CDC, Opposition Scuffle Aborts Rep. Lawrence’s State Requiem

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CDC Partisans showed up with banners, including one with President Weah's portrait, for the requiem planned in honor of the late Rep. Adolph Lawrence.

-Senator Steve Zargo “assaulted by CDC militants”

Hundreds of people on Thursday, April 25, 2019 fled for safety from the grounds of the Legislature on Capitol Hill due to a scuffle that erupted between militants of the governing Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and several militants from the opposition Liberty Party (LP).

The scene, which became chaotic, gradually escalated into full blown fracas, leaving few persons injured, eyewitnesses have informed the Daily Observer.

It all started when the planned requiem for the fallen Lawmaker of Montserrado District 15, Representative Adolph Lawrence, was reportedly prevented from being held at that venue, as was announced earlier.

According to eyewitnesses, it all happened when suspected militants of the CDC entered the grounds of the Capitol Building chanting provocative battle cries and songs associated with dances depicting the use of violence.

The CDC group, holding a banner picture of President Weah, sang songs like, “what kind of protest we have not heard before; we are not afraid, and we are here”. Others made statements condemning the opposition for what they alleged has been a series of hate messages aimed at the CDC-led government.”

While this was unfolding, Senator Steve Zargo of Lofa County, who is also the national chairman of the Liberty Party (LP), arrived at the entrance of the Rotunda accompanied by a few members of his party’s task force, but the CDC militants violently prevented the Senator and entourage from entering the Capitol.

The CDC militants, who overpowered the security personnel of the Legislature, took control of the entrance to the Rotunda and insisted that the Sen. Zargo would not enter with his entourage, because they (CDC militants) too were asked out of the Rotunda earlier.

According to eyewitness accounts, CDC militants allegedly assaulted and forcibly drove Sen. Zargo and members of party’s task force from the premises of the Capitol.

In reaction to those developments at the Capitol yesterday, Police Spokesman, H. Moses Carter, said nobody was arrested, because doing so would have exacerbated the situation.

“Although I was not in Monrovia at the time of yesterday’s incident, my officers informed me that other than verbal exchanges, there was no physical contact,” Carter said.

However, according to Sen. Zargo, “I was going into the Rotunda to inquire from the chairman of the CDC, Mulbah Morlu, whether he was aware that his supporters had besieged the entrance to the facility, thereby preventing the body of our fallen colleague to enter the building, when I came under attack from the CDC guys.”

According to him, he was not only denied entry to the Rotunda, but assaulted by individuals believed to be militants of the CDC. “They hit on me and their action prevented the holding of the requiem in honor of our fallen colleague,” Zargo narrated, noting that the requiem was to be held at his home in Logan Town where the late representative lived prior to his death in a tragic motor accident on March 25, 2019 .

It may be recalled that the Grand Bassa County Senator, Nyonblee Kangar-Lawrence (widow) informed government that she and her family were adequately prepared to bury her husband independently. She said there was no need for government to spend money for her husband’s burial since there are several other challenges confronting the CDC-led government in the face of the country’s economic hardship.

In the wake of her request, President Weah visited Sen. Karnga-Lawrence, and appealed to her to reconsider her decision to allow the late Representative to receive a state funeral as it has been done to all departed statesmen to which she reportedly concurred.

However, yesterday’s ugly events, according to some family members, suggest that they were the product of conscious and deliberate planning intended to sabotage the holding of the official requiem for the late Representative as was done for other legislators who died in service.

Another ‘attacked’ person

In a related development, T. Nelson Seakoh, a staff in the office of Rep. Byron Brown alleged that he was attacked and slapped many times by some of the suspected CDC militants. “Several of them slapped me repeatedly, because I condemned their violent action that disrupted the planned requiem for Adolph Lawrence.

“I said that in case they want to take ownership of a dead body, they should kill President Weah or better, the CDC chairman Mulbah Morlu,” Seakoh told the Daily Observer. “For that, you can decide who attends the funeral. Anyone going against your wish can be penalized but, as for the late Adolph Lawrence, we all have a part to play. He was a stakeholder, not only for the CDC and Montserrado District #15, but for the country,” Seakoh said.

Some CDC partisans claimed that the late Rep. Adolph Lawrence died a partisan, since he allegedly did not officially rescind his membership from the party.

In his reaction, CDC national chairman, Mulbah Morlu said the opposition should not use the CDC as a scapegoat for the disruption of normal activities planned for the state funeral of Rep. Lawrence. Morlu blamed Sen. Zargo and his supporters for the violent encounter.

On his Facebook page, Morlu wrote: “The weak and acrimonious opposition need to stop being disingenuous and make haste to explain the actual facts of the disruptive acts of violence they staged with their own hands, right before the eyes of the media and the public.”

“We were already peacefully seated in the Rotunda of the Capital Building awaiting the arrival of the mortal remains of our late partisan, and then heard that LP partisans backed by Sen. Zargo had tried to violently bulldoze their way into the Capitol Building, leading to exchanges with the Police.

“This unruly action on display at the Capitol Building did not start there. They had carried out similar provocation at the Samuel Stryker Funeral Parlor, preventing CDCians from coming anywhere close to the Hearse/vehicle bearing the mortal remains of Partisan Adolph Lawrence.

“One only needs to look at pictures and videos of the march from Stryker to the Capitol Building, and will agree that the incident of violence and disruption was calculated way ahead of time by the LP and UP, and it was intended to deny Hon. Lawrence the deserved dignity of a State Funeral at the Capitol Building, where the CDC had sent and supported him to work for his people,” he said.

“As always, the CDC remains a party of love and tolerance, which explains the huge attendance of our partisans in genuine outpouring of grief and sympathy to the bereaved family as we continue to mourn the death of comrade Adolph Lawrence,” he added.

Meanwhile, some Lawmakers told the Daily Observer that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Bhofal Chambers, had again failed to show leadership on the grounds of the Capitol during the scuffle that ensued between the two sides.

House Speaker Chambers ans Senate Pro Tempore Chie (center) led current and former lawmakers, colleagues of the late Rep. Adolph Lawrence, into the rotunda of the Capitol, where the special requiem in his honor was supposed to be held. Due to the commotion, between CDC partisans and their LP counterparts, the event did not hold.

Representative Larry Younquoi of Nimba County Electoral District #8, said he and some of his colleagues of the independent legislative caucus (ILC) along with some other lawmakers, including CDC Lawmakers and Montserrado Legislative Caucus met with Speaker Chambers and expressed their disappointment in his failure to come out of his office to take responsibility to ensure there was no disruption of the program.

“We have said on numerous occasions that Speaker Chambers and a number of our colleagues need to rise to the occasion. We have to prove to our people that this Legislature is a transformed Legislature,” Younquoi said.

Prior to yesterday’s incident, which led to the cancellation of a state requiem for Rep. Lawrence, eyewitnesses said they saw the Speaker arrive at the Capitol under tight security but did not stop to speak to anyone around the Rotunda, neither did he even enter the Rotunda or came out to inquire why there was noise and fighting around the facility.

Meanwhile, amidst the fracas, the family of the late Rep. Lawrence opted to redirect the cortège to his constituency in Logan Town. The body was later returned to the funeral home and that evening, the wake, held at the Paynesville City Hall, went on without any disruption.

11 COMMENTS

  1. Is the country getting worst than hell? Because even though hell has a reputation for being the last resort of pains, sufferings, eternal condemnation, and disorganization, but at least Satan, who is regarded as the leader of the dark world, keeps his organizational structure in check.

    Differences in ideological beliefs and approaches in the way we may resolve to address national issues will always arise; but, such differences should not be allow to stand in the way of national unity.

  2. F. Hney, now you know who George Weah goons are..these are the goons that George Weah will use against the peaceful protesters on June 7….

  3. “CDC Partisans showed up with banners, including one with President Weah’s portrait, for the requiem planned in honor of the late Rep. Adolph Lawrence.” Why CDC???????? Why disrespect the man in death???

  4. Senator Nyounblee Karngar Lawrence is the one to blame for all this chaos. She is someone characterized with aggression and an attitude and behaviour unbecoming of a real politician. If she had not begin inciting her Liberty Party partisans with all those utterances which should not come from the wife of a Representative who has passed, her husband would have had a very peaceful homegoing as the late Senator Geraldine Doe Sherriff.

    • The Real Hard Truth, Weah chamber bot, CDC is a rebel party. Liberia is finished The whole Africa laughing at the stupid CDC illiterates and their foot ball player.

  5. This CDC Government is getting lawless by the day. While parade portrait of Weah at a funeral program? I do not foresee a good electoral future for Liberia with this ganster behaviors of Cdcians.. This public display of arrogance and ignorance is disrupting the peace and stability of our Nation and scaring investors away from Liberia. I’m not even sure if the leadership of CDC understand the impact and implications of their thuggish behaviors. I cannot comprehend the apportioning of blame on the widow of the late Rep. Lawrence. She is the leader of the Liberty Party and so, it’s within her right to have her party members gather to bury her late husband.

  6. At first I taught that the teaching of Kenneth Blanchard referred to as “SITUATIONAL LEADERSHIP” actually covered to intellectual domain of everyone. Situational Leadership is about a more experienced career person training an inexperienced person in executing a task to a point that the inexperienced person becomes very professional to a level of executing the task proficiently without any supervision. When they have become well trained, they now take on the new nomenclature “SELF-RELIANT ACHIEVER”. I though this would have been the case of George Weah, whom I expected to learn very fast from occupying other positions as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and lastly Senator for Montserado county. I expected President Weah to utilize the present labor and capital resources to the best to yield results. Lets first look at the rule of law. It was shameful to note that CDCians were seen brandishing banner with the portrait of Weah at the capital building where the remains of the late Representative Lawrence was to be lay in state for a requiem. The CDCians even stirred up a disruption that prevented the requiem from taking place, how disgraceful. The police station that is in the closest proximity to the location, since they share a common bordering wall, did not even dispatch officers to immediately respond to the situation. Now I’m convinced that the axiom or principle of “SITUATIONAL LEADERSHIP” will not work in President Weah’s situation in handling tasks merely because he is HIGHLY UNEDUCATED much like his supporters. So many leaders lead with similar style and they all ended up being thrown out of power alive or dead, yet Weah chose this same path of tyrannic leadership. George Bush was right about his perception of Liberia, the LACK OF EDUCATION is the most vicious problem affecting the nation. This problem is not only with the Weah administration but the entire population. Take a non-parametric statistical inference on the labor force, you will realize that in the echelon the two branches of government, Executive and Legislative, there are many ex-rebels occupying those high seats. Some were elected by the Liberian people, some were appointed by President Weah. Nathaniel McGill is an ex-rebel general. Jefferson Koigee is another ex-rebel, likewise Yekeh Kolubah, Sando Johnson and the not to mention the supreme killer-in-chief, Prince Johnson; and many others. how well do Liberian expect for the nation to develop when well minded, level headed and highly educated professional Liberian are left aside just to choose mentally lap-sided, poorly educated and blood-thirsty killers. Liberians are expecting the country to improve while parading mentally ill people in the highest office? Do the right thing to better the situation, VOTE THEM ALL OUT OF POWER. No level of marches will change anything, but rather VOTE THEM OUT. After voting them out, pressure the government to prosecute them all for financial and war crimes.

    • That’s deep. Well said. We need s complete overhaul of all our political and private I stitutions appointing and electing people based on merit and not on mere affiliation and loyalty.

  7. Bobby Dandrage, while I agree with you that “marches or protests marches are USELESS “; I must tell you that highly educated and level headed Liberians are kept out of the political leadership, because of the reality that political leadership is not about university credentials, but about DEMOCRACY – the conscience and power of VOTERS. So, Prince Yormie Johnson remains a kingmaker and the KING of NIMBA. Sando Johnson is one of Bomi County” longest serving legislator, if not the longest serving legislator. And mind you; even the international community operates in a manner not to their conscience nor the interest of the people, but to their own interest, as when they IMPOSED the MOTHER of ALL rebels ELLEN JOHNSON Sirleaf as President.

  8. I am often mesmerized when Liberians loosely use the word “democracy”. I prefer to add the definite article “the” in addition to the proper adjective ”Liberian” to qualify the word “democracy”. In other words it should be referred to as, “The Liberian democracy” because of its uniqueness.

    The uniqueness of “The Liberian democracy” is that like many Western democracies, the Liberian democracy also has a constitution that takes into account issues concerning human rights, respect for the rule of law, the rights to free and fair elections, freedom to free speech, and the cardinal elements of good governance. Notwithstanding, unlike other democracies, these democratic principles are nothing but fleeting illusions because President Weah and his ruling clique have flouted and continuing to flout the constitution with impunity.

    Weah has successfully succeeded in ingraining in the minds of his followers that the problems of Liberia emanate from first, the educated people and second, his critics, people who he called the enemies of the state. And to this end, he has drawn the line; contracted to himself and society that he will do whatever he feels and at any cost necessary. Nobody can stop him and even pressure from International organizations cannot stop him.

    And so I tell Liberians not to waste their precious time because if this President was truly serious about effecting good governance to improve the economy and better the lives of the poor, then he would have initiated the efforts about a year ago. Some solid facts can attest to this:

    The $16 billion scenario is dead; and, as far as President Weah is concerned, Robert Sirleaf and the others are free at last. If anyone doubts this premise, then he should ask himself why will President Weah pursue a case against them when he understands fully well that it will start a ripple effect which might eventually engulf Mr. Samuel Tweh, his finance minister, who is the very architect of his ill-gotten fortune?

    The fiasco concerning the much talked about $25million dollars excess liquidity mopping exercise is also dead. Why? Finance Minister Samuel Tweh’s name is at the epic-center of this brouhaha again, and his political survival largely depends on their mutual loyalty and trust. President Weah cannot risk losing Tweh from his cabinet. Without Mr. Tweh, President Weah is aphasic and extremely deficient to articulate himself deliberately and extemporaneously on national issues. And so he sees Tweh as his top strategist and mouthpiece. Losing Tweh would be a self-imposed death blow. A good example happened just a few weeks ago when a British journalist surprisingly caught President Weah off guard and asked him to offer a few impromptu remarks concerning the state of the Liberian economy. It was then when many of his followers witnessed and learned how vital communication is to any leadership.

    Weah’s core beliefs and weltanschauung (outlook about the world) is that people who feel that education can create greatness for a society are chasing a phantom. Because all that a person needs for success is popularity and when the opportunity arises he should plunder as much as he can from the public coffers.
    Moreover, with wealth, power, and prestige anything is possible. An individual can erect monuments in his honor to enhance his persona as the deity and have the most gullible segments of the society to worship him.

    Concerning the use of power, an individual does not have to be discreet neither cautious about when, where and how to use it. After all he can crush the opposition with deadly force because he is the president and therefore he is invincible. The capital city of Monrovia has too many destitute and desperate criminals who are roaming the streets, and it creates an ideal situation to recruit them and indoctrinate them to commit nefarious acts against the opposition political groups. And as the president, he can connive and pay former rebels to murder anyone with the tightest alibis.

    Will a World Crime Court be established in Liberia? With the exception that the International Community brings pressure on the Weah’s Government, he will fight tooth and nail against its establishment. Lately, Liberia and the world has finally and surprisingly begun to discover that one of the primary reasons that he has not become the catalyst in this process like he promised during his campaign, is that he and a good number of the vicious ex-militants are in cahoots.

    Some have even had a slipped of the tongue and admitted that Weah and they were smoking cannabis on the front line of the tragic civil war. Who then can predict what the rest of the admissions would be if a World Crime Court was impanelled to adjudicate the perpetrators of those crimes against humanity?
    In Weah’s definition of a democracy, the president can use his executive powers to emasculate the judiciary and legislative branches and thus give himself enough leverage to indiscriminately abuse his authority and the country still remains a democracy.

    The concept of democracy can be relativized. In other words, what an individual may term a democracy in one country, may differ in other democracies across the world. What is the essence of “The Liberian Democracy” and how it will reshape the Liberian society will be determined by the president’s leadership style and his success in having the citizens to adapt to it.

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