Nimba County Senator Prince Yormie Johnson has blamed the government for the continuous demonstration by aggrieved workers of the Cocopa Rubber Plantation in the county.
Speaking via mobile phone from Monrovia on Radio Sehnwai 97.9Mhz morning magazine program ”Nimba Today” on Monday April 4,2016, Sen. Johnson said he is in empathy with the Cocopa workers because government delayed in paying them for six months.
According to our correspondent, Sen. Johnson believes that the workers were right to demonstrate for salaries, adding that their children and women are suffering, while they are left without any information from government on when their salaries and benefits will come.
”I strongly believed that the demonstration was envisioned to claim the Liberian Government attention to the untold grief and suffering that Cocopa workers are experiencing in the country ”Johnson intoned.
The Nimba Senator also frowned at the manner in which the workers demonstrated by blocking roads, which prevented other road users from accessing same.
He, however, admitted receiving information from the Executive Mansion four days before the demonstration asking him to intervene and calm the situation. But he said it was surprising that after requesting his intervention, officers of the Liberian National Police Emergency Response Unit or ERU violently entered and decided to use tear gas on peaceful citizens thus, escalating the situation.
He stressed that the ERU is misusing and misguiding their power in the country which is wrong. ”My good citizens of Nimba were sprayed by ERU which I strongly condemn- the misused of power by those security apparatus”.
Meanwhile, report from the county says government has finally paid the aggrieved employees their six months’ salaries, covering the period October 2015 to February 2016. The manager of Cocopa, Mr. Benjamin Saye, has disclosed play to retire long-service employees at the plantation.
By Allen P. Lablah & Franklin Doloquee in Nimba-Edited by Othello B. Garblah