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GeneralLiberia news

Boakai consoles car rammed victims

-As families demand justice

By Lincoln G. Peters 

Liberia’s President-elect Amb. Joseph Nyumah Boakai has visited and consoled victims who were brutally injured after a vehicle rammed through opposition Unity Party (UP) supporters killing some and wounding others.

The tragic incident occurred Monday night at the UP’s party headquarters in Central Monrovia when partisans were celebrating Boakai’s presidential victory.

The National Elections Commission (NEC) declared the former Liberian vice president and his running mate Senator Jeremiah Koung as winners of the 14 November presidential run-off on Monday, 20 November 2023.

Their official declaration sparked celebration in Monrovia and across the country, but the joy was cut short by the tragic incident at UP headquarters.

Authorities here are reporting the deaths of at least three victims – two males and a female – and the injury of several others following the brutal incident.

Early Tuesday morning, 21 November 2023, Mr. Boakai and his entourage paid an official visit at the state – run John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital where the victims are being attended to by doctors.

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Accompanied by his wife Mrs. Kartumu Boakai, the president-elect was escorted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at JFK and interacted with victims of the incident.

He shared words of encouragement with the victims’ families outside the ICU.

According to health authorities at the JFK, 20 victims are under critical list while 3 persons have already been pronounced dead.

Addressing the victims’ families, Amb. Boakai expressed regrets over the sad incident, describing it as unfortunate. 

He assured that they will work with the victims’ families to ensure that they receive the necessary attention, care and concerns.

“You know this thing has affected all of us. These people were jubilating when this happened. It’s very unfortunate. We will work with the family,” said Amb. Boakai. 

“I have come to say sorry. We will be with the family in everything. The security has started investigating this matter and I want to assure you that this will not go unnoticed. Justice will be served,’’ he stated.

For their parts, families of the victims expressed excitement and appreciation to Amb. Boakai and his team for the visit. But they cautioned that they should ensure that justice is served.

“The thing we were very tired with that we voted angrily we don’t want it to happen. It’s very soon for it to happen to us,” some family members pleaded. 

“We want this investigated and we want justice for our families. As we speak three persons have been pronounced dead with over twenty-five on critical list. We hope that justice will be served,’’ they noted.

Through a press statement dated 21 November 2023, the Unity Party said it was deeply saddened and shocked by the tragic act which it called an alleged “domestic terrorism” that resulted to the deaths and injuries of its partisans.

The UP statement bearing the signature of Lansana P. Fofana, Assistant Secretary for Press, Publicity & Media, stated that the party bemoans the tragic loss of lives of its partisans and supporters of the Rescue Mission in a targeted act of domestic terrorism. 

UP expressed condolences for the families and friends affected by this devastating, wicked and barbaric act of alleged “domestic terrorism,” leading to loss of precious lives. 

 “We urge the authorities to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation to determine the cause and hold those responsible accountable,” the party said. 

It added that it is crucial that justice is served, not only for the victims and their families but also for the broader community as Liberia strives to maintain trust, stability, and respect for the rule of law once again.

Meanwhile, the UP in consultation with its Standard Bearer and President-Elect Amb. Boakai, has cancelled all related celebratory gatherings until further notice.

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