Who Attacked Former VP Taylor? -Calls for Enhanced Security Amid Reports ‘Assailants’ Violence

MONROVIA: There has been much ado about alleged carefree attitude for the security protection of top officials of the former ruling Coalition for Democratic Change by the governing Unity Party administration. A fortnight ago, there was a stern verbal standup between the office of former President George Manneh Weah and the Joseph Boakai administration over request by the former to increase his security detail, a “legal right” claimed by the former Liberian leader. Concurrently, even former Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor had also continued to decry uncooperative attitude by the Boakai government to honor her request for enhanced security. Now the chicks have now come home to roast as the former Liberian Vice President is reporting violent attack on her person over the weekend. As The Analyst reports, the office of the former VP has alarmed of a “targeted attack by unknown assailants”, resulting in the destruction of the rear windshield of the ex-VP’s vehicle.

The office of the former Vice President of Liberia, Madam Jewel Howard Taylor, has reported that on Saturday, May 25, 2024, there was “an alarming act of violence was committed against former Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor”.

The erstwhile Liberian VP’s office said in a release that “as she was traveling through the Duport Road community in Paynesville, Montserrado County, her vehicle was subjected to a targeted attack by unknown assailants, resulting in the destruction of the vehicle’s rear windshield”.

This assault marks escalation in the challenges facing former Vice President Howard-Taylor, who has repeatedly expressed concerns about her security to the current administration, said the release issued during the weekend.

According to Mrs. Taylor’s office, the attack came amid numerous requests by the former Vice President for enhanced protection from the Executive Protection Service, something the office claims “have remained largely unaddressed”.

“This incident is not only a direct threat to her personal safety, but also a disturbing indication of the broader security challenges ordinary citizens in Liberia face daily,” the ex-VP’s office indicated in the release.

Said further the release: “It is particularly distressing to note that since the new administration took over, there has been insufficient support in terms of security for former Vice President Howard-Taylor. No official or security vehicles have been provided, leaving her insufficiently protected.

“This raises serious concerns about the commitment to the safety of individuals who have served at the highest levels of government.”

The former Vice President has been a steadfast advocate for peace and democratic integrity throughout her career, her office said, adding that that “it is with profound concern that we note the lack of security arrangements provided to her by the current government led by President Joseph Boakai.”

“This oversight is in stark contrast to the state security protections extended to former government officials, including President Boakai and former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, during the tenure of former President George Weah and Vice President Howard-Taylor,” the release emphasized.

The former VP’s office is therefore urgently calling on the Liberian National Police to intensify their efforts to apprehend and bring to justice those responsible for this act.

“It is imperative that the government addresses this grave lapse in security measures and ensures the safety of all its citizens, including public figures and former officials,” said the released, which also quotes that the former Vice President as expressing her gratitude for the outpouring of support from the public following the attack on her, reiterating her commitment to the democratic values and the rule of law.

“She urges all Liberians to remain vigilant and to support efforts to maintain peace and security within the nation,” the release further quotes her as saying.

Standup Over Security Vulnerabilities

It is not the first time a former top official of the erstwhile CDC government has alarmed about security vulnerability and “cold shoulders” their successors have given requests to increase personal security for them and their families.

It can be recalled former President George Manneh Weah’s request for security enhancement was greeted by the Boakai administration with gimmicks which generated public disquiet at the time, with taunting remarks by pro-UP citizens directed at the ex-president.

The current ruling establishment in November 2023 was announced winners of runup elections in what many consider to be a threadbare victory, of less than 20,000 vote difference, a victory that sends the nation symmetrically divided.

Some observers believe that the onus for national stability and peace rests on the winning party amid the hugely polarized citizenry and that it depends on the government treats its predecessors.

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