Those that witnessed the melee firsthand or via social media outlets continue to register their disappointment and disgust at how state securities flagrantly abused the public trust in their ability to protect lives and properties.
“The action of the EPS and the LNP made some of us to remember the civil war days, when combatants were roaming our streets - looting, killing and raping at will,” says Joshua Fatormah, a resident of Cow Field in Duport Road, Paynesville City.
For us at The Capitol Times, we strongly condemn the action wherein state security actors that are supposed to restore or maintain law and order would resort to Wild Wild West mentality: brandishing weapons and ramming one another’s vehicles just to show who wields more power – all in full glare of passers-by and mourners who had converged to pay last respect to a fallen compatriot, the late Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Rudolf P. VonBallmoos.
While it is reassuring to note that President Sirleaf has suspended the heads of both security details involved in the near gun battle that day, and called for independent investigation into the matter, the Liberian leader must go the extra mile in healing the bad sore that seems to be festering relationships between the Police and her protective service entourage.
One doesn’t have to be a soothsayer to predict how the undercurrents of acrimony between Madam Sirleaf’s two security trustees could one day erupt into total violence, taking into account last Friday’s incident and another which occurred at the Monrovia Central Prison sometime in 2013.
For us, the issue goes far beyond mere security assignments and postings. While it is true that the EPS of Liberia controls the President Sirleaf’s movements just as the Secret Service of the USA controls President Obama’s goings and comings, the role of the Police in crowd control and vehicular movement is as equally important in both worlds. But from the way things are turning out, it seems there is more to the bad blood than meets the ordinary eye.
Consequently, the President will do herself and the country justice by quickly treating this bad sore that threatens to disrupt the fragile peace process everyone has fought hard to build.
As the countdown to 2017 creeps on us, we pray that Liberians have the resolve to take destiny in their own hands, not through self-destructive means, but one that allows us all to savor the hard-won yields of peace in tranquillity.