Residents of the commercial city of Ganta, Nimba County are breathing a fresh air of relief after mob violence that left two suspects dead and others critically wounded, including security officers.
38-year-old Winston Gonsehn and 35-year-old Festus Gaye were lynched in LPRC Zone 2 community, Ganta after they had been suspected of ritualistic activity.
The victims were among a total of seven individuals onboard a yellow taxicab with plate number LB-4895 that had broken down when one of the occupants of the vehicle hinted a motorcyclist that suspected killers were being transported.
News suddenly spread in the community that people involved in ritualistic practices were being transported, but their car broke down. By then angry mob armed with sticks, rocks, clubs and just anything they could lay their hands on had surrounded the car.
The two suspects mobbed to death and a third person said to be in a critical condition were among seven suspects who were being transported from Saclepea to Sanniquellie for further investigation for alleged ritualistic killings.
Several police and LDEA officers, who went to their rescue, sustained injuries.
However, police escaped with the two of the suspects, leaving the other five at the mercy of the mob.
The attack followed persistent reports of alleged ritualistic killings in the county, including recent disappearance of a kid, attempts on two others and discovery of burnt remains of a child in Jaco Town, Ganta. Besides, a little girl had gone missing in the Ganta general market after she and her mother went to sell, which may have been the last straw that broke the camel’s back, leading to the mob action.
Ganta has witnessed violence of unimaginable proportions with over eight persons, all males, mobbed to death in less than three years.
Two years ago, properties belonging to a local businessman Prince Howard, including hotel and private residence suffered arson attack, not spearing his mother’s grave along the Ganta-Sanniquellie highway.
Report says due to the wave of killings in the county, women groups from all 17 districts organized three-days fast and prayer recently at the Christian Bible Church in Ganta, asking God to expose those behind such wicked act.
The women also threatened to boycott the 2020 senatorial election, if government did not intervene.
The head for the Nimba Women note that each time election is around, their children cannot move about freely; go to school or get involved with other activities amid news of bodies being discovered in various communities without any arrest by the government.
The head of the Nimba Women for Peace and Reconciliation Argus Bowmah Barr and Mother Josephine Karmo lament that since last month to present, their children are living in fear, while villagers no longer go on their farms for fear for their lives.
A man identified as Melvin Dolo nickname ‘War Face’ had accused the late Winston Gonsehn for being a witch after the latter won a car key from the former while they were playing cards in Blevalay, district#7.
Prior to their death, Winston Gonsehn and Festus Gaye had been charged in Saclepea for not informing police about discovery of human bones in a river.
Police in Nimba have made several arrests in connection with the violence and suspected perpetrators are being interrogated. Editing by Jonathan Browne