MONROVIA – Hundreds of aggrieved Liberians have petitioned the Government of the United States, through its embassy accredited near Monrovia, to intervene into the decision taken by the Government of Liberia (GOL), to prevent the landing of a private helicopter owned by the Political Leader of the People’s Liberation Party (PLP), Dr. Daniel E. Cassell, into the country.
The aggrieved petitioners under the banner: Liberians In Solidarity With Dr. Cassell (LSDC), gathered before the US Embassy on Benson Street in Monrovia on Monday, November 1.
They held placards with inscriptions: “We need justice in Liberia, The right to own properties in Liberia must be respected, Stop being hateful, The helicopter must land, Mr. LCAA, you are a failure to this nation, let the aircraft land, Stop witch hunting opposition politicians,” among others.
In the petition, the group claimed that the Kwenyan and Associates Group of Companies owned and operated by Dr. Cassell, a Liberian philanthropist purchased a Bell 430 helicopter with serial numbers 49075 from South Africa.
The statement pointed out that the helicopter was purchased by Dr. Cassell to primarily transport medical supplies and quickly respond to emergency issues confronting Liberians in areas with bad road conditions.
It added that Dr. Cassell’s company, through the International Flight Clearances TTY (LTD) applied to the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority and received the landing clearance number marked ELCCA/9B74C8A5/10/08/21/042/1/12192/ZTRJA.
The statement pointed out that the helicopter was about to depart Ivory Coast for Liberia, but the government, through President George Manneh Weah, allegedly instructed the LCAA to deny the aircraft entry after he (Weah) was informed that the aircraft was owned by Dr. Cassell, a Liberian philanthropist and politician.
The petitioners claimed that the alleged actions of the government to prevent the helicopter of Dr. Cassell, who is making impactful interventions in the lives of less fortunate and underprivileged Liberian citizens, is in clear violations of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights signed by stakeholders on December 10, 1948 and the 1986 Liberian constitution.
Article two of the declaration states that: “Everyone is entitled to all rights and freedoms set forth in this declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it is independent, trust and non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty”.
Article 17 of the declaration notes that: “Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others and no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property”.
The statement maintained that the constitutional rights of Dr. Cassell continue to be violated by the clueless Weah led-administration.
“The continuous action by this government to intimidate political opponents is undermining peace and democracy that America as a country has invested so much in bringing, nurturing, maintaining and supporting. The Liberians In Solidarity With Dr. Cassell kindly seek the intervention of the United States government in this matter as she has always done in issues even bigger that the current aircraft issue”.
The petition was received by an official of the Embassy who promised to have it turn over to the United States Ambassador accredited to Liberia for onward presentation to the US government.
For sometimes now, the PLP and the government, through the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority (LCAA) have been in rigmarole, making claims and counter claims over a Bell 430 helicopter beeloing to Dr. Cassell.