Cornelia’s Campaign Bloody Launch -CDC’s Sabu Unit, Koijee Accused of Disruption -One Confirmed Dead, Several Others Wounded
It was a bloody launch of the political campaigns in District #13 representative election, between supporters of the Unity Party (UP) Candidate Cornelia Kruah-Togba, and the Candidate of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), John Weah, on Saturday, November 17, 2018. The incident disrupted normal activities New Georgia and led to the death of a lady and several others wounded. The chaos started when a group of militants allegedly supporting candidate Weah of the CDC came from the northern end of the Bassa Town Junction marching majestically with cutlasses toward southern end of the junction where a multitude of Cornelia Kruah Togba’s supporters busy parading for their launch in their assigned area. The John Weah group was said to be launching at the Iron Factory Community on the main road to town while the Cornelia group was reportedly permitted to launch at the Nigeria Shop Community Field. Sentiment flares up when the John Weah supporters entered the Bassa Town Junction, an area assigned to Cornelia group on that day. The tension that resulted degenerated into stone-throwing between the two groups in an unprecedented political clash for the first time in history of New Georgia, forcing normal businesses to hurriedly close; Bill Jarkloh reports.
As a closer glimpse of the Weah supporters was taken, it was Jefferson Koijee militantly dressed with a blue beret while the chairman of the of the Congress for Democratic Change Mulbah Morlue, Representative Solomon George along with others dressed in olive green militant suits and red berets bearing cutlasses majestically coming towards their opponents, who were wearing white t-shirts with Cornelia photo.
The entire street was hostile and everyone along the streets ran indoors while businesses suddenly shut their doors. The rest of the scene was dominated by flying stones from both ends while the quacking of the cutlasses were heard from the streets.
In minutes as we followed the story, we started to see supporters of the Unity Party candidate Cornelia wounded while others were fleeing in disarray.
It is Jefferson Koijee and his men; they have guns, knives and cutlasses with them attacking our candidate’s supporter, a fellow wearing Liberty Party t-shirt said.
The fellow who had blooded head with wound on his arm alleged that he was stabbed by one of the militants with a knife.
Our reporter who went on the scene saw police operatives all over the place at the Nigerian Shop Community but was told that the Koijee militants did override the police and conducted their militancy;
“The nearly hurt our candidate; she has been taken into hiding. Even Darius Dillon and Senator Nyoblee Karnga Lawrence of the Liberty Party were here and they all escaped into hiding”, another supporter of Cornelia said.
“Today is our launching day and John Weah people say we will not launch in peace. We were marching from Jamaica Road and the people attacked us with rocks at the Iron Factory Community, they started chunking us with rocks. Then we came here at the Nigerian Shop community the people still behind us – John Weah get gun; Jefferson Koijee get gun; some of their security had guns.
“They killed one little girl in my presence at the New Georgia Bassa Town Junction. They juke the little girl with knife in my presence, but I was not having weapon that is why I did not react,” the fellow who identified himself as Patrick Wolo Garnio explained.
He pointed out, “We get five people behind there now, now – they juke their thighs, gashed their faces and hurt them all kind of ways”.
He asserted that Mulbah Morlue has a gun, likewise Jefferson Koijee. “Who gave them guns is what I don’t know,” Garnio said.
“As they were carrying out their violence against the people, I thought I should take pictures. And in the process Koijee spotted me and ordered his men to seize my phone; as we speak my phone is with them,” another fellow who was aggrieved by the violence told our reporter.
A third person confirmed that Cornelia’s vehicle was attacked by the cutlass-bearing militants of Mr. Koijee, but she was saved by her guards and taken into a hideout. All of these, they said happened in the full view of the police, but the police situation commander wearing Badge #73 could not speak to our reporters on ground that his commander will address the situation later.
Verifying the information of his presence on his Facebook page, a Liberty Party executive, Mr. Darius Dillon admitted fleeing into hiding. “I was in District # 13, Montserrado County, today (meaning Saturday, November 17) at the campaign rally of Cornelia Kruah-Togba and witnessed firsthand the unwarranted, unprovoked and very troubling chaos that erupted in New Georgia Estate.”
Dillon noted that Cornelia represents the Unity Party and is being supported by Liberty Party (LP) and the Alternative National Congress (ANC) under the spirit of the intent of our 3-party collaboration; and added “I, along with few Liberty Party Executive Committee Members, accompanied our Political Leader Sen. Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence to support the UP Candidate.
Mr. Dillon indicated that they were bodily taken out of our cars by supporters and residents of New Georgia Estate into safety from the chaos, saying that this is really a sad time in Liberia, pledging to divulge other information on the situation later.
Others expressed indignation, pointing out that the violence by the CDC is abhorrent and unfortunate.
Violence by the CDC at the campaign launch of the Unity Party Candidate makes the District #13 representative election turned bloody, one support of the opposition candidate noted, while another said it was wrong for the Congress for Democratic Change, to unleashed Jefferson Korjee with CDC Sabu militants to disrupt and vandalize the campaign rally and headquarters of Mrs. Cornelia Kruah-Togba of the Unity Party.
We also attempted to have a word from Mr. Koijee, but access was not granted due to the tense security situation. However, we will endeavor to get his side of the story.