The Liberia National Police arrests several suspects, including one of the candidates in an election for chairmanship of the Slipway/Crown Hill Community in Monrovia following violence and one death characterised by attack on riot police officers.Information gathered indicates the electoral process had been postponed on several occassions by the interim leadership of the community.A total of four candidates are in the race for the community chairmanship, including Messrs Abraham G. Williams, Fofee Soko Sirleaf, Isaac K. Krah, and Kosso M. Kali.
The deceased only identified as Edward reportedly drowned in the Mesurado River while escaping police arrest. Riot police had moved in the community to arrest individuals involved with burning tyres and destroying a temporary fence erected around the Slipway Football Field by individuls believed to be supporters of one of the candidates.
In an execlusive interview with this paper, the Chairman of the Elders Council of Slipway,Daniel Davies narrates that while the electoral process was ongoing, he received a communication from the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) ordering the Council to halt all activities, pending outcome of a complaint filed by one of the candidates.
Mr. Davies explains that prior to the Justice Ministry’s communition, the Council had decided to intervene into the sitution, but an opposing candidate in the race refused to recognize the body of elders.
He discloses that on Sunday morning 1st December he went at the Slipway Football Field to watch a practice session and while there, he saw a group of people believed to be supporters of one of the candidates approaching the field chanting, “No elections, no tournament.”
Chairman Davies continues that after fifteen minutes, he also saw the group tearing down posters of a rival candidate, blocked the main entrance to the community, campeling riot police officers to moved into the community to arrest those inciting the violence.
He says subsequently, Candidate Kosso M. Kali filed a citation through the County Attorney Officer of the Ministry of Justice, which led him (Davies) to visit the office of the County Attorney and the office of the Inspector General of Police, requesting their intervention to halt to the election process, but the authorities said they could not intervene because there was no forml communication from the community.
However, Chairman Davies discloses that some people involved in the disturbances were arrested by the police, adding that while on his way to the community, he got news that the police were running behind some alleged troublemakers and one person drowned into the river.
According to him, there have been so many complaints by opposing parties about some non-residents of the community trying to participate in the elections, among other things, forcing him to write a letter to the parties concerned but they refused the communication from the Eleders Council.
Davies notes that after every effort aime resolving the situation failed, the Council decided to leave the parties to go ahead with the elections, which later turned violent allegedly instigated by supporters of Kosso Kali.
Attempts to get comment from Candidates Kosso Kali, Isaac Krah, and others on the standoff within the community proved fruitless. Meanhwile, the body of deceased Edward is left lying by the riverside in the community, awaiting arrival of the Liberia National Police (LNP).
In a related development, the police are in search of several others said to be connected with Sunday’s electoral violence, most of whom are on the run.A man who claims to be a friend of the deceased, Johnson Saywon told this paper the late Edward was part of a security team from the community, who prior to the elections, had gone to his house to ensourage him (Johnson) to go and vote.He also claims Edward was pushed into the river by a community resident, who went after those believed to be part of the violence.