The ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) campaign team has denied reports that its supporters have attacked and brutalized supporters of the opposition Unity Party (UP), wounding four victims.
CDC campaign chair and Liberia Maritime Commissioner Mr. Eugene Nagbe denied the accusations Thursday night, 10 October 2023, terming them as false and misleading.
He clarified that at no time did the CDC or its supporters attack the escort vehicles of Amb. Boakai and brutalized partisans of the UP.
“We didn’t attack the UP or brutalize them as they are saying. I saw the communication they wrote to NEC and I want to address it because it’s false,” the Maritime Commissioner said.
Mr. Nagbe said because the CDC wanted peace, it had to postpone its engagement with residents of Montserrado County Electoral District #9 and visited Electoral District #10, instead.
He noted that it’s so surprising for the UP to accuse the ruling party of attacking and brutalizing UP partisans when they were peaceful at the Varmoma House junction.
Supporters of the ruling CDC and the opposition UP were involved in violent campaign clashes Thursday, leaving four persons severely wounded as police fired tear gas canisters.
The violent clashes began as opposition leader Amb. Joseph Nyumah Boakai was enroute to his campaign headquarters on the Airfield in Sinkor, to name a new batch of members to his 2023 campaign team.
The former vice president had to cancel his activities as he left the scene for his dear life.
Some local online media platforms reported the incident live Thursday evening. Mr. Boakai was headed to the UP’s Airfield office to name a new batch of his party’s campaign team when CDC supporters allegedly obstructed the former vice president’s escort.
In the process, CDC supporters allegedly attacked several UP supporters who were heading to their ‘Rescue Mission” campaign headquarters in the Old Immigration building in Montserrado County Electoral District #9.
The CDC supporters who reportedly staged the attack were said to have gathered at the Varmoma House on the main Tubman Boulevard to welcome President George Manneh Weah and his entourage in Montserrado Electoral District #9.
The bloody campaign violence came less than a week after partisans of the ruling CDC paraded the principal streets of Monrovia with a casket decorated with photos of Amb. Boakai and marched to CDC headquarters.
Boakai remains incumbent President Weah’s main rival in the 2023 presidential and legislative elections.
Both men battled in the 2017 presidential run-off, and Boakai is back this time, possibly for his last try for the Liberian presidency in a crucial ballot which is due in just two months.
There was a stone battle at the UP ‘Rescue Mission’ campaign office. Police fired tear gas canisters during the incident at the UP-campaign office.
The UP supporters were allegedly entrapped by CDC supporters who had reportedly prevented Amb. Boakai from reaching the party’s campaign headquarters.
Amb. Boakai was held in a huge traffic at the Ministerial Complex terrain, where the CDC had gathered with its campaign activities.
Boakai was compelled to use the long route from Congo Town through the Japan Freeway before returning to central Monrovia to make his way to his campaign office in Sinkor.
The situation prompted one of the rescue supporters, Daniel Sandoe to announce the cancellation of the program which was geared at naming the party’s final campaign team.
One of those wounded, 28-years old Darius B. Rode, said he was on a motorcycle heading to the Unity Party Campaign Headquarters, when a group of individuals wearing the CDC T-shirts and berets held him hostage and began to brutalize him.
He indicated that the group members chopped off his right ear before some other supporters of the UP went to rescue him.
Rode said the motorcyclist who was conveying him to the party office was also brutalized and left helpless, while all their belongings were taken away.
The four wounded individuals were later rushed to a nearby medical center by some supporters of the UP who had gathered at the campaign headquarters.
Angered by the events, UP partisans also blocked the entrance to their party headquarters in Airfield community and allegedly attacked CDCians and state officers who had gone there to calm down the situation.
Folks wearing CDC shirts and other party materials were attacked in an intensive stone battle.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with this paper at the scene, Mr. Rufus Paul, UP Assistant Secretary for Press and Public Affairs, blamed the CDC for the situation.
According to him, the CDC prevented the UP-standard bearer’s escort along with other partisans from going to their program and brutalized them.
” Our standard bearer was prevented from coming at the program by the CDC supporters at Varmoma. They brutalized and wounded our partisans,” he said.
“You have been here and you see everything. Our partisans are responding because when you push people to the walls and they can’t enter, they have to defend themselves, ” he argued.
Mr. Paul however called on the international community and the National Elections Commission (NEC) to take action and call the CDC to book. He said the CDC wants a conflict.