-Reps. Kogar, Dopoh Used Buutuo To Enter Liberia From Ghana Instead of RIA, Go Into Self Isolation, Citizens Raised Eyebrows
Liberians are beginning to raise concern whether their Representatives are lawmakers or ‘lawbreakers’ as they allegedly ignored measures put in by the Liberian Government through the Ministry of Health in the midst of the Coronavirus in the country.
The Ministry of Health has since put in measures prior to the confirmation of the virus in the country that anybody arriving in the country from outside be quarantined with approval from the ministry before going into the communities.
Such measures were reportedly ignored by the suspended Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Nathaniel Blama when he arrived from the Switzerland and confirmed as the first Liberian with the Coronavirus.
Since then, two other Liberians have joined him making the confirmed case of the virus in the country to be three.
Liberians have since being following the measures by reporting violators of the health protocols and reporting violators.
Recently six Liberian lawmakers travelled to Ghana, one of the West African countries that has reported 19 cases of the Coronavirus in the region to represent the Liberian Government.
They include Representatives Edwin Melvin Snowe, Acarous Moses Gray, Clarence Massaquoi, Rustolyn Suacoco Dennis, Francis Dopoh, Munah Pelham-Youngblood and Samuel Kogar respectively according to Representative Francis Saidy Dopoh.
After the completion of their duty in that west African nation, they reportedly returned separately on different flights in the country, but reportedly went into self isolation instead of reporting themselves to the Ministry of Health and possible quarantined.
Representatives Samuel Kogar and Francis Saidy Dopoh used Ghana to Ivory Coast and entered Liberia through the Buutuo border in Nimba Electoral District five currently represented by Representative Samuel Kogar.
Their entry in the country through that border point reportedly brought commotion as citizens in that part of the country have serious problem with their entry without the approval of Health authorities in the country.
But when contacted via mobile phone, Representative Samuel Kogar denied the issue of commotion and said it is the statutory District Superintendent in the area who have had long standing issue with him and wanted to blow their entry out negatively.
According to him, upon their arrival at the Liberia side of the border, health authorities were not present and as such; they waited and called in Bahn for health officers to go at the border and check them.
The Nimba County lawmaker said after checking them, he and his colleague moved into self isolation for fourteen days and asked everyone to stay away from them as part of the health protocols.
“It’s the Statutory District Superintendent talking his thing because he has problem with me. I quarantined myself for 14 days and asked my people to stay away from me. I am in Buutuo currently. Our entry is not illegal. There was no commotion,” Rep. Kogar said.
For his part, Representative Francis Dopoh said he has the right to use legal borders of Liberia as citizen and they went through the health and immigration processes at the border.
According to Representative Dopoh, they used the border point because their flight from Ghana to Liberia (Africa World Airlines) had technical problem after 45minutes.
He said they stayed in a best hotel in Ghana and followed all measures put in my the Ghanaian Government and decided to go by road due to limited flight at the time by using a private vehicle to Ivory Coast and another private vehicle to the border with Liberia.
“When we got in Nimba, we went to Kogar’s office and there was no commotion. If we think we should be isolated, we can do so. I spoke with the Minister of Health,” Rep. Dopoh spoke to this paper via mobile phone.
In his official Facebook post, Representative Dopoh said “Racing against the Ghana borders closure pronouncement, I boarded Africa World on March 22nd
from Accra, but due to technical reason the flight was grounded after about 30minutes in the sky. I later boarded a chartered Toyota Prado, along with Hon. Kogar to Liberia through Cote D’voire, since our both districts border that Country. We were scrupulously given access through those borders and landed through the Bin-huye Buutuo corridor on March 24th at 9am. Hon. Kogar chose to stay in his district to respond to the necessary health protocols, while I chose to come to Monrovia to do same.”
“I am in touch with the House Committee chair on Health who also put me in connection with the Health authority. I am well, and very well. I was never tested anywhere for COVID-19, and I am observing the health protocols. I was never in Burkina Faso, never attended any wedding or public gathering in Ghana or Cote D’voire. If the Health authority decides to conduct a test on me, I will be more than glad to do so. Should they want to assume the cost of myself isolation, I will be glad also,” he said. The River Gee lawmaker further said “God forgive these proponents of false messages, for they are wedded in ignorance, greed, and sycophancy.”
Liberians On Radio Station:
Following the report from Okay FM’s Nimba County Correspondent, callers on the Okay Morning Rush expressed serious disappointment in their lawmakers.
According to them, lawmakers who should be enforcing the measures put in by the government are breaking the law by not going through the process.
The government of Liberia has warned officials of government and ordinary Liberians against violating the health protocols put in place as part of the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.
Alphonso has been in the profession for over twenty years. He has worked for many international media outlets including: West Africa Magazine, Africa Week Magazine, African Observer and did occasional reporting for CNN, BBC World Service, Sunday Times, NPR, Radio Deutchewells, Radio Netherlands. He is the current correspondent for Reuters. Mr. Toweh holds first MA with honors in International Relations and a candidate for second master in International Peace studies and Conflict Resolution.