Protesters Vow to Shutdown Zwedru Today -Demand Colleagues Release

MONROVIA: Normal activities in Zwedru City, Grand Gedeh County may completely be shut down today as protesters who are entering the second day of their agitation demanding the immediate release of their colleagues from further detention said they will resist anyone who dares to frustrate their efforts just as they maintained that the death of Representative Erol Madison Gwion was “spiritually orchestrated by some people who do not want the good of the county to see the light of the day.

Speaking exclusively with our correspondent in Zwedru shortly after calling off their action blocking the main entrance to the city, the spokesman of the group who pleaded not to be named in the papers for “security reasons” said they were suspending the protest yesterday to allow the authority time to effect the immediate release of their colleagues as well as to cushion the effect of their sudden action which nearly paralyzed normal activities in the city because no vehicles were allowed in the city and businesses and citizens were apprehensive about the situation.

“We are suspending our protest for now because of peace and the fact that people have come to us to say we must allow normal activities to resume in the city. While we accepted their plea, we also told them that the authority should see reasons to release our people because they did nothing and as such they should not be languishing in prisons for no reason.

“No one should see this as the end of what we hope to achieve. No way. We are coming back in full force tomorrow and it will be a total shutdown of the city and we mean it”, he said.

He told our correspondent that the ball is in the court of the authority and it is incumbent upon the elders in the county to play their roles so that peace will reign, “but it is like no one is listening to what we are saying and what we are capable of doing to get our demands met”.

“You can see that the police and the authorities are up for more confusion. You can see it clearly in their charge sheets to the court. One of the charges was manslaughter. Are they serious? Who committed manslaughter or an attempt to commit it and you want us to sit down supinely to allow them to lie against our colleagues? They must be unserious”, the leader further said.

When asked how they can provide evidence as to authenticate their claims that the late Representative Gwion was killed from the spiritual realms, the leader literally burst in anger when he said the journalists should be the last to ask such questions because the threats to the life of Gwion were not hidden.

“I don’t expect you to ask me this kind of question as a journalist. The videos, recordings and other pieces of evidence are available where some of these people publicly said whatever we did at the time there will be bye election because Representative Gwion will not complete his term even if he won the 2023 general elections.

“Some of these same people called him a dead man walking and that it was just a matter of time, the Representative will perish and their candidate will succeed him in a bye election.

“Representative Gwion was physically attacked in Monrovia, his official vehicle was destroyed by these people and you are still asking for proof? I have more to say but for now our focus is to free our colleagues”, he said.

Meanwhile, Police Spokesman, H. Moses Carter, speaking on the situation in Zwedru in the aftermath of the first demonstration that led to the burning down and vandalization of the properties of Senator Zoe Emmanuel Pennue in Zwedru, said 7 persons were arrested, investigated and charged to court and are now in pretrial detention.

“As a result of the vandalism and looting, the Liberia National Police in Zwedru City mobilized and 7 persons of interest were arrested, investigated and forwarded to court”, he said.

He named the persons as Peter Flomo, 26, Solomon Broh, 23, Steve Shah, 35, Christian Teah, 30, Christian Manyeah, 29, Leo Wah, 26 and Promise Jackson, 27. He said they were charged with multiple offenses ranging from arson, manslaughter, theft of property, criminal mischief, criminal conspiracy and rioting. He said they were charged to court and currently in pretrial detention at the Zwedru Palace of Corrections.

“The LNP is also looking out for other individuals who participated in said rioting, or vandalization of properties as well as looting to ensure that they account for their actions in the court of law.

We want to use the media to call on citizens and residents throughout the 15 counties to desist from engaging in mob action, a form of jungle justice which has no space in our civilized society”, he said.

In their protest yesterday, the group, mainly youths assembled themselves in the city center before marching towards the Monrovia end of the entrance to Zwedru, singing and eulogizing the late Representative Gwion, vowing to “make sure that those who killed you will not rest until they join you too in a more gruesome way”.

They were joined along the way by a number of other young people who were all mobilized two days before their action, all wearing black to symbolize the mourning spirit they have been in since the demise of the late tough talking lawmaker.

The protesters decided upon themselves to suspend their action after a lot of people had gone to speak to them to allow negotiation over their demand to go on while also giving the citizens the opportunity to experience peace and free movement of people and goods in and out of the city having been hindered for most part of the day.

Meanwhile, there has not been any statement from the authorities, especially the police as to the readiness of law enforcement officers to quell any unforeseen situation as well as ensuring that public peace is not broken.

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