Angry youth ran amok in some major streets in Zwedru City, Grand Gedeh, and in the process set ablaze the local Headquarters of the Liberia National Police (LNP) and destroying other properties yesterday, Tuesday, May 18, 2021 in protest for the death of a Liberian commonly called AB by a local fula merchant. It has been reported further that some members of the Armed Forces of Liberia were drafted to put the situation under control.
According to our correspondent in Zwedru City, the situation got aggravated when a police vehicle accidentally ran into the protestors who had gathered at the provision shop of the fula merchant and seriously injured one of their leaders. Thereafter the youth went on the rampage, chasing the police and reaching out to their headquarters where they reportedly freed some inmates and set the place ablaze.
Giving the genesis of the whole development, one of the youth leaders, Dedee McClain, the deceased only identified as AB, who was a correctional officer at the National Palace of Correction went to the shop of the fula merchant located on Desuah street to purchase some items on the eve of Ramadan but the merchant told him he didn’t have any change against what he has purchased so a consensus was said to have been reached that the the deceased can come over anytime to collect his change thereafter.
After Ramadan, the deceased went to the Fula merchant to request for his change but the fula man told him that he can’t remember transacting any deal with the deceased. Confusion ensured between the two and in the process, the deceased was hit and knocked down on the ground.
The deceased was rushed to the Martha Tubman Memorial Hospital but was later referred to the Jackson Fiah Doe Memorial Hospital in Tappita, Nimba County where he was treated and discharged and returned to Zwedru. He was also told to be visiting the hospital in Zwedru.
Unfortunately, according to reports there was a health relapse on Monday, May 17, 2021 that resulted in his death.
Upon hearing about the sad news, some concerned residents, especially his friends in the city, decided to group to take action against the fula man who by then had escaped the area.
Sensing a possible breakdown of law and order, the police decided to move in swiftly to put the situation under control. It was in the course of the process, the police operational vehicle ran into the protesting youth and got one of them injured.
According to our reporters, from that point, the youth went wide and started running towards the headquarters of the police, got there, freed some inmates and set the building on fire. The reports furthered that the shop of the fula man was looted and destroyed including the main house attached to the shop.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT) said last evening the joint security has restored calm to the southeastern city of Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County, following disturbances earlier in the day which led to the burning of a police station and the reported looting of businesses.
“The Government of Liberia, through the Ministry of Justice, warns that it will not tolerate people taking the law into their own hands. Security forces are currently in pursuit of all the ring leaders and masterminds of today’s violence”, the Ministry said in a press release.