Liberia: Hooligans Must Be Dealt with As Hooligans, Not ‘Disadvantaged Youth’


IT IS ABOUT time we cease finding justification for the able-bodied young men and young women who, for whatsoever reason, have chosen not to make themselves useful to society, rather a menace. We have often called them “disadvantaged youth”. The question is, are they really disadvantaged?

MOST OF THESE youngsters who have turned to addicts, pickpockets, armed robbers, etc. are from well-off families, families that are willing to help and see them through in life, but they have rather chosen the streets instead a proper home upbringing and now, they have become embarrassments to their families.

WE CANNOT continue to blame their presence on the streets as a result of the war. No. While we cannot deny the existence of the remnants of the war, we, as a nation, have moved away, positively, from many of those remnants.  

MANY CITIZENS, community members and pedestrians have fallen prey to these hoodlums, who sometimes, not only take away valuables, but also leave a lasting scar on their victims. They have made our streets and communities insecure, causing community members to live in fear, afraid to move about at night.

THIS IS NOT ideal for us as a country. This is not good for our national security. This is why we believe that the New Kru Town incident that led to the death of 29 people, including innocent children should serve as a wakeup call to deal with this situation.

OUR NATIONAL security would continue to be at stake as long as these hooligans continue to roam our streets and communities unchecked.

THE LIBERIA National Police and the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency have to work their fingers to the bone to curtail this menace. The presence of these security apparatus must be felt in our communities.   

WHAT’S EVEN more troubling for most community members is that even when these hoodlums are arrested for crimes committed, tried and sentenced, in no time, they’re seen back in the communities and their complainants become targets.

THIS IS WHY our justice system needs to beef up its game and ensure that inmates don’t leave their facilities more hardened than before, rather refined and ready to fit into society.

THIS IS WHY the government, as part of its youth program, invest into rehabilitation centers so that when these young folks are taken off the streets, they can go through a period of rehabilitation to enable them to adequately fit into society.