Following UP, ANC Clash
he Liberia National Police or LNP have charged rival youths from the governing Unity Party (UP) and the opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC) following alleged tearing down of campaign posters, leading to violence in Montserrado County Electoral District#17.
Police last week charge Sheik Fofana, supporter of ANC representative candidate Abraham Sesay with criminal mischief, while UP’s William Coleman, Edwin Thomas, and Varney Fambullah have been charged with disorderly conduct, criminal trespass and simple assault.
According to eyewitnesses, Sheik Fofana allegedly tore down campaign posters of UP candidate Hanson Kiazolu, which led his (Hanson’s) supporters to break into the home of the Sheik and reportedly beat him and his mother.
The fight allegedly continues until police arrived on the scene, arresting both parties and subsequently taking them to the Zone Six police station in Brewerville, Montserrado County.
UP candidate Kiazolu narrates that last Wednesday, 4 September while at the National Elections Commission headquarters in Sinkor, Monrovia he received calls from his supporters, informing him that all of his campaign banners were brought down allegedly by some youth from the ANC.
He continues that based on the act, his supporters followed those who carried on the act into the community and subsequently informed the police.
According to him, the act of tearing down banners and posters in the district is very serious and must be look into or else, it could beef up electoral violence, adding that each time a complaint is taken to the police, the alleged suspects are set free.
Also speaking, the Public Relations Officer of Team Abraham Sasay of the ANC notes that no matter what happens, Liberia remains a country of law, “no matter who you are, we are all subject to the law and anything done outside the law, the law must take its course.”
He stresses that youth who use violence as a means of campaign should be dealt with accordingly.
The PRO notes that allegation that his supporters tore banners remains so, and the burden of truth is with the accusers, and they are willing to go through due process.
The Police commander for Zone Six Blama Yancy, says the police are not handling the case as an ANC or UP issue, but that a campaign banner of a candidate of the Unity Party was destroyed by another group of people.
He continues that at the end of the day instead of the complainant taking his complaint to the police, they took the law into their hands, adding that after investigation, police charge the complainant with disorderly conduct, criminal trespass and simple assault, while the alleged perpetrators were charged with criminal mischief, respectively.
There was no injury reported as a result of the incident, which is the first so far since official campaign for the October 10 polls started here a month ago.
Political parties here and their leaders signed a pact dubbed the Farmington Declaration, witnessed by ECOWAS leaders, committing to violence free elections.
By Bridgett Milton-Editing by Jonathan Browne