Driving Ruthlessly, And Not With Utmost Care, Also Puts The President At Risk
THE RECENT CRASHING of the official vehicle of the Executive Mansion press corps in Gbarnga on Sunday February 10 has brought into sharper focus the driving methods on members of the presidential escort.
THIS TRAGIC incident led to the death of two persons and saw the severe injuring journalists traveling with the president and staffers of the Executive Mansion as well as former Justice Micah Wilkins Wright and the female hitching a ride aboard his vehicle.
VIP DRIVING HAS BEEN very reckless since the civil war; but some experts and military historians would most likely place it since the coup of April 12, 1980 which ended over a century of Americo-Liberian rule.
THE END OF that era saw the beginning of ruthless driving, an orgy of looting etc which, as it can be seen from the tragic incident over the weekend, has sadly not ended and has continued, even into 2019.
FRONTPAGEAFRICA can point to various instances to support its claim. During the administration of President Charles Taylor, the convoy of former Chief Justice Gloria Musu Scott knocked down the former notary public of Montserrado County, Mary Mamie Howe, on Capitol By-Pass that Sunday evening as she was attempting to the to the other side of the road.
IT CAN ALSO BE recalled that the convoy of former President Taylor had many run-ins with civilians, leaving casualties many times.
DURING THE EARLY days of the Sirleaf administration, former Chief Justice Johnnie N. Lewis incurred the wrath of angry civilians when he hit a pedestrian while on his way to the funeral of Justice J. Emmanuel Wureh. Thanks to UNMIL’s Nigerian contingent assigned to his convoy, he was hurriedly whisked to safety.
AROUND THE END of President Sirleaf’s administration, a member of her convoy, speeding faster than Formula One race car driver, Lewis Hamilton, killed instantly two kids whilst returning from dropping President Sirleaf at the airport.
THIS TRAGIC INCIDENT led to an outcry from the public which led to the dismissal of the driver from the Executive Protection Force.
IT IS NO SECRET that we live in perilous times and security around the president and other VIPs must always be on their Ps and Qs when it comes to protecting those whose care are entrusted unto them.
HOWEVER, security around the president must also take into consideration the watching eyes of the public around them because when people are peeved about a grisly scene unfolding in their presence, not even guns, bullets or bombs can deter them from “moving in.”
WE WILL NEVER understand the security moves of the the war years like zig-zagging of the EPS vehicle manning the Presidential car. However, we must caution that the manner which many security guarded convoys, presidential included, roam the roads is even much more dangerous to the VIPs they are whisking from one end of the country to the other.
THE INCIDENT on Sunday leaves several questions on the minds of many? How did the vehicle of Justice Wright intrude the presidential convoy – was it from the front or the back? IF AT THE front, what role did the escort car play in making sure all cars were off the road. Considering that the stretch of the highway is narrow, did they ask vehicles on the opposite lane to slow down or stop instead of parking off the road when there are no shoulders? If from the back, where was the presence of the last vehicle which happens to be a police vehicle to close the convoy?UNTIL THESE questions are asked, at what price and at whose expense are these deaths going to come? Executive Horn?