The Liberian National Police (LNP) yesterday arrested several people in the Fish Market for their alleged involvement in lawless acts along the Tubman Boulevard.
Deputy Police Commissioner for Public Safety, Nelson Freeman, told the Daily Observer that the arrest of an unspecified number of men came when they allegedly converged near the main road and blocked traffic with sticks, iron and heavy rocks.
According to Commissioner Nelson, those involved in the unauthorized street demonstration claimed they were affected by flood and wanted their plight to be addressed.
He said most of those involved were criminals who are hiding between VAMOMA House and an adjacent fence, who had decided to cause chaos in the wake of the flood disaster.
Commissioner Freeman noted that the flood had no connection with blocking traffic or taking to the street to demonstrate, and because this lawless act was allegedly committed by the men, they were detained and will later be sent to court for prosecution.
The disruption was planned near President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s residence where flood victims converged to complain about cause of the flood. They attributed the causes to the President’s fence and work done at the Old Road junction by the Ministry of Public Works.
As community dwellers strived to get their belongings out of the water and find safety in other locations in the Fish Market Community, scores of them angrily approached the fence and began to break it without permission.
During the course of their action, some of them were arrested by the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) and taken to an unknown location.
Mr. Seh S. Barclay, an elder in the community, told this newspaper that the mob was not out for violence but were calling on the President to see reason to solve the drainage problem as President and Mother to bring relief to community members.
Mr. Barclay and other community leaders were heard cautioning the young people to deviate from violence and wait on the elders to approach the issue peacefully; but the intransigent youths would not listen as they shouted anti-Sirleaf slogans.
Scores of affected mothers in the Fish Market Community alleged that one of the causes of flood in their community was poor work done by Ministry of Public Works at the Old Road junction near the President’s residence.
The women, who would not give their names, told the Daily Observer that besides the blocking of the waterway by the President’s fence, Public Works stockpiled dirt down the stream at the Old Road junction, blocking the water from freely flowing.
The women also said sand mining at the beach was threatening residents with water disasters in the community.
According to them, they regularly see some security personnel escorting trucks to the beach taking sand and selling it out.
Nevertheless, the angry women called on the Government to see reason to urgently address their plight and also release their children who had been arrested.
The President’s residence itself was also flooded especially on the road leading to the compound.