National Traditional Council Of Liberia Pleads With Zoes Of Lofa County To Abort Protest, Bridge Blockade Over Delay To Certificate Their Senator-elect

MONROVIA – Chief Zanzan Karwor, head of the National Traditional Council of Liberia, has launched an appeal to traditional leaders of Lofa County to calm their protest action against the Supreme Court of Liberia in the wake of the delay in certificating Senator-elect Brownie Samukai.

It can be recalled that a protest against the Supreme Court of Liberia by traditional leaders resulted in the shut-down of the border crossing point between Bong and Lofa Counties – leaving several travelers, including the Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Liberia stranded along the way.

The traditional leaders halted the movement of people and goods between the two counties, while those who are not members of the Poro society remained indoors during the morning hours of Thursday, November 25.

Chief Karwor described the action of the traditional leaders as grave and highlighted the need to organize a meeting with them in Bong County quickly.

Chief Karwor predicts that there would be serious trouble if funding is not available to organize a meeting with the aggrieved traditionally leaders of the county.

Chief Karwor’s statement comes a week after traditional leaders under the directive of the Grandmaster of Lofa County placed a blockade at the bridge bordering Bong and Lofa Counties, demanding the certification of Mr. Samukai.

The traditional leaders also gave the government up to the end of 2021 as the deadline for Samukai to be certificated or the seat be filled with another election process.

The chiefs and zoes said they are perturbed by the prolonged vacancy in Lofa when other counties are ably represented. According to them, failure to do that will lead to unspecified actions.

Their actions and demands were later condemned by Minister of States for Presidential Affairs, Nathaniel McGill at a Ministry of Information Culture Affairs and Tourism press briefing. 

But Chief Karwor said McGill’s statement was not right at a time traditional leaders of the county were annoyed over ‘legitimate issues.

According to him, he has met with the aggrieved traditional leaders on the matter and appealed to them to disembark their action, until a proper intervention is made.

“The last time, I heard on the radio that our traditional thing block the bridge between Bong and Lofa, so we move there effectively immediately,” Chief Karwor said

“The bridge was controlled by the Grand Master, so I had to give a token to speak with them.”

He said the situation should not be taken for a joke, because it borders on the disenchantment of traditional leaders from that part of Liberia.

As a result, he believes addressing said matter must not be done harshly, as was the case of Minister McGill.

“You cannot cut off the fire with fire, you have to use water to cutoff fire,” Chief Karwor noted.

He assured the traditional zoes of Lofa that he and all Paramount Chiefs will meet and find a way to get to President Weah to intervene in the matter before the Christmas festival.

However, Chief Karwor said it was important to meet the traditional council on some election issues in highly traditional counties, which cannot be done.

Going forward, he said, the inquiry of the traditional leaders is a national elections matter and does not fall under his authority as a traditional chief.

At the same time, Chief Karwor wants those who will be contesting for the seats of Representatives and Senate to obtain Police Clarence before being qualified for the process.

Meanwhile, Karwor said Samukai was qualified to contest by the National Election Commission and that there is a need that an intervention to be made in his case.

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