The Executive Mansion has issued a stem warning that the presidential guard, Executive Protection Service (EPS) will be very stringent, following Sunday’s bloody car crash that killed two and wounded several journalists when an intruder hit President George Manneh Weah’s convoy.
In a live update on local broadcaster OK FM Tuesday afternoon, 12 February, Deputy Presidential Press Secretary Mr. Smith Tobey cautioned the public that the EPS will be very stringent [in the wake of the incident].
He discloses that the driver of the intruding vehicle is under investigation, and he (Tobey) is told that there will be prosecution.
Fatalities in Sunday’s car crash included an employee of the Ministry of State, Mr. Gabriel Nyanti Wilson, popularly called Executive Horn and an occupant in the intruding vehicle, Madam Victoria Wlue.
The late Mr. Wilson remained in service blowing traditional horn behind President Weah, a job he has had since 1981 serving Liberia’s presidents Samuel Kanyon Doe, Charles Taylor, Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf and interim presidents.
The injured include former Associate Justice Wilkins Wright whose driver intruded the presidential convoy, Ministry of State internal press team members and other journalists accredited to the Executive Mansion from private and state media houses.
According to the Deputy Press Secretary, Ministry of State staff Gabriel Mills and privately owned Prime FM’s Jerry Gaye were on Tuesday on their way to Abidjan, Ivory Coast for advance treatment.
Mr. Tobey says the victims were being escorted to neighboring Ivory Coast by Press Secretary Mr. Isaac Solo Kelgbeh.
According to him, some of the journalists have been discharged from the John F. Kennedy Medical Center, leaving four who are still undergoing treatment at the JFK.
The Deputy Press Secretary indicates that Cllr. Wright’s black jeep was heading from the opposite direction toward Gbarnga, Bong County, while President Weah’s convoy was heading towards Monrovia when the black jeep intruded the convoy.
He says the jeep violated the rules governing the presidential convoy, passing two vehicles on the motorcade before hitting the press car.
Tobey explains that the driver of the intruding vehicle came out with no injury.
He notes that the president is very concerned. Tobey says he heard that a befitting burial will be held for Executive Horn.
In a related development, the Executive Mansion says in a press release that President Weah on Tuesday, 12 February made his first stop of the day’s activities at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center to see firsthand and soothe victims of the accident involving the Executive Mansion Press vehicle.
The press release says the press vehicle in the motorcade of the President on Sunday, 10 February collided with another vehicle belonging to former Associate Justice, Wilkins Wright.
It says Cllr. Wright’s vehicle reportedly intruded into the motorcade near Gbarnga, Bong County.
According to the Mansion, Staffers from the Department of Public Affairs of the Ministry of State including Gabriel Mills (cameraman), Samuel Zorh (driver), Mohammed S. Konneh (cameraman), and journalist Jerry Gaye of Prime FM were in the press car when the accident occurred.
They have been at the JFK undergoing medical attention.
It adds that the accident left two dead, including Gabriel Wilson, commonly called Executive Horn, an employee of the Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs.
President Weah who was accompanied by staffers and officials of the Ministry of State consoled and wished the victims well, assuring them of his government’s attention during their time of agony.
The release says President Weah has ordered Gabriel Mills and Jerry Gaye flown to Abidjan, Ivory Coast, for further medical attention. The two men sustained serious bone fractures.
By Winston W. Parley