentine’s miserable afternoon.The senior had 13 points and 12 assists, but he also had six turnovers — one of them coming with the Spartans trailing 79-76 and less than three minutes to go.Michigan State twice had chances to tie the game after that, but Valentine missed an open 3 from the top of the key, and Bryn Forbes missed another. The Blue Raiders eventually scored on back-to-back runouts to establish some breathing room, then coaxed the final few seconds off the clock.Darnell Harris and Perrin Buford scored 15 apiece, and Jaqawn Raymond had 11, as the Conference USA champion Blue Raiders won their first NCAA Tournament game since 1989.Not that they haven’t made a statement before: They beat Kentucky in the first round in 1982.“We wanted to win this game as bad as anybody wanted us to win,” Potts said.The Blue Raiders never seemed intimidated by the Spartans, roaring to a 15-2 advantage in the opening minutes and slowly getting the Syracuse and Dayton fans in the building on their side.Michigan State chipped away at its deficit but never managed to make an extended run. Valentine was saddled with two fouls and rendered ineffective most of the way, and the backcourt of Forbes and Eron Harris combined for four turnovers while managing a single point in the first half.Valentine’s frustration reached its apex after he committed back-to-back turnovers in the second half. During a stoppage in play and with the Blue Raiders leading 51-43, Valentine stalked back to his team’s huddle and proceeded to slam his hand into the floor.Michigan State slowly trimmed the lead to 65-64 on a basket by Costello with eight minutes to play, but the Blue Raiders scored on their next six trips down floor to hold their lead.They held onto it the rest of the way, too. It was the first time the Spartans, heavily favored to reach the Final Four, were bounced from the tournament in the first round since 2011.“There’s such great college stories this time of year, every year,” Blue Raiders coach Kermit Davis said. “We looked at it and said, ‘Guys, why not Middle Tennessee?’ It’s going to be something after this weekend. Everybody is going to have a great, great moment — a great weekend.”(DAVE SKRETTA, AP Sports Writer) TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more