Since last weekend’s “administrative casualties” inflicted on four of the most senior officers of the Liberia National Police –LNP, mix reactions continue to characterize the matter, even though, by law, it is the Prerogative to fire and hire.
Of course, at the core of all of the mix reactions is Colonel Abraham Kronah- one of Senior officers sacked by President Sirleaf as Deputy Director of Police for Operations. While Col. Kromah’s dismissal may be very celebrative in certain quarters, there are also solemn reflections on some, considering the extent to which he brought the operations of the Liberia National Police.
Despite the fact that official reason(s) for his dismissal is yet unknown, internal police sources, as well as those of the Executive Mansion point mainly to the continuous internal rift between him and the Director of Police, Col. Chris Massaquoi. Even though Massaquoi and Kromah had always shy away from acknowledging the rift between them, the internal wrangling became very visible in the presence of the men and women of the LNP.
It is no secret that the morale of Col. Abraham Kromah was very high among the men and women of the LNP, probably, because of the way he related to them- it’s a situation Col. Massaquoi could not have taken lightly for “fear” that, if he did not do something to either neutralize or get him off his back”, he would one day be unseated as Director of Police, through Presidential preference. Despite public praises and respect shown by the former Police Deputy for Operations towards his boss, Kromah may have felt unappreciated because the anticipated support on a number of Police operations embarked on to keep Monrovia and its environs safe against all crimes was not receive from the Director of Police.
And this is a man who could not sleep while the operational men and women of the police were on the field until 5am daily only because as the government’s chief security operative, he had wanted to ensure that the country remained safe- one characteristic for which he was loved within the LNP.
The issue of his so-called soured relationship with commercial motorcyclists- the latest of which occurred a few weeks ago in the City of Paynesville, especially in the commercial district of Redlight, outside Monrovia, when motorcyclists perpetrated violence to bring normal commercial activities to a standstill, may have also been an attributing factor. Probably, out of their desire to attack the police for previous reasons against their interest, of course, under the guise of ensuring justice for a fallen colleague reportedly killed by a police officer on GSA Road in Paynesville, the motorcyclists chose to loot the commercial district of Redlight, burn a number of police depots, as well as destroy police vehicles and physically attack police officers, including a female, who they undressed naked before onlookers – an unfortunate situation that further exacerbated the tension between the police and commercial motorcyclists.
Even if there had been pressure on President Sirleaf by a few international partners for the removal of ‘Abe Kromah’ and others from the police because of the excessive force used against commercial motorcyclist, violence and crime,, we must also agree that “every bitter medicine needs a bitter treatment”, considering the very hostile nature of the Liberian society nowadays.
Let’s face it, and while I do not support a few brutal actions of the police, 85 % of the Liberian commercial motorcyclists consider themselves above the laws of Liberia and would not submit to any traffic regulation; their unruly and violent approaches to their passengers depict the nature of human beings they are.
In most countries of the world, if not all, if the head of police is not aggressive to ensure adherence to the rule of law, then, his deputy must be- and that was the case of Chris Massaquoi and his Deputy-Abraham Kromah- which, of course, resulted to a serious rivalry between both men.
As very democratic as the great United States claims to be, police continue to use iron-iron to pursue crimes or enforce law and order, as well as the peace and security of the American society and no international partner cares about a dam thing. The recent Baltimore violent saga following the brutal death of Freddie Gray on April 19, 2015-aged 25, at the hands of the police a few days before, is a clear example of the aggressive nature of the police, especially those charged with the responsibility of fighting crimes.
Let’s face the reality; Liberia now as a hostile society, sincerely needs an aggressive Police Director (not the Chris Massaquoi type) and/or Deputy for Operations to speak the “language” understood by individuals who become ‘law and gospel’ onto themselves and not the rule of law.
And so, in my mind, the issue of the motorcyclists ( and a few excesses that may have committed against them as a result of their own inadequacies) may just have been a back-up to the rivalry between Col. Chris Massaquoi and his former Deputy, Abraham Kromah for latter’s dismissal by the President. Massaquoi may have used the issue of the motorcyclists as an effective PR (public relations), perhaps with international partners and others, against his former Deputy to attract a decision from the executive Mansion to settle scores.
But again, the courage exhibited by Abe Kromah when he appeared on ELBC’s Bumber Show on Monday is something that is commendable. “When things get political, we are becoming targets and I am probably a victim of this,” said the dismissed Deputy Director of Police, stressing that that the Police are often easy targets in a political environment.
“Besides government, there are a lot of opportunities out there that one can explore, and I will take advantage of those,” noted Kromah, publicly expressing heartfelt gratitude to President Sirleaf for givomg him the opportunity to serve and looking forward to new challenges.
Col. Abraham Kromah, from we are gathering in certain quarters of our society, was the problem; and now that he’s out of the way, let’s see what happens next for the good of the society.