CDC Wants Samukai Out of West Point Shooting Inquiry Board

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The Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), Liberia’s leading opposition party, has warned of a serious consequences if Defense Minister Brownie Samukai remains on the panel that is investigating the West Point shooting of 16 year-old Shakie Kamara.

President Johnson Sirleaf last week included Samukai on the board of investigators to probe the recent brutal  shooting in the slum community of West Point that ripped open the legs of the young West Point resident and injured others.

The16-year-old, one of three victims of the security standoff with unarmed West Pointers, has died.

At a press conference over the weekend, CDC acting chairman and secretary general, Nathaniel McGill,noted that the Defense Minister had been very “inconsistent in his assertions about the West Point incident,” and as such, his presence on the panel could render the investigation “inaccurate and biased. The Minister’s accounts about the incident proved that he has no moral to be a part of any investigation on the shooting. Naming him to the panel means instructing him to investigate himself,” McGill pointed out.

The CDC further urged President Sirleaf to remove Samukai immediately in order to prove the seriousness and sincerity of her government to take action against those responsible for the shooting and  subsequent death of 16 year-old Shaki Kamara.

Minister Samukai had earlier denied any shooting, insisting that injuries to the three persons had been caused by “barbwire posted at the entrance of the township for security purposes.”

After apparent pressure from local and international partners, Samukai reversed himself two days later, when he confirmed that there was shooting, but declined to take responsibility.

Meanwhile, the CDC has announced the formation of a Special Taskforce “to assist the Government of Liberia in the fight against the Ebola virus.”
The decision to accelerate its collaboration with government in the fight to contain the deadly virus, CDC said, “Ensued out of a meeting of the National Executive Committee, requested by Ambassador George Weah, who serves as ex-officio member of the taskforce.”

The opposition party termed the taskforce formation as the party’s effort to put forth an “urgent and strengthened collective approach, deploying all of its nationwide substructures, logistics, and harnessed human resources in its collaboration with government and humanitarian institutions to save lives and prevent any further escalation of the disease.”

The Special Taskforce is comprised of 26 persons with Montserrado County Representative Saah Joseph leading as its chairman and assisted by Grand Kru County Senator Dr. Peter Coleman.

In a related development, CDC donated 50 bags of rice and L$30,000 to the slum community of West Point during the period of quarantined.

According to the party’s vice chairman for operation, Mulbah Morlu, “this is CDC’s own way of identifying with the people during this difficult period.”

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