-Over Internet Shut Down On June 7, 2019
Grand Bassa County electoral district five Representative Thomas Goshua has written the plenary of the House of Representative seeking clarification from the Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA) over the shutting down of internet and social media sites on June 7, 2019, the day of the much-publicized protest by some aggrieved Liberians.
In his communication to the plenary of the House of Representatives Tuesday June 11, 2019, Representative Goshua said his attention is drawn to what he calls ‘unexplained’ shut down of internet and all social media networks within the country during the most heralded June 7, 2019 protest held under the banner of the Council of Patriots (CoP).
According to Representative Goshua, considering the perceived possibility of a violent outburst that characterized the protest, Liberians at home and abroad were concerned about what would have happened during the course of said protest.
He lamented that WhatsApp, facebook, Instagram, messenger among others through which Liberians could easily connect families and friends to gather information were all down on June 7, 2019.
“Unfortunately, without prior notice to the citizenry, the government through the Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA) took a deliberate decision to shut down the internet thus providing inconvenience for the people and keeping family and friends at a serious disconnect,” Representative Goshua said.
He added “the use of internet is one of the major revenues generating sources upon which the government relies to support the social programs to meet the needs of the people.”
The Grand Bassa County lawmaker said if the internet is shut down for a whole day, it has a rippling economic effect on the economy with an already low growth rate of 0.4%, a condition he said is appalling.
Meanwhile, following the reading of Representative Goshua’s communication, Representative Jimmy Smith of Montserrado County filed a motion that the communication be forwarded to the committee on Post and Telecommunications for deliberations and advise plenary.
Earlier, Information Minister, Lenn Eugene Nagbe justifies reason for ‘internet shutdown’
Minister Nagbe speaking to reporters recently said the reason of shutting down all internet services in Liberia was due to what he called ‘Security reason’, and did not go further, as hundreds of internet users who expected to utilize this technology to inform the world about happenings in Liberia, and also talk to their friends and relatives aboard were left in isolation.
On this day, local correspondents for international news outlets were also hit hard by being disconnected with their agencies making them to lose their automatic financial income through their reportage on that day.