In Monrovia, Stores Close As Police Officers Parade Streets
Monrovia – Officers of the Liberia National Police are in ready mode on a day, members of the Patriotic Entrepreneurs ordered its members and local businesses to close to the public in a planned protest aimed at drawing attention to the challenges facing the business community in the country.
Report by Bettie K. Johnson Mbayo, [email protected]
At the busy Waterside, one of the largest commercial areas in Monrovia, many of its stores were seen closed as day broke Monday.
Monday’s action follows a similar play in February when the group implemented a three- day protest during which all shops and market centers were closed.
The group presented their concerns to members of the Legislature and petitioned them for redress.
On the eve of Monday’s action, the government slammed PATEL charging that the planned action and the preparation is in conflict with the laws of Liberia and strongly warned that the group immediately desist.
The GOL in a press release issued by the Ministry of Information Culture and Tourism issued on Saturday, said its attention was drawn to “individuals representing the PATEL group who have engaged in the act of intimidating and threatening owners of businesses across Monrovia as a means of coercing them to join a reportedly planned demonstration and strike by PATEL”.
The MICAT statement says the government will not countenance any illegal act by individuals or groups including PATEL that portends to breach the peace and disrupt normal activities while stagnating the economy.
“While the government recognizes the democratic rights of individuals and groups to express grievances over issues of disagreement, it advises that such expressions or demonstrations must be done within the parameters of the law,” the release noted.
Our reporter who visited Rally Town, Vai Town and Camp Johnson road areas Monday morning noticed that storeowners were seeing roving around the respective businesses but their stores were still closed.
Many markets in Liberia open between the hours of 8-9 Am, but it was a different scene this morning.
At market places there are officers seeing with either guns or rattan and police vehicles are plying the streets with loud sirens.