The Monrovia sub-burb of Jallah Town Community was, on Tuesday, a scene of ‘hell on earth’ when violent confrontation ensued between residents and the newly established Presidential Taskforce to clean up Monrovia and its environs headed by Madam Mary Broh- the Director of the General Service Agency.
The rioters violently engaged members of the taskforce over the manner in which their properties were demolished by the Taskforce. The exercise by the taskforce resulted to insults, road block, stone-throwing and injuries, while many community residents were made homeless.
Speaking to the New Dawn, a resident of the community, Yuwar G. Yorke, said he was disappointed in the Government of Liberia for displacing its citizens like outcasts in the name of beautifying the country.
“What brings my disappointment about this government is the fact that it refused to inform the public about what was going to take place; I think the essence of voting a government into office is to make
changes in the lives of its citizens, but since they have failed to bring the kind of changes we needed, there is no need to come into the community to demolish properties,” he said.
“We all want our communities and country to be beautified, but the way in which it is being done is what got us to be disenchanted about the entire process. If I want to do something that will cause many people to be homeless, the first thing I must do is to seek their attention by telling them that from today upward, this will happen – that’s all we are saying, and no one will stand against development; we went to other countries and saw how things are done without any hostility by the authorities there against their citizens,” he added”.
Meanwhile, Garmen Cibah – another resident, expressed serious frustration over the demolition exercise, complaining that she and her six children would have had nowhere to sleep last night due to the demolition of her only house by the taskforce. According to her, the government should have provided them alternatives before the execution of the exercise in their various communities.
A huge deployment of riot police of the Emergency Response Unit or ERU and Police Support Unit or PSU subsided the violence. A few weeks ago, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf constituted the Presidential Taskforce and appointed the GSA Director General, Mary T. Broh, to ensure that Monrovia and its environs are beautified.
Our reporters could not reach members of the Taskforce to verify claims of lack of prior notice as alleged by the Jallah Town residents.
By Lewis S. Teh & Bridgett Milton