By S. Micah Yeahwon from Western Liberia
The Gbarpolu County joint security has appealed to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to reconsider her decision to re-erect checkpoints and gates in the county.
The appeal was made at the end of a one-day joint security sector meeting held in Bopolu City recently.
It may be recalled that early this year, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf ordered the demolition of all gates and checkpoints in Gbarpolu County during her visit to officially dedicate the Gbarpolu County Service Centers in Bopolu City.
The president’s action was predicated upon numerous complaints by some citizens of the county that security personnel were using the gates and checkpoints to harass and extort money from peaceful travelers.
The recent meeting brought together personnel of Liberia National Police, Liberia Immigration Service and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and purposed to discuss the wave of increase in criminal activities in Gbarpolu County and work out modalities to curb them.
The chairperson of the county joint security and chair of the meeting, Madam Wuoh Gboto, told reporters that there is an increase in criminal activities in the county and there is a dire need to combat such activities, which necessitated the one-day security meeting.
According to Madam Gboto, “Criminal activities ranging from smuggling of drugs into the county, illegal entry into the country through the border by aliens, and smuggling of minerals through the county…therefore, we are asking President Sirleaf to study the situation and reconsider her decision to reinstall all the gates in the county, so that we can be able to combat these crimes.”
Meanwhile, Kongba District’s Joseph Sheriff, a businessman from Antel, a town near Liberia’s border with Sierra Leone, and an old man, Tumay Kollie, from Tima Village, told our reporter in Bopolu City that illegal pit sawing and mining activities are taking place in the forest area of the district.
“We sometimes see people coming to our town and passing through to other villages to mine,” Sheriff said.