Free flow of traffic was interrupted Tuesday, 4 August at Shoes Factory junction in Gardnersville, when angry residents from nearby communities blocked the main street demanding the removal of a decaying corpse which they say had polluted their communities.
Traffic came to a standstill for over six hours, forcing commuters to disembark various public transport vehicles and trekked to their various destinations while private vehicle operators waited in traffic for hours.
The protest attracted bystanders in different groupings while they gave their own accounts of how the alleged deceased identified as “Satan” met his death.
According to some angry residents, since the morning hours of Saturday, 1 August, a corpse of an alleged notorious criminal identified as Satan was discovered at the Shoes Factory junction, but the government through the Township Commissioner’s office has allegedly refused to remove the body.
“We will not leave this road until this body can be removed from here. How can we be protecting ourselves from Coronavirus and the smell from this body [is] killing us slowly? We can’t even sit in our own houses due to the bad odor coming from the dead body. This is government body, so let the government come for their body,” some angry residents said.
Speaking on behalf of the angry residents, Mr. Nathaniel Johnson told this paper that before taking the option of setting up a roadblock, there were several communications sent to the police depot and the commissioner’s office, but there was no response.
In the interview with this paper, Mr. Johnson explains that at a point, they (residents) were made to allegedly collect money for the purchasing of fuel and transportation fee for the vehicle that should have been used to remove the decaying corpse from the community, alleging that that arrangement proved to be a fiasco.
As a result, he says residents decided to draw the attention of the relevant authorities by blocking the main road which he says yielded the needed result.
Officers of the Liberia National Police headed by the Gardnersville Township commander were deployed, as the commander tried to negotiate with the angry residents to leave the road while authorities found a remedy to their problem.
But the angry residents refused to leave, and tension intensified after the township commissioner told the protesters that the government was not working on the day of their protest.
In the wake of the commissioner’s statement, some well meaning residents along with the township commissioner worked to find solution to remove the body.
By Ben P. Wesee–Edited by Winston W. Parley