In anticipation of his arrest as threatened
Supporters of the controversial Montserrado County District #10 Representative, Yekeh Kolubah, on Wednesday, April 17, 2019, barricaded his Sinkor residence as human shields, in anticipation of the threat of arrest against the lawmaker by some ex-rebel generals. The move was also in response to an invitation letter from the Montserrado County Attorney, Cllr. Edward Martin.
Though no one, not even a police ever ventured to arrest Rep. Kolubah, his supporters, who turned out in their numbers, maintained their positions. Up to press time last night, the crowd remained stationed, stubbornly refusing to disperse.
While members of the supporters shouted anti-government slogans, Wilmot Paye, chairman of the former ruling Unity Party (UP), warned the Government of Liberia against attempts to arrest Rep. Kolubah for his remarks and other actions perceived to be unfavorable to the ruling establishment.
Dressed in his full UP attire, Paye had gone to Kolubah’s residence to join hundreds of fellow supporters and warn the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) government against any plot to arrest or impeach the lawmaker.
“The CDC government wants to prosecute Rep. Kolubah, because he has identified with the opposition community. He is being persecuted, because he is telling the truth and also sees wrongs as we see them from the outside,” Paye remarked.
He said Kolubah is a true patriot and the opposition block meaning the four collaborating parties, including the UP, Liberty Party (LP), Alternative National Congress (ANC), and the All Liberian Party (ALP), will not sit and watch the CDC-led government humiliates him for ‘exercising his constitutional rights.’
“Our unwavering solidarity is with Rep. Kolubah, because we have had a major meeting from where we resolved to protect by him, no matter what the consequences, we are prepared and ready to go to jail along with him,” Paye said amid deafening applauses from the teeming crowd.
He added, “I hope they have enough rooms at the various prison centers for all of us; I hope the Weah government is prepared to accommodate the 62 percent of Liberians that rejected Weah at the 2017 polls.”
Mr. Paye expressed doubt as to whether the government or its supporters know the consequence of what they were risking by threatening to arrest Rep. Kolubah and others for their utterances, which are protected by the 1986 Revised Constitution of Liberia.
Hundreds of people, mostly the youth, gathered at Kolubah’s residence in protest against any attempt by government to arrest him to answer to whatever charges.
It may be recalled that Montserrado County Attorney, Cllr. Edward Kla Martins, and Rep. Kolubah on Monday, April 15, 2019, had an intense exchanges of invectives when the Martins threatened Kolubah with arrest, should he fail or refuse to report to his office to answer to questions concerning remarks attributed to Kolubah on Sunday, April 14 at the UP headquarters.
It was reported that Rep. Kolubah said if the Weah-led government does not do well to mitigate the current hardship in the country in three months, it would be brought down.
Kolubah, who on that Sunday joined the four collaborating political parties, also said that President Weah, in less than two years of his presidency, has stolen the country’s money and built for himself luxurious homes, established fabulous businesses at the expense of the suffering masses.
In the same speech, Kolubah alleged that, in 2003, Weah visited the rebel faction, Movement for Democracy in Liberia (MODEL), on the frontline, ate and smoked with the fighters.
“Weah supported us with money and other things during that war,” he alleged.
Kolubah’s refusal to honor Atty. Martins’ call sparked up serious tension in Monrovia, particularly in his district as plans to arrest him surfaced.
One of the plans, orchestrated by former generals of warring factions, such as Movement for Democracy in Liberia (MODEL); Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD); and the then National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) of former President, Charles Ghankay Taylor, increased the anger of Kolubah and his supporters and they gathered en masse to await government’s action against their Lawmaker.
The ex-generals of the disbanded warring factions in persons of Siaffa Norman of NPFL, Ofori Diah of MODEL and Christopher Vambo (alias general mosquito) of the NPFL, as well as other ex-commanders, at a press conference held on Tuesday April 16, called on Rep. Kolubah, who also is a former fighter, to turn himself over for investigation or risk being arrested by them and turned over to President Weah.
In reaction to the ex-generals’ threat to arrest Rep. Kolubah, UP chairman Wilmot Paye said it is unfortunate that government is running short of ideas to manage its own affairs, more so by failing to condemn former fighters’ press conference meant to arrest a sitting Lawmaker in person of Yekeh Kolubah.
He said if the CDC government would love to be baptized in sincerity, they should tolerate free speech and stop intimidating people for the statements they make against the very government.
“They must stop thinking foolishly that they can suppress free speech in this country. They insulted our government and did all sorts of irresponsible things but we did not intimidate them,” he said, although the CDC supporters charge the then ruling Unity Party government for shooting at them during a rally they held at their headquarters in Congo Town in 2011 and allegedly killed one of them.
Rep. Kolubah, on the other hand, challenged anybody, including the Justice Ministry and the ex-fighters to go after him and try to effectuate any arrest.
Kolubah said the ex-fighters’ open statement calling for his arrest is a proof of a report he gave out to the public some months back that President Weah was training ex-fighters and including them in his security team to cause havoc at any time in the country.
“I am not bothered by their noise and, as far as I am concerned, Martins who says he is a County Attorney is not respected by me. In fact, he is sheriff and I cannot turn myself over to my subordinate,” he said.
He called on President Weah to dissolve the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) and all other security apparatuses and make the former rebels and ex-fighters loyal to Charles Taylor the new security men and women, since there is no law and order anymore in the country.
“The Justice Minister is very incompetent. This is why the President has called on the former militias and other former rebels to form part of his security. This is a sad day for our country,” he lamented.
Kolubah said that, as he and his colleagues return to the Capitol after the Easter break, he will put on the floor a bill seeking to dissolve all security agencies in order for the ex-rebels and militias to take over the country so as to satisfy the aspirations of President Weah, Nathaniel McGill and other CDCians in high profile positions.
He warned that all those planning to arrest him should disengage their plan or else they will feel the full wrath of the people of his district.
He said until Speaker of the House of Representatives, Bhofal Chambers can stop suppressing his voice at the plenary of the House, and President Weah does what is right, he will continue to speak out against government.
“The Speaker has to respect me and recognize my voice. I was elected as he was elected, but to even say, I am his senior in term of vote acquisition. He had 1500 votes while I acquired 14,800 votes. He is just first among equals, so I am more senior than him,” he said.
Kolubah said he is not running away from anyone and that he will be part of the June 7 planned sit-in protest.
About the ex-generals’ plan to arrest him, Kolubah said Ophore Diah and the other guys have no standing to make him afraid.
“Little boys like Ophore Diah and his friends trying to make me scared? Ophore Diah is a convict. He should know that I have mind more than all of them. I have proven myself all of the time. I am not afraid of anyone or anything,” he boasted.
He added: “I arrested one of the generals in this country who had a BZT (machine gun) for looting. A man called DKB was arrested by me. Go to the post stockade. Ask him. I arrested him for his uncontrolled drug habit. I arrested him when I was in the Police force,” he boasted.
“We are peaceful people and so we will make sure that that our protest is peaceful,” he promised.
He said he has joined the opposition collaborating political parties in order to be part of an institution with whom he will share thoughts and take advice from, not government officials.
Several of Kolubah’s supporters said they were prepared to give their lives yesterday in a bid to prevent the arrest of their Lawmaker.
One among them who introduced himself as Mark Gogoe, said he and his colleagues traveled from far and near in order prevent the arrest of Kolubah.
“We are not here because we want money from him. He is our leader. He speaks the truth about our suffering and the government does not want to hear that,” the young man said.