The people of Putu Chiefdom, Grand Gedeh County, have called for the immediate removal of Grand Gedeh Superintendent Kai Farley. The Putu Elders Council is the highest decision-making body of Putu Chiefdom.
According to a release signed by Elder Isaac Jedo, general secretary of the Putu Elders Council, the Putu people took the decision on February 8, 2019, because of the “life-threatening violence” that Superintendent Farley used to prevent the removal of Arthur Gbarbow as chairperson of the Putu Community Forest Management Body (PCFMB).
“Superintendent Farley used officers of the Liberian National Police assigned with the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) to injure several Putu residents and Mrs. Veronica Sheriff-Morlon, a citizen of the United States of America, whose mother is from the Putu Chiefdom,” the release said.
“One of the most injured persons during the violence at Petrokun Town on January 18, 2019, was 93-year-old Elder Thomas Quiah, Senior Advisor to the Putu Elders Council.”
The Putu Elders Council, which appointed Mr. Gbarbow in March 2015, decided to remove him, “because of his poor performance exhibited mainly by his dictatorial behavior and non-accountability to the appointing body in particular and the Putu people in general.”
While Mr. Farley is yet to respond to a number of calls and text messages placed by the Daily Observer to him, the Putu Elders Council has now appointed Mr. Jedo to replace Mr. Gbarbow, pending recognition of Mr. Jedo by the Forest Development Authority (FDA).
In addition to the violence at Petrokun, Superintendent Farley arrested and detained Mrs. Morlon and two other Putuans, Emmanuel Wablo and Tee-Mahn Poah.
They were detained for 12 hours in Gbarbo Town, and released only after the intervention of a human rights organization, FOI and the Embassy of the United States of America in an action taken to protect the rights of Mrs. Sheriff-Morlon and her co-workers.
The release said the Putu people will not be intimidated and will pursue the Rule of Law. It made reference to the historic case of the Putu people versus the Government of Liberia in the late 1970s when the government, through the Grand Gedeh Superintendent, took an action to prevent the reduction of poverty in Putu, as the Putu people formed the Putu Development Corporation (PUDECO).
The release said the Putu people took the government to the Circuit Court in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh and when the gavel of Judge Galima Baysah landed, the historic path-breaking decision came out loud and clear that the Putu people had won the case.
In effect, the present case against Superintendent Farley is in the interest, not only the oppressed people of Putu, but also in the interest of all Liberians who love justice and accountability, the release said.