Just days after announcing how robust the 3rd sitting of the House of Representatives will be, Police Director Chris Massaquoi has been singled out as this sitting’s first ‘casualty.’
The House of Representatives Thursday, 16 January voted 16 for, and 15 against, in a motion to summon the Police Chief.
Accordingly, the intent of Director Massaquoi’s summons is to allow him to account for “limited, or no police presence in many parts of rural Liberia.”
His summons was predicated on a communication address to plenary of the House by Lofa County Representative Moses Y. Kollie.
Rep. Kollie noted in his communication that he observed the low presence and, in some cases, no presence, of police officers in both Salayea and Zorzor Districts of Lofa County.
“The issue of low police visibility in District #5 is not unique to this district; it includes the entire Lofa County which has stirred a measure of insecurity for our people whenever there is a crisis,” Rep. Kollie said.
He blamed the lack of “motivation, promotion in rank, a lack of higher education, financial benefits and no care and concern on the part of senior administration as some of the conditions responsible for the situation.
According to Rep. Kollie, police officers continued to abandon rural assignments and return to Monrovia for a variety of reasons; in the process, they leave rural Liberians vulnerable to criminals.
Based on these concerns, Rep. Kollie pleaded with his colleagues to summon the Police chief in an effort to ascertain first hand, what underlies the situation leading to a scarcity of officers across the country.
Rep. Kollie’s communication received support from many of his colleagues including Maryland and Bong County Rep., Isaac Roland and Edward Kafia; the two supported Massaquoi’s appearance but wanted committees to handle the matter instead of plenary (full body).
However, Nimba County Rep. Larry Younquoi’s motion to invite the Police boss before plenary was later accepted, Massaquoi is expected to make his first appearance before the Legislature since his last fallout with the Liberian Senate, in late 2013. Following that misunderstanding, the Senate recommended that President Sirleaf dismissed the Police Chief. Massaquoi still heads the Police as Inspector-General.