The Daily Observer is indeed deeply concerned about the ugly events which transpired at the Capitol Building yesterday when CDC party militants, according to eye witness accounts, disrupted the official program and prevented pall bearers from conveying the body of the late Representative Adolph A. Lawrence into the rotunda of the Capitol where it was to be laid in state.
Scenes from the program captured on video, show a rowdy group of young CDC partisans led by their chairman, Mulbah Morlu, in a scuffle with supporters of the late Representative. Eventually, due to the row which ensued, the family and supporters of the late Lawrence, finding themselves unable to convey the body into the rotunda of the Capitol, decided to convey the body to his home in Logan Town.
The Daily Observer condemns in no uncertain terms the disruption of the program by CDC actors, led by its chairman Mulbah Morlu. From all indications, the disruption of the program by CDC partisans appears to be consistent with a pattern of violent behavior exhibited by this group recently.
It can be recalled that on November 17, 2018, a political rally held by then candidate for the House of Representatives, Cornelia Krua Togba, was violently disrupted by thugs led by Monrovia City Mayor, Jefferson Koijee, during which a number of individuals sustained injuries. Grand Bassa Senator, Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence, who was in attendance, barely escaped injury.
She filed a complaint to the Police as well as to plenary of the Liberia Senate but her complaints were treated with benign concern. Also, on January 23, 2019, a children’s party being hosted by Representative Yekeh Kolubah was violently disrupted by armed thugs led by an Assistant Justice Minister. Later that night shots were fired at the home of Representative Kolubah. The Police has yet to charge anyone to court.
On March 21, 2019, the 46th anniversary program of the Movement for Justice in Africa (MOJA) was again violently disrupted by armed thugs led by a CDC activist who is also President of the Liberia National Students Union (LINSU). Again, no arrests were made although a complaint was brought to the Liberia National Police (LNP). The thuggish group justified their action, arguing that they instead should have been invited to the program rather than UL student leader, Martin Kollie.
Recently, on April 16, 2019 a group of ex-rebel generals held a press conference in Monrovia and threatened to arrest Representative Kolubah if he failed to apologize to President Weah for comments attributed to him. Following huge public outcry, the ex-generals back-pedaled on their ultimatum. The press conference was said to have been organized and paid for by Minister of State, Nathaniel McGill.
The Daily Observer has, in several editorials, warned against what appears to be tacit approval of thuggish behavior by elements widely suspected to be associated with the CDC. This impression was reinforced by social media reports of men conducting military exercises on a local beach which went viral.
And this latest act of thuggery by individuals led by CDC Chairman Mulbah Morlu, disrupting a service where mourners had gathered to pay last respects to a fallen legislator, strongly suggests that things appear to be falling out of hand very fast and may spin totally out of control if left unchecked.
The Daily Observer notes that the Police was, as usual, present in their numbers but did little to put things in check. Displayed nonchalance on the part of the Police to such events involving supporters of the CDC is in large part attributed to weak, poor and partisan leadership and can explain why there is a spate of complaints from the public about the Police.
But more to that is the looming public fear that the events of yesterday could very well be a dress rehearsal for the planned June 7 protests. The government appears to have upped the ante by Presidential Press Secretary Smith Toby’s declaration that President Weah is aware that organizers of the planned June 7 protests have amassed an amount of US$350,000 intended to pay each protester US$5.00. Now, unworthy motives are being ascribed to the planners of the June 7 protest.
And as it appears, press secretary Smith Toby’s declaration is serving to prime the likes of ex-rebel generals and their followers for possible action on June 7, 2019. And the Daily Observer, judging from hard experience, has warned time and again, that a national disaster akin to or worse than the April 14, 1979 rice riots could be in the making and with unknown but grave implications for national security, peace and stability of this country if President Weah does not put things in check.
Public declarations by Minister of State, Nathaniel McGill, that he is indeed THE LEADER of the country who can meet with anyone he chooses including ex-rebel generals, has given rise to public speculations that President Weah is indeed being led by McGill.
This newspaper strongly believes that just a nod, wave of the hand or even a single word from President Weah is enough to stop the likes of Morlu, McGill, ex-rebel generals and others dead in their tracks.
Just why he has not done so is troubling, especially in view of yesterday’s ugly developments at the Capitol. June 7, is fast approaching and judging from Deputy Press Secretary Toby’s recent pronouncements, as well as those from other officials warning against the holding of the protest demonstration, measured against expressed public sentiments in its support, there are strong reasons to believe that June 7 holds peril in store for Liberia.
President Weah has the charge and chance to order a pull back from the brink. Should he falter or choose otherwise, he could likely find himself in similar dire straits as did President Tolbert in 1979. He (President Weah) could ignore the omen of the two snakes in his office, but at his peril. He must either bring down McGill, Morlu and their ilk, or they will bring him down.