The people of Zao township in Nimba County have released a statement asking authorities of the Liberia National Police and the entire state security apparatus to take seriously the recent death threats issued against Chief Justice Francis Saye-Korkpor by Mike Jabateh, a member of the Mandingo ethnic group. Zao is the home village of Chief Justice Francis Korkpor.
Jabateh, in his comments on Facebook live video during the Ganta land dispute riot, issued death threats against the Chief Justice, accusing him of being behind land disputes in Ganta.
“If one Mandingo man is killed, we will kill chief justice Francis Korkpor,” Jabateh is quoted as saying.
According to a press statement, the township of Zao is asking authorities of the Liberia National Police and the entire state security apparatus to take seriously the recent death threats issued against one of their kinsmen, Chief Justice Korkpor, Sr, by Mr. Jabateh, who claimed he was acting on behalf of his ethnic Mandingo people of Ganta.
The township, according to the release, condemns in the strongest terms such a diabolical and uncivilized attack on the life of a personality who has laboured so tremendously to uphold the rule of law in a post-conflict situation.
“The Zao Development Association, acting on behalf of the citizens of the Zao Township, is dismayed that days after the threats were issued against the head of such a strategic branch of government, there have been no public updates as to what security authorities have done so far,” the release said.
“We believe allowing reckless statements such as the one coming from Mike Jabateh to go unquestioned and without the appropriate actions taken would only present Liberia as a free-for-all place where rule of law is not respected and where people are a law unto themselves,” it added.
The Zao people are also reminding the police and state security authorities to understand the sensitivity of the role of the Chief Justice in ensuring national peace; and therefore threats against his life should be of national, paramount concern.
“We, the citizens of Zao, also wonder why the tribal community Jabateh openly said he was defending in his verbal assaults has up to this date failed to condemn or dissociate itself from his reckless statement,” the Zao citizens said.
The statement further added that the entire joint security operation of Liberia should take seize on the matter and ensure the one issuing the threats is made to account for his action and the appropriate measures instituted to deter individuals from engaging in such malicious habits.
“We conclude this statement by reminding Jabateh and those who may be in support of his unfounded statements and threats that while the people of Zao stand for peace, their tolerance should never be misconstrued as being unable to hit back — and very hard — at any unscrupulous and misguided elements who have no regard for rule of law,” the release concludes.