A bloody standoff ensured between rival supporters of main opposition leader George Weah and Independent senatorial candidate, Mr. Robert A. Sirleaf, in the PHP Community behind the Barclay Training Center or BTC in Monrovia on Wednesday, 26 November, leaving several persons wounded including a female.
Mr. Sirleaf, son of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and Mr. George Weah, who heads the Congress for Democratic Change or CDC, are both battling for the Montserrado County Senatorial seat among at least ten candidates.
Stone-throwing battle erupted between supporters of the two contenders when Weah paid a visit to the PHP community, accompanied by hundreds of partisans and supporters – an area where Mr. Sirleaf is said to have his political office.
Though Mr. Sirleaf was not immediately present when the clashes began, he made his way there upon a tip off that his supporters were in intense exchanges with CDCians , who had accompanied their leader, and senatorial candidate, George Weah.
Following bitter verbal exchanges between the rival supporters, rock battle intensified as stones flew into and out of the Compound where Mr. Sirleaf’s office is based, with several persons on both sides sustaining injuries.
CDCians chanted anti-Sirleaf slogans, saying, “We don’t want Sodom and Gommoroh,” something that appeared to have angered the Robert Sirleaf camp. “We don’t want Sodom and Gomoroh; Robertlyne stop spoiling our children. We don’t want gay senator!” were some of the words coming from the CDC camp of Mr. Weah.
Mr. Sirleaf, who runs a football club here BYC, also has his political office in the PHP Community, where his supporters and those of Mr. Weah severely clashed, and unleashing agitating comments against one another.
Speaking upon arrival, Mr. Sirleaf told the CDCians they could do whatever they wanted, including damaging his vehicle, but warned his supporters not to react.
“I will take the rocks. Let them throw the rocks at me; I’m your leader. I’m the one you will vote for. If that’s what they want, I will bleed for you,” said Sirleaf, whose coming into the race has generated huge controversy, bordering on his personal life.
Mr. Weah himself did not speak formally on the scene, but his supporters chanted anti-Sirleaf slogans. However, officers of the Liberia National Police intervened subsequently and erected a buffer between the two sides to contain the violence, as Weah’s supporters carried placards with anti-Robert Sirleaf messages.
Supporters of Mr. Sirleaf were contained at the PHP Compound, while Weah and his supporters were kept around the Antoinette Tubman Stadium after the police intervention.
One of Mr. Sirleaf’s female supporters was injured to her kneel and suffered profuse bleeding, while a security guard to Mr. Weah was wounded to his face.