The Liberia National Police (LNP) has denied suggestions here that it being assisted in its responses to protests and enforcement of orders by an ex-fighter called General Power, alias Augustine Nagbe.The claim that General Power has allegedly been showing influence at protest scenes here intensified over his alleged appearance around pro – government broadcaster Freedom FM while police assisted sheriffs from the Monrovia City Court and broke into government critic station Roots FM, collecting its broadcast equipment and shutting it down.
But Police Spokesman Moses Carter told a press briefing Thursday, 17 October at LNP Headquarters that no police officer took any instruction from any General Power.
“And that no one gave any instruction to the police. No police officer took any instruction from any General Power. The misinformation even was that General Power went to Roots FM, and when we saw the photos trending, it depicted General Power on Benson Street. Is Roots FM on Benson Street? No,” he argues.
During the closure of Roots FM recently, the police say a counter group resisted loyalists of talk show host Henry Costa who were demanding the closure of pro – government broadcaster Freedom FM located at Benson and Randall Streets intersection.
According to Carter, the LNP is not bankrupt of manpower to the extent that it will go out and look for people for help.However, he explains that when police were shutting down Roots FM, some group went to Freedom FM to protect it from being attacked, while another group who were loyal to Henry Costa, a talk show host on Roots FM, moved in to allegedly attack Freedom FM.
He narrates that the police, as usual, assisted sheriffs from the Monrovia City Court in implementing a writ to search and seize Roots FM’s broadcast equipment.After executing the court’s mandate, Carter indicates that some individuals seeking to get at the police, allegedly began spreading fake information that one [ex-fighter] General Power [alias Augustine Nagbe] was used to assist police in executing the writ of search and seizure from the Monrovia City Court.
“So for the records we do not recognize anyone in the name of General Power. As far as we are concerned, commissioned generals at the level of the Armed Forces of Liberia are recognized under the current AFL administration. If you were a general during LURD, MODEL or whatever warring faction time, your time is over,” he notes.
Carter says if anyone must help the police, the person must be trained and go through proper recruitment before coming to help.“Those officers were deactivated, meaning they are no more in active service. Their ranks have died. They no more hold those ranks. So, anyone were to call anyone General Power, we do not know of any General Power,” he adds.
Speaking on the protest by students from the Monrovia Consolidated School System (MCSS) Tuesday, 15 October, Carter claims that no student sustained bodily injury as a result of police’s action during the encounter.Instead, the police spokesman suggests that injuries sustained by students resulted from stone exchanges executed between aggrieved students from the MCSS and private school students.
But he observes that some Liberians are using social media to spread fake videos and pictures aimed at denigrating the image of the LNP and the government by spreading images and videos of past incidents to claim that they were pictorials of the Tuesday incident.According to him, the intent of spreading the fake videos and photos is to cause widespread violence across the country.
But he urges all those spreading fake videos and pictures to stop with immediate effect, or face the full weight of the law.“We will not hesitate, where necessary to ensure that necessary actions are taken, aimed at protecting the peace and stability of our country,” Carter concludes.By Winston W. Parley