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Brink of crisis

-As political violence increases

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The West African nationof Liberiaappears to be on the brink of another round of crisis ahead of a crucial senatorial election on December 8, 2020 if care is not taken.

There are at least 15 senatorial seats up for grab this December with Monstserrado, Grand Bassa and Bomi Counties being the hotly contested between the ruling party of former football star George Weah’s Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and candidates of the opposition Collaborating Political Parties (CPP).
The CPP is comprised of former ruling Unity Party (UP, Alternative National Congress (ANC, Liberty Party (LP) and All Liberian Party (ALP).

Already, there have been series of reported violent clashes between supporters of the CDC candidate Representative Thomas Fallah on one hand and that of the CPP incumbent Senator Darius Dillon on another in Montserrado.

In Bomi, where former House Speaker Alex Tyler and Rep. Edwin Snowe are fighting to unseat incumbent Sen. Sando Johnson, violent clashes erupted there days after supporters of Rep. Fallah and Sen. Dillon were engaged in a stone throwing battle that left some people wounded.

On Friday September 25, 2020, hours after the CPP filed its motion before the Supreme Court seeking the issuance of a Writ of Mandamus against the National Elections Commission and the ruling CDC, to halt the Voters’ Roll update process, there were reported clashes between the police and partisans of the CPP at the Headquarters of the Liberty Party near the Catholic Junction in Monrovia.

As if that was not enough, on Sunday September 27, 2020 unknown men attacked the home of Representative YekehKolubah, a member of the opposition Alternative National Congress and vandalized his home.

The ANC, which Rep. Kolubah represents in the House of Representatives on Monday issued a statement condemning the attack and describing it as state sponsor and that such acts only demonstrates that members of the opposition have no protection under Liberian laws. “This is unacceptable and counterproductive to the maintenance of peace and tranquility for the benefit of the people of Liberia,” the statement added.

“We therefore call on all well-meaning Liberians, leaders and members of other political parties, civil society organizations, and our international partners (representatives of UN, AU, ECOWAS, EU and US government) that have worked tirelessly to secure the fragile peace in Liberia to impress upon the CDC-led government to stop these acts of political violence,” the ANC said while calling for the conduct of full independent investigation of the situation and put the Liberian government on notice that it will bear full responsibility for any breakdown of the peace.

In an interview on Monday Rep. Kolubah alleged that the men involved were spotted with Monrovia City Major Jefferson Koijee earlier. He claims that his security had earlier called to inform him that Koijee had come to open a market hall just after his Old Road residence on Sunday.

“According to my security, when he was passing, somebody said oh, here’s Yekeh’s house here. He said oh, that this dirty place the man living and he can be putting his mouth on the president? Y’all must unroof it!”Yekeh alleges quoting Koijee to have instructed.

“So my security called me, I decided to leave to come on the Old Road. When I came on the Old Road…when the people got to know I was on the Old Road, I saw my former security Keita, I got recording … if the independent people can investigate this case, I can give them evidence to prove that the police facilitated the people in my place.

“The police saw Keita leading troop to damage my property. I got evidence. I cannot give it to the police, I cannot give it to the Justice Ministry,” he continues.

“The people destroyed my zinc, destroyed my cars, went in my office, you know my office is side my place, they burst everything, carried the television in my staff office. They carried everything from there and damaged everything” Rep. Kolubah added.

Authorities at the Liberian National Police have since issued a statement saying they have arrested 14 persons in connection to the vandalizing of Rep. Kolubah’s home, eventhough according to the lawmaker he had not been called by the police.

“So the issue is that I have not been called by any police. The same thing happened when my former security came here when the citizens arrested them and turned them over to the police, the police said they released them because they called me, I didn’t go there,” Kolubah says.

“We need to stop this thing. This country [is] going nowhere with this kind of attitude. This country is going nowhere with these kinds of attitudes. You need to see how properties, people’s properties were damaged here, you understand what I’m saying? You need to come and see,” he laments.

Mr. Kolubah says since the incident, the police have not called him, challenging them to show the number they used to call him so that the conversation can be traced through call log. He also denies claims by the police that his home was attacked due to an alleged land conflict he has with one Mr. Kollie.

“Look, Kollie and myself do not have a land issue; this is not about land,” he says, claiming that when things happen, the police try to find means to justify why the people should behave the way they behaved.

Meanwhile, authorities say at least (14) persons are said to be facing Police investigation involving the violent incident but claimed instead of an attack, it was an incident between Rep.Kolubah and one MorluKollie which resulted to properties damage.

The police listed those arrested as Chris B. Andison 25 yurs, Rebecca Williams 32yrs, Mohammed Kromah 41yrs, Kelvin Fahnbuilleh 41yrs Daniel Dukuly 26yrs, Nathan Gueh 27yrs, and Lassana S. Kamara.
Others are: Lincoln Brooks 27yrs, Daniel Boikai 28yrs, Siafa S. Kamara 23 yrs, Michel Myers 20yrs, Alison Zaza 34yrs, Aaron Kollie 33yrs and Paul Geekpain 21yrs.

Setp. 27, 2020 attack on Rep. Kolubah’s home

By Othello B. Garblah

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