House Speaker, Dr. Bhofal W. Chambers, one lawmaker who has been enjoying the confidence of people of the Pleebo-Sodoken District in Maryland County since 2006, has acknowledged that the gathering of people in Maryland in protest against the gruesome killing of Mordecial Nyemah was done with good intention, but diluted by “Misguided” individuals thus leading to the burning of his house in Pleebo.
“The unprovoked arson attack on my premises in Pleebo City, Pleebo-Sodoken District and the vandalism and destruction of government property including, the impeding of normal business activities and the movement of peaceful citizens, we believe strongly that same do not represent the majority patriotic citizens of our community, Pleebo-Sodoken District and all of Maryland,” said Speaker Chambers in written response to the event.
On March 31, video footage and images circulated on social media showing a green, one story building on fire with information portraying that it belongs to Speaker Chambers and was set ablaze by angry protesters.
Our correspondent in Maryland County, Edward Stemn, reported in the Thursday edition of the Daily Observer that the angry crowd became more agitated and set the building ablaze. The mob also vandalized other areas including the Pleebo Police Station and Harper Prison Center when officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) discharged firearms, from which at least one person sustained injury during the protest.
“The assembly of our people in Pleebo and Harper Cities which subsequently culminated into violence in Maryland County a fortnight ago was occasioned by the discovery of the lifeless body of a young student of the Pleebo High School identified as Mr. Mordecial Nyemah. Our people had good intent to bring resounding attention to their local authority and national government, but were undermined by violence and destruction by misguided individuals within the group,” said Speaker Chambers.
Speaker Chambers in defense of his people emphasized that it does reflect on the image of his law-abiding citizens the gruesome murder of the young Nyemah, which had a semblance of ritualism and this has been a menace that has shadowed the good image of his beloved County, Maryland, and its people for many years.
Marylanders are stigmatized by record of ritual killings locally referred to as “Gboyo,” an act that had claimed many lives without justice for the victims because of its secret nature.
“We urge all of our people bent on the perpetration of such diabolical cultural practice to cease and desist. In this vein, we have come to condemn categorically this sub-human practice; for it has no place in the standing of our today’s Maryland. We therefore want to assure you of our commitment to support the government to investigate, prosecute, and apply the law in its wholeness to deter future occurrence,” Speaker Chambers stressed.
“Let me take this moment to express my profound gratitude to the President of the Republic of Liberia, His Excellency Dr. George M. Weah for his decisiveness in taking a hands-on approach to restore calm in Maryland County. Now that the President has imposed curfew in Maryland County, I crave the indulgence of all persons within the territorial boundaries of Maryland County to abide by the requirements set forth for the enforcement of the curfew,” he pleaded.
The Speaker further acknowledged the concerns of all “Well-wishers and my Honorable Colleagues of the 54th Legislature” and other officials of Government, friends and family members who have called and or sent messages of encouragement and consolation following the incident.
He encouraged Liberians in other counties and abroad not to see violence as a means to draw attention or settle disagreements, even when hurt, but always find recourse to the law as a path to settling their differences.