Citizens at Sime Darby Liberia Plantation who embarked on a protest last week following the ‘missing’ of a man have called off the protest after the man was found.
The Superintendent of Bomi County, where the company operates, Mr. Samuel Brown told reporters last week that Mark Gibson, 32, was found after a search was carried out by citizens and security of the area.
He thanked the citizens and the company for carrying out search for the missing man, but warned the citizens against further violent action.
Superintendent Brown called on the citizens to always consider the non-violent approach in addressing their concerns. He said violence was not a best way to resolve problems.
The man went missing after he was arrested by the company’s security for allegedly stealing palm from the plantation.
Gibson and others are said to have been operating an oil processing machine closer to the plantation, but they do not have any palm plantation. But Gibson denied at the time of his arrest.
After his arrest, traditional mask man, commonly known as ‘devil’, that possesses some magical charm, was released by the citizens, which led to women, and men, including Sime Darby Security and employees to escape. Gibson also escaped to an unknown location. It is not known if he is a member of the traditional society.
Without seeing Gibson, citizens decided to carry out protest in the plantation as a way to draw the attention of the company. The protest led to some properties damage. The cost of damaged properties has not been established.
But Superintendent Brown also thanked the company for suspending the head of security who ordered the arrest of Gibson.
This is not the first time for protest to take place at the plantation. Sometime in the past, a lady who went for treatment at the clinic to the plantation was reported missing. Family members and citizens protested, which led to destruction of some parts of the plantation, but she was found after she went to visit her family members.
-Editing by Jonathan Browne