On 2nd Thought: Is Liberia turning into a gangster’s paradise?
By Othello B. Garblah
In his 1995 hit song “Gangster’s Paradise”, the late Coolio described a life full of uncertainties in an environment where gang activities or other criminal activities were common and glorified by locals.
The first verse of Coolio’s lyrics: “As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death / I take a look at my life and realize there’s nothin’ left.” The second verse which followed the chorus is even more graphic: I’m livin’ life do or die, what can I say? I’m 23 now, but will I live to see 24? The way things is goin’ I don’t know.”
Liberia seems not to be too far from this scenario. As the crime rate increases, many go to bed fearing if they will wake up the next day. The fear of attacks from armed robbers is high because not even your neighbors would come to your rescue before the police who are logistically challenged.
The wave of crimes has increased amidst the breakdown of cultural and moral values leaving the larger population vulnerable.
Back in the days, of prewar Liberia, each one would look out for the other-that was the value that held communities together. A shout of rogue, rogue in a house meant calling the community as a whole to your rescue—the case of Cllr. Gloria Musu Scott is an example of many.
Thieves were very discrete in their stealing in prewar Liberia not as is done in the broad day nowadays, most time getting away with impunity.
The country is also witnessing an increase in violence and thuggery not just against public officials, particularly those close to power but also against vulnerable members of our society-Interestingly most of these acts of violence take place in public glare.
Broad day robbery and attack on ordinary citizens by drug addicts commonly referred to here as “Zogoes” has become a regular daily feature here and no one dare intervene to rescue the victim.
All of these summed up the breakdown in social and cultural norms. What is more concerning now is that this gangsterism and thuggeries have permeated our schools and shamefully at the country’s highest institution of learning.
Nearly a week ago, there was an attack on Mr. Alloysius Howe, a Special aid to Finance and Development Minister Samuel Tweah by some members of the University of Liberia campus-based Student Unification Party (SUP).
Howe was injured in the process and his vehicle was damaged. There was no condemnation from members of the opposition bloc. In fact, his attack was cheered in some quarters.
This was not the first attack on a public official: Former Minister of State Nathaniel F. McGill was attacked and forced off the UL main campus while on official duty by the same SUP members.
As if that was not enough, Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor was chased off campus, while launching a program at the same main campus on Capitol Hill.
Former Solicitor General Cllr, Saymah Cyrenus Cephus was also chased off campus, while visiting there weeks later. No punitive measure has been taken against these students and so they have made it a new normal.
On December 24, 2022, zogoes armed themselves with cutlasses and machetes and invaded the city’s main market center where buyers and shoppers had gone to trade. Stores were shot as early as 3 pm on Christmas eve because of fear that these drug addicts who roam the streets would regroup and launch an attack after brave marketers foiled their first attack.
According to Urban Dictionary, a gangster paradise is a town where gang activity or other criminal activity is common and glorified by the locals.
When people celebrate the misery or misfortunes of others and justify that such attacks are necessary on individuals perceived to be corrupt or corrupt, it makes our county no different from a gangster paradise where crimes are committed with impunity.
Coolio would go on to say, “why are we so blind to see when the ones we hurt are you and me.”
True- there is exemption from punishment or freedom from the injurious consequences of actions nowadays in Liberia.
SUP’s hooliganism against public officals at the University of Liberia are opposition masterminded financed by Alexander Cummings and sanctioned by Boakai and Henry Coasra!
The collective silence of the greater society not even Religious Leaders is an endorsement of these things. This was the trend of the war when it was Doe and his removal and that everything else was predicted to be fine. Thirty years on after Doe’s death, Liberia is still a failed state in a vicious cycle till date.
Why is it so? There is an agenda of collective national apprehension to natives rule in Liberia with emerging despondence of social media boost for elites entitlement!
Prince Y Johnson is bizzared because he had believed all along he has had an entitlement to Nimba something he is swinging to politically reinvent the Nimba- southeast bad blood !
Martina Konateh, Henry Coasta and Yeke Kulabah, are a growing national security threats!
I have heard both Martina Konateh and Yekeh Kulubah falsely claiming that the president mother was a prostitue including the worst of womsnhood of the president’s wife!.
Martina Konateh has been playing the tribal-religious divide, inciting a Muslims holy war against the country and the government on the false accusations of Muslims marginalization !
Unfortunately, former Vice president Joseph N Boakai whose cause Martina Konateh, Henry Coasta and Yeke Kulabah are propagating, has remained conspicuoyly silent on these grave national security threats to the country of his supporters!