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Let the law take its course in the Ganta Killings

Public Affairs Dept. Liberia Broadcasting System

On September 30, 2015, violence broke out in the commercial city of Ganta in Nimba County, following the discovery of the mortal remains of a man in the city.

According to reports, the man was allegedly murdered in the city by a group of angry mob, most of whom comprised young people.

Following the dead body’s discovery in Ganta, the group went on the rampage vandalizing and looting the Ganta police station and setting road blocks throughout the city, the report also said.

The incident then escalated to a level that the youths started burning important structures, including the towering Avino Hotel and other properties belonging to businessman Prince Howard, it further said.

The angry mob action was directed to Mr. Howard’s properties on allegation that he ordered the killing of the man for “ritualistic purpose.” 

The intensity of the violence led to the deployment of officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) elite Emergency Response Unit (ERU), backed by the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) in the Liberian rural metropolitan.

It spread throughout the city and, as a result, a man, accused of being one of the killers, was subsequently murdered by the angry mob.
Following the fatal incident, Nimba County authorities imposed a dust-to- dawn curfew for three days, beginning September 30.

Indeed,…it is now an open secret that people responsible for ensuring that law and order prevail throughout Liberia, headed by Justice Minister, Benedict Sannoh, recently went to the city in a bid to restore calm.

It is also reported that state security are in hot pursuit of all those responsible for the violence, especially for the gruesome killing of the unidentified man, while others were arrested and detained awaiting trial.

As we approach the 2016 timeline for the total withdrawal of UNMIL from Liberia, after fourteen years of civil war and after ten years of peace, such a development is very unhealthy for the country.

Such constant violent actions, starting from the violence at Arcelor Mittal in Nimba County, and at the Golden Veroleum Concession in Sinoe County, as well as the recent fatal incident in Ganta, should no longer be overlooked.   

It is about time that the Liberian Government takes the necessary actions to bring such uncivilized behavior under control.
Such ugly behavior should no longer be the usual pardoning of perpetrators.

While we do not condone the recent wave of unlawful killing of peaceful citizens for alleged ritualistic purposes, we, certainly, believe that perpetrating violence is not the answer to any problem. 

The Liberian Government, considering the wave of violence unfolding throughout the country, must now begin taking the necessary legal steps against people taking the law into their hands.

Taking the legal steps in such a matter will, indeed, ensure lasting peace and stability among the citizenry.
We, therefore, urge that all authorities concerned to let justice be done proactively in the two gruesome killing incidents in Ganta City to deter others…We fervently plead.


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