The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Defense and Intelligence has described the current curfew imposed on the country as undefined and unclear.
Nimba County Senior Senator Prince Y. Johnson said the Liberian Government, especially President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, has failed to provide the actual reason why the curfew was imposed, further arguing that if the curfew would only be based on the rapid spread of the Ebola Virus disease, then the decision by the government was not good enough for such action because, according to him, Ebola is spread mostly during the day than night.
Speaking in Plenary during the Senate’s Tuesday deliberations at the Capitol Building in Monrovia, the former presidential contender in the 2011 presidential election pointed out that he has already written heads of national security institutions here to explain to the senate the essence of imposition of the curfew, the reported malhandling of peaceful citizens during curfew hours, as well as the increase in the rate of armed robbery, killing of 13 year-old Shaki Kamara in West Point and the overview of the status of the national security.
“We want an explanation on many things, especially on the curfew because it is not clear whether this curfew was imposed for coup d’état or combat of the Ebola Virus, the way and manner that the little boy was killed by the army, a high increase in the rate of armed robbery and general overview of the state from the security standpoint amidst the Ebola spread,” the Nimba County Senior Senator emphasized.
The former National Union for Democratic Progress or NUDP standard bearer made the statement Tuesday when a communication from Lofa County Senator George Tengbeh reads in plenary, seeking the indulgence of the august body for the lifting of the curfew and appearance of Police Director Chris Massaquoito to further explain the operations of the police role in the fight against Ebola.
But the intent of the communication was regretted by the plenary on grounds that the curfew was imposed by the Chief Executive, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for a reason and that purpose has not been served. The Presiding Officer, Pro-Tempore Milton Findley noted that all committees of the Liberian Senate, except the committee on Health, have failed to work, especially during the Ebola Crisis.
Commenting on the debate, Maryland County Senator H. Dan Maoris said there was a need for the curfew to remain in place because of the night burials attributed to some community dwellers as cited by the government during the imposition of the curfew, adding that the night burials were contributing to the rapid spread of the virus.
On August 20, 2014, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf imposed a nighttime curfew beginning Wednesday, August 20, 2014 from 9pm to 6am daily as part of additional measures under the state of emergency to curb the spread of the deadly Ebola virus.