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Liberians Say Pro-Costa March Rampage Pointer To June 7 Outcome


  17 Mai      1        Politics (8538),

   

MONROVIA, May 16 (LINA) – A cross-section of Liberians has expressed concern that the rampage and looting that took place on Carey Street in Central Monrovia on Thursday as fans of radio Talk Show host Henry Costa march through the streets is a precursor to what inevitably could happen on June 7 when opposition figures take to the streets.

Fans had earlier met Costa at the international airport and rode to town before starting a march in the Monrovia suburb of Sinkor headed for central town escorting their “hero”.

Ironically, Costa or the organizers of the march, security sources told the Liberia News Agency, failed to obtain permission from the Ministry of Justice, as required by law, to ensure that the marchers would be escorted by police and other security men to provide crowd control and eventual misdeeds by the marchers.

Confirming fears and apprehensions about what could unfold on June 7, if the planned street protest should hold, Costas’ marchers broke into small bands that ran into street peddlers and shops, making away with goods, cash and other valuables.

According to eyewitnesses, pandemonium there and then broke out as people began to run helter-skelter, stampeding individuals who fell to the ground while peddlers abandoned their wares in search of safety and dear life.

As the news of the rampage began to spread by word of mouth, radio stations opened their phone lines to get feedbacks from the scene and Liberians in radio land on the pros and cons of the development.

“To the best of my knowledge,” said one caller who begged anonymity, “the Costa group did not obtain permit to stage a march in the city. This is totally wrong for a people who claim to be respecters of the rule of law.”

Another caller said: “We know that street marches and protests have always gone chaotic in this country, leading to destruction of lives and properties. Our history is replete with instances where people use these demonstrations to meet selfish motives”

Nyanquay Zeze, a vendor of used clothing, said “this is why we are baffled by the insistence of the group calling itself Council of Patriots that it must hold its street protest even though President Weah invited them for dialogue.”

Zeze, and a colleague vendor, Frank James, surmised that “the ultimate objective of the June 7 protest planners is is to create chaos and confusion, while sending a message to the international community and investors that Liberia is not safe.”

Several other persons interviewed by the Liberia News Agency cautioned the government to stand firm in making the decision on whether the street protest is to be or not to be, stressing that the aim of the Council of Patriots is as transparent as a crystal ball and should be stopped in its track.

Others want the government to probe the matter and bring the culprits to justice, adding there should be no untouchables in getting to the bottom of this matter.

“Just as the June 7 planners have right to demonstrate under the Constitution, we the non-participants have the right to go about our business and be protected by the same law,” said Ma Hawa Kiazolu.

She added: “Let these people come to the dialogue table and remove the fear and insecurity hanging around us. We have had enough trouble in this country. We don’t want another group of patriots,’

LINA PTK/PTK

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