Liberia: “I was like a lone fish in a sea of sharks” – Paynesville City Mayor Explains Alleged Attack on Her by National Fire Service Agents
PAYNESVILLE – Violence erupted between personnel of the National Fire Service and those of the Paynesville City Corporation (PCC) when the mayor of the City of Paynesville attempted to effect a stop order to prevent the Fire Service from going ahead with the construction of a building in the premises of the PCC.
In an interview with journalists, Mayor E. Pam Belcher-Taylor explained her ordeal about how she was attacked and injured by personnel of the Fire Service who resisted her stay order in disrespect to city ordinance.
“There was a Fire Service officer who was in uniform and giving a mandate to his officers to disrespect me, disrespect my womanhood and disrespect everything about me. One of the men dressed in the riot gear, comes over to me and pushes me with the shield. He even pushed me to the ground and injured my shoulder.
“As the city security tried to get me out of the situation, they kept coming to us with sticks that had nails on it. I had cement all over me. I was like a lone fish in a sea of sharks. I saw people in riot gear labelled police I didn’t know whether they were joint security or police,” she explained.
In her further explanation, she told journalists that she had earlier written a stop order to the Fire Service, warning them against constructing a clinic in a place they were given as squatters by her predecessor through a verbal arrangement.
She explained how her predecessor gave the premises constructed by UNMIL for the Paynesville City Corporation to the Fire Service to be used as a temporary hub since, in fact, they had no office in Paynesville.
“The officers of the National Fire Service attacked the Mayor of the City of Paynesville. I was personally and physically attacked as the governor of the city of Paynesville. I was attacked and disrespected by personnel of the Fire Service,” she emphasized.
According to her, upon her appointment she was informed that he predecessor, Mayor Cyvet Gibson went into a verbal MOU with the Fire Service to use a building the compound for a sub office for the Fire Service in Paynesville.
“We have had a cordial relationship since I became mayor. Even if you wanted to do something, come back to inform me; we did a written stop order, if Director Dickson had a problem he should have come to me. Despite our stop order they ignored and decided to go ahead with the construction so I decided to go to see the site,” she explained.