Authorities at the National Elections Commission (NEC) and staff woke up yesterday to the news of an arson attack on the zinc roofed garage of its headquarters, with vehicles and some other valuables completely damaged.
According to details from the Commission’s Communications Department, the incident occured at 10:30 p.m on Monday, March 15, 2021.
“The Commission says unknown persons threw petrol bombs on the compound of the NEC Headquarters which set ablaze a double cabin pickup, marked LB-6868 and the zinc garage,” Prince Dunbar, a staff of NEC’s Communication Department, said in a statement issued.
Dunbar added that a preliminary investigation from NEC’s security guards and officers of the Liberia National Police assigned at the Commission has established that, apart from the petrol bomb that exploded, two additional unexploded petrol bombs were found near the NEC fence on the 10th Street side.
“It is not known who might be responsible for the attack on the Commission, but the Board of Commissioners is worried about what has begun and will lend all its support to the security apparatus as they further investigate and employ efforts to bring the perpetrators to book,” Prince said.
He estimated he cost of the damage to about US$45,000.
The acting Communications Director at the NEC said the Liberia National Police (LNP) has called on the Commission to further beef up its security at the headquarters and for strict measures and vigilance.
When contacted via phone, Moses Carter, head of Communications at the LNP, said the investigation is still ongoing and findings will be brought to the public through the media when they are available.
“We have established that an arson attack by the use of petrol bomb has taken place on the premises of the NEC. But for now, we have not arrested any perpetrator. We are making frantic efforts and the moment we arrest whoever is reponsible, the public will know as justice is served,” Carter said as he hanged off the phone.
Threats of all kinds are usually made by disenchanted supporters of political parties. The attack on the Commission’s headquarters comes amid complaints and disenchantments arising over results of the December 8, 2020 special senatorial election that are still contested in the Supreme Court and before the NEC Board of Commissioner.
While the investigation is still ongoing, some aggrieved supporters of Brownie Samukai, Lofa County Senator-elect, are quoted in a recent artile published by the Daily Observer with the headline, “Samukai’s Supporters Gear Up for Actions If…” In said publication, a young man named Alphonso Ben said he is ready to give up everything, including his life, to make sure that NEC certificates J. Brownie Samukai, who won the popular vote in Samukai County.
Several other young people were seen the early hours of that day protesting at the NEC headquarters threatening that NEC would not have it easy once they continue to delay the certification of their Senator-elect.
The disenchantment from the youth and several others supporting one or two politicians has grown over the months, mainly by the extreme delay in handling of cases at NEC as well as some of the decisions reached as conclusions of some post-election disputes.
The disenchanted supporters have raised up their voices and accused both the NEC and the Supreme Court of having become ‘regime collaborators’, instead of independent integrity institutions working for the common good of society.
It can be recalled that Associate Justice Joseph Nagbe also recently experienced a petrol bomb attack at his home.