Hell broke loose on Monday, 22 May along the Monrovia-Mount Barclay highway when an official of the opposition Liberty Party (LP) Emmanuel Lomax, and state security personnel clashed at a checkpoint during vehicle inspection, bringing traffic to a standstill.
Lormax and the security personnel engaged in heated verbal exchanges after a police officer claiming to be supervisor at the Mount Barclay checkpoint stopped a Liberty Party double cabin pick up in which he (Lomax) was riding, requesting documents for the party’s vehicle.
According to eyewitnesses, attempt by the LP official to explain to the police officer that the vehicle belongs to the Liberty Party, was not accepted by the LNP officer, who demanded that it be impounded until all relevant documents are produced.
Attempt by the vehicle to leave the scene was not possible as the police officer ordered his men, who were also operating with inspectors from the Ministry of Transport (MOT), to place a blockade in front of the vehicle to prevent it from leaving.
The action of the security officers and MOT inspectors aggravated the Liberty Party official, who disembarked the vehicle and insisted that the officers permit the vehicle to leave, but the police refused, allegedly ranting insults, something which resulted to serious commotion between Lormax and the officers thereby, blocking normal flow of traffic on the highway for several minutes to the incontinence of travelers out of town.
Witnesses narrate that the situation was however brought under control through the intervention of other security officers, who after observing the embarrassment that the impass was causing vehicle operators and passengers, plegeded with their colleagues to see reasons and allow the Liberty Party’s vehicle to leave the main route.
When Lomax was contacted for comment on the matter, he declined to speak to the press, while police spokesperson Sam Collins was said to be out of office when this paper tried to reach him.
Emmanuel Lomax is a former stalwart of jailed ex-President Charles Ghankay Taylor’s former ruling National Patriotic Party, where he headed the NPP youth wing, National Patriotic Youth Council or NPYC. He left the NPP after Taylor’s departure and subsequently joined Nimba County Senator Prince Yormie Johnson to form the National Union for Democratic Progress (NUDP) which came third in the 2011 presidential elections.
However, following the elections, the NUDP self-destructed over financial fight, accusing PYJ of receiving money from President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and expelling him.
In search of greener pasture, Lomax later moved to businessman Benoni Urey and founded the All Liberian Party, becoming its organizing chair, but lost that post during the party primary and eventually exited the ALP.Continuing his political navigation for bread and butter, he leaped to the financially potent Liberty Party of Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine where he currently settles.
By Emmanuel Mondaye-Editing by Jonathan Browne