The political leader of the Alternative National Congress, Alexander Cummings, and Montserrado County District #10 Representative, Yekeh Kolubah, had no idea what was in store for them as they began a week-long tour in the Southeastern region of the country last week.
After being warmly welcome in Maryland and River Gee Counties, where the tour started, the two statesmen were greeted to a hostile reception early Thursday morning in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County, by a band of thuggish individuals who violently confronted the ANC delegation.
According to eyewitness accounts, a motley assembly of mostly young men in Zwedru, from as early as 5 a.m. began laying siege to the B-2 Guest House, where the Montserrado Lawmaker had spent the night, demanding that he and his political leader leave the county immediately.
According to some members of the group, their action was in response to what they claimed is Representative Yekeh’s persistent wave of verbal attacks against President George Weah. Further, eyewitnesses said, mob action gradually escalated from the chanting of anti-Yekeh slogans to frenzied stone-throwing action by the mob.
The official car of Representative Kolubah bearing plate Rep. 36 was damaged in the process by the stone-throwing mob. At one point according to sources, the violent mob appeared to have overwhelmed the few officers of the Liberia National Police that were posted at the scene to ensure calm and order.
In response, the Police began firing tear gas and discharging gunshots into the air to ward off the besieging mob but their effort proved insufficient to deter the rioters from besieging the hotel in which Representative Kolubah had spent the night.
Sources in Zwedru say, it took the intervention of soldiers of the Armed Forces of Liberia AFL to rescue Representative Kolubah and ANC delegates including its political leader Alexander Cummings.
Representative Yekeh Kolubah has meanwhile accused key members of the Coalition for Democratic Change, especially Superintendent Kai Farley and Representative, Zoe Emmanuel Pennue, of masterminding what he termed “Partisans’ outburst” against his presence in the county.
However, Representative Pennue at a press conference yesterday denied the allegation by Representative Kolubah and said the opposition is finding it difficult to get prominence in the county because he is a political weight that they cannot contend with.
For his part, the District #10 Representative Kolubah noted that it is as a result of his strong opposition to the current government’s misrule and an act of rampant corruption that has caused them to radicalize local partisans against him.
He, however, maintained that he was not perturbed by the radical postures of a few party zealots of the CDC but will fulfill what he had gone for in Grand Gedeh County.
Commenting on the situation, ANC political leader and Chairman of the Collaborating Political Party (CPP), Alexander B. Cummings said the opposition community will not tolerate such acts of violence against its members anymore. “We will not tolerate this kind of behavior in our country, it is completely unacceptable. That we cannot come to a county, spend a night, have meetings, and move on. “
He noted that this was orchestrated – and every Liberian needs to know that the CPP, “We are going to stand resolute; we are going to stand firm in this December election. We are going to put up the best candidates and we are going to support those candidates so we can change the direction of the country. We will not tolerate this sort of behavior and any attempts to revert the votes of the Liberian people, we will fight”.
One of those accused of engineering the mob action against the Montserrado County Lawmaker is Grand Gedeh County three-times lawmaker Zoe Emmanuel Pennue who has recently joined the CDC. He has since denied the allegations
Meanwhile, The Council of Patriots (CoP) on Thursday issued a statement condemning what it termed as acts of violence in Zwedru. The CoP in its press release said, “The Council of Patriots strongly condemns today’s acts of violence by thugs, acting under the sponsorship of state officials against members of the CPP in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County”.
The CoP calls on the Government to muster the courage to show leadership by condemning such actions and launching a full-scale investigation into the gravely disturbing matter.
“The CoP believes that this is a calculated attempt ahead of the Special Senatorial Elections to intimidate the opposition through violent tactics. This will NOT work!” said the pressure group.
The CoP made it categorically clear that any future acts of violence will be strongly resisted and that they shall defend ourselves by all means necessary.
In a related development, the Grand Gedeh County Legislative Caucus has also described as embarrassing and unfortunate mob action by citizens of the County against the Montserrado County District 10 Lawmaker.
At a press conference held in Monrovia on Thursday, some members of the County Legislative Caucus including Representative Alex Grant, Senator Alphonso Gaye, and Representative Zoe Pennue at a condemned their kinsmen’s action, noting that it was shameful and counterproductive to the country’s peacebuilding process.
Meanwhile, the unruly mob action in Zwedru which turned violent has been widely condemned on social media and it has since become a hot issue of public concern particularly in view of the upcoming December elections as well as the 2023 general and Presidential elections.
As things currently stand, no arrests have been reported so far of any of the perpetrators involved in the violence, although Police sources say the matter is under investigation. The Daily Observer recalls that not a single perpetrator of the violence that occurred n Logan Town during the District 15 elections. Whether this investigation is going to take the same trend remains to be seen.