House Speaker Chambers is regarded as the highest ranking official of government from the county. Accordingly, the protesters also set ablaze the central prison compound in Harper City as well as other public and private facilities in the county. The violent protest was triggered by the death of a motorcyclist in the county as a group of motorcyclists and women are demanding speedy justice in the gruesome murder of motorcyclist, Modecial Nyema, by a man identified as Moses Mlabah.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with this paper on Wednesday, March 31, 2021, the Spokesman of the Liberia National Police (LNP), Mr. H. Moses Carter, confirmed the incident on the home of the speaker, the prison compound and other places. But Carter was quick to point out that the police could not get a clearer understanding relative to the action up to press time. He disclosed that the protesters have since gone on the rampage damaging homes and properties with the home of the speaker being the latest casualty. “These people are just going around burning houses. The house of the speaker was put on fire. There must be a reason, but we don’t know. I will find out and perhaps inform you better in subsequent time,” he stated.
Carter mentioned that the LNP has deployed a back-up force in Maryland County to stabilize the situation. He assured residents of the county that justice will be served, but called on them to remain calm as the Government of Liberia (GoL) via the Justice Ministry probes the matter and bring the perpetrator(s) to justice so as to deter such wicked, barbaric and heartless act. Meanwhile, in order to keep the peace, and to ensure that law and order prevails, President Dr. George Manneh Weah has imposed a curfew throughout Maryland County from today, Thursday, April 1, 2021, from 6:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. until otherwise ordered.
According to President Weah, this curfew will be strictly enforced by the police, who will be supported by the Joint Security Forces. He advised all residents of Maryland County to take heed and govern themselves accordingly. His comments were contained in a statement issued in Monrovia on Wednesday, March 31, 2021 regarding the civil commotion and violence in Maryland County. “I am concerned about the recent developments in Maryland County. I have been informed of the gruesome killing of a young man in Harper City, Maryland County recently.
Although a suspect was apprehended by the police and incarcerated pending subsequent investigation in accordance with due process of law, we have seen residents of Harper City, as well as Pleebo City, take to the streets to protest the killing. Some of them have engaged in wanton acts of destruction against private property and public facilities, including the burning down of police stations and other Government buildings,” the Liberian Chief Executive said in the statement. “I would like to assure the people of Maryland County that this killing has claimed the urgent attention of the Government, and will be thoroughly, promptly and fully investigated. The perpetrators will face the full weight of the law. Meanwhile, I admonish the residents of Maryland County not to take the law into their own hands, but to remain calm, peaceful, and law-abiding, so that the criminal justice system can take its course. Any grievances should and must be channeled through the legal process, as Government will not condone lawlessness and violence at any time and from anyone,” the Liberian Chief Executive added.