By Mark Mengonfia
It all started well on January 6, 2020, when several aggrieved protestors from the Council of patriots(COP) assembled on the grounds of the Capital building to express their petition to the Liberian government. But later in the day, the peaceful protest turn different when they decided to turn the executive grounds into a ‘public kitchen.
In the early morning of the day, Protesters dancing and singing anti government slogansgathered in Monrovia with their long awaited protest for President George Weah to respond and take the right actions to address what they call bad economic in Liberia.
Early Monday morning, the COP and its supporters gathered in between the Executive mansion and the Liberian legislature singing anti government slogans.
They carried placards with inscriptions such as “George Weah needs to lead or leave,” bring back our money,” George Weah, remove your wife from our national budget among others.
Several hundreds of aggrieved protestors said they wanted to express their disgust over the running of the country by the president , George M. Weah.
But contrary to the expectation of the protestors, the Liberian National Police provided protection to them all through the day. At some point, the police and some protestors exchanged jokes and water on the grounds of the capital building.
“The relationship between the police and the us is calm. We are joking here and there is no problem. But it is like cat and mouse friendship. At least they are doing well by not attacking us,” Cynthia Davies said.
Another protestor, Isaac T. Kollie said, “we feel happy with the level of support and cooperation that the LNP is giving to us here today. We hope this will continue. But you can not praise them as they can change anytime when they get order.”
Some of the protestors said, they were not happy of things in the country.
“The massage here is that we are not happy with the way things are being run in the country and we want change” Costal said as he was body guarded by his supporters.
He said “We want the President to take specific actions to address specific issues that are forming the basis of our protest.”
According to him, the International community is supporting their action for the matter of fact that they are peaceful and not breaking any laws of the land.
This, some protestors praised the government’s tolerance in dealing with situation in the early hours of the day.
Members of the COP gathered in their numbers under the security guidance of the Liberia National Police who were there to ensure that the protest goes well.
Members of the LNP dressed in their protest outfits placed checkpoints and detours at major points to ensure that ordinary Liberians who were not protesting and those protesting get easy access to the road without obstruction.
As Costa said that Finance Minister Samuel Tweah should be replaced, some protestors at different location debunked the demand saying, “what do you expect for the Finance Minister to do? Should he perform miracle or what? Even if it had been any opposition party, they would have gone through the same problems.
“What needs to be done is to be patient to see things going ono well in the future. If you remove this president today, whom do you expect to be there? Is it Costa, or those jokers? Trust me, that problems will not end. It will last long because of self ego,” Saah Siafia said.
The protesters who walked from one point to the other were somewhat peaceful until they stared to erect cook pot on the main road of the executive mansion, the official seat of the president.
Also speaking during the start of the COP protest was a 84 year old lady who went with two kids.
In an interview, old lady Genevieve Badio “the only reason I am here is for George Weah to come and address us”.
“I brought these children today again for them to know what protest is. If he tells us that there is no money, let him tell us for us to put 20LD each together for him to run.”
The Congo People were here and we said that we want run our own affairs and now he is making us shame
As for her, she wants the president address the issue of the education, health and as well address want she calls corruption at the ministry of Commence.
Before press time, members of the COP brought food, pot, and other cooking utensils to spend the night.
But the level of earlier support given by the police made them to win the administration of the protestors.
It all turned sour when the protestors decided to cook and buy place put their mattresses on the grounds to sleep.
Seeing the level of danger on this, the police decided move in with water to disperse the crowd.
Earlier in the day, the minister of Information, Lenn Eugene Nagbe dined government granting the protestors permit to demonstrate. There were fears that the protest would end up in violent.
As of press time, there was no report of injuries or death. TNR