By Edwin M. Fayia III
The General Services Agency (GSA), Tuesday, November 4, gave occupants of E.J. Roye Building a 24-hour ultimatum to vacate the premises or else face the consequences of an eviction that should be carried out today (November 5).
E.J. Roye Building on Ashmun Street in Monrovia, houses Liberia’s oldest political party, the True Whig Party (TWP), which ruled Liberia for more than a century.
The fate of the E.J. Roye Building has been a seesaw battle between the Government of Liberia and TWP, both of whom are claiming legitimate ownership of the property.
Other than the TWP alone, there are others occupants in the building, which was seized by the People’s Redemption Council (PRC), a military junta government, led by Master Sergant Samuel Kanyon Doe in 1980, when he and his men overthrew the TWP hegemony.
Those squatters in the building sounded an urgent SOS plea for the swift intervention of other sectors of the Government of Liberia in order to delay the GSA eviction.
“We did not see any eviction notice with the GSA’s personnel who came here this morning; they only gave a verbal eviction message from the top officials of their agency,” the occupants asserted.
The frustrated occupants pointed out that, they are about to be displaced in their own country during the current hard socio-economic conditions in the country.
“An eviction on the horizon only adds to our suffering, because our conditions are already dehumanizing,” they indicated.
When contacted Tuesday, a stalwart of the True Whig Party, Mr. Reginald B. Goodridge, reminded the Liberian Government that, “Liberia is a country of laws and not military decree,” which was used to by the PRC to seize the building from TWP.
The military had said then that the building was built by taxpayers’ money so it should be for the Liberian people and not a single political institution.
TWP partisan Goodridge pointed out that the current Liberian Government wants to use a 33-year-old military decree to carry out the eviction of legal tenants from the E.J. Roye Building.
Mr. Goodridge also claimed that no official communication has been sent to the TWP as way of informing them that there will be an eviction exercise carried out.
He also urged the Liberian Government to do away with the current posture of issuing threats on peaceful Liberians, including members of the TWP.
Mr. Goodridge went on to disclose that the TWP has written the European Union Delegation in Liberia and members of the diplomatic community in Monrovia on their pending eviction by the Liberian Government.
Mr. Goodridge further intimated that the legal team of the TWP has been duly informed about the situation and the eviction scheduled for today (Wednesday) on the premises of the E.J. Roye Building on Ashmum Street in Monrovia.
He further added that the current Liberian Government has received and continues to receive too many international accolades for it to resort to “undemocratic processes.”
“The TWP, as one of the biggest political parties in the country, will exert every legal means for the Liberian Government to see the genuine need to resolve issues through professional discussion,” Goodridge added.