MONROVIA – Bloody campaign violence erupted between partisans of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and the former ruling Unity Party (UP), Thursday, August 10, leaving four persons severely wounded.
The clashes began as opposition leader Amb. Joseph Nyumah Boakai was en route to his campaign headquarters on the Airfield in Sinkor, to name a new batch of members to his 2023 campaign team.
As a result of the clashes, the former vice president had to cancel his activities as planned at his party’s campaign headquarters.
Some local online media platforms reported the incident live when CDC supporters allegedly obstructed the former vice president’s escort.
The CDC supporters allegedly attacked several UP supporters who were heading to their ‘Rescue Mission” campaign headquarters in the Old Immigration building in Montserrado County Electoral District #9.
The CDC supporters who staged the attack were said to have gathered at the Varmoma House on the main Tubman Boulevard to welcome President George Manneh Weah and his entourage in Montserrado Electoral District #9.
The bloody campaign violence comes less than a week after partisans of the ruling CDC paraded the principal streets of Monrovia with a casket decorated with photos of Amb. Boakai and marched to CDC headquarters.
There was a stone battle at the UP ‘Rescue Mission’ campaign office. Police fired tear gas canisters during the incident at the UP campaign office.
The UP supporters were allegedly entrapped by CDC supporters who had reportedly prevented Amb. Boakai from reaching the party’s campaign headquarters.
Amb. Boakai was held in huge traffic at the Ministerial Complex terrain, where the CDC had gathered with its campaign activities.
Boakai was compelled to use the long route from Congo Town through the Japan Freeway before returning to central Monrovia to make his way to his campaign office in Sinkor.
The four wounded individuals were later rushed to a nearby medical center by some supporters of the UP who had gathered at the campaign headquarters.
Angered by the events, UP partisans also blocked the entrance to their party headquarters in the Airfield community and allegedly attacked CDCians and state officers who had gone there to calm down the situation.
People wearing CDC shirts and other party materials were attacked in an intensive stone battle.
Speaking with journalists at the scene, Mr. Rufus Paul, UP Assistant Secretary for Press and Public Affairs, blamed the CDC for the situation. According to him, the CDC prevented the UP-standard bearer’s escort along with other partisans from going to their program and brutalized them.
He said: ”Our standard bearer was prevented from coming at the program by the CDC supporters at Varmoma. They brutalized and wounded our partisans”
Mr. Paul however called on the international community and the National Elections Commission (NEC) to take action and call the CDC to book. He said the CDC wants a conflict.
Sandoe said the CDC action was a contravention of the Farmington River Declaration signed by Presidential Candidates.
The officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) fired tear gas canisters…
Weah-Taylor campaign team dismisses UP claims
The Weah-Taylor 2023 National Campaign Committee has dismissed claims by the Unity Party (UP) that partisans of the CDC disrupted its (UP) activities in Sinkor on Thursday, August 10.
In a statement issued late Thursday the Weah-Taylor 2023 Campaign Committee clarified that the CDC’s ongoing district engagements of its standard bearer and Vice standard bearer, which were continuing on Thursday in Districts 9 and 10 of Montserrado County had been pre-announced a week before on various national media platforms. It said the CDC also communicated its key campaign dates to the National Elections Commission.
The Weah-Taylor 2023 Campaign Team in its statement signed Cllr. Kanio Bai Gbala, National Campaign Spokesman explained that despite these prior announcements, and recognizing that the Unity Party was seeking to provoke violence by deliberately ignoring the CDC’s prevailing Campaign Schedule and going ahead to plan their own event on the same day, decided to postpone the prescheduled start of activities in District 9 for more than four hours to avoid any conflicts with UP Partisans who had announced a Press Conference for 10Am on Thursday.
The CDC noted that as a result of the actions of the Unity Party, partisans of the Coalition for Democratic Change were brutalized by Unity Partisans during the activities today.
The Weah-Taylor 2023 Campaign Committee stated that it has called the attention of the National Elections Commission, the United Nations Resident Coordinator, the office of the ECOWAS representative and other well-meaning international partners to Thursday’s violence which it say was allegedly triggered by UP in flagrant provocation and urged their timely intervention to avert future recurrence.
“The Weah-Taylor 2023 Campaign Committee reassures its many partisans, well-wishers and ordinary Liberians that it will always remain peaceful and that it is committed to upholding the law and the tenets of the Farmington Declaration,” the party campaign team added.