Liberia Council of Churches Says Pres. Weah Call for Citizens to Acquire CCTV Cameras for Protection is A “Statement Of Frustration”
MONROVIA – The Liberia Council of Churches (LCC), through its President, Bishop Kortu K. Brown, has termed as a high level of “frustration” recent comments made by President George Manneh Weah, calling on citizens to provide security for themselves by purchasing and installing Closed Circuit Televisions (CCTVs) in their respective homes.
Founded in 1982, the Liberian Council of Churches is the umbrella organization for churches, faith-based and religious institutions operating in Liberia.
President Weah was quoted by the local media as calling on government officials and ordinary citizens to buy their CCTV camera for security protection in the wake of the growing wave of insecurity in the Liberian society.
President Weah stated that though government will do all it can to provide security at the borders to avert external threats, each and every Liberian should be their brother’s keeper.
He made the call shortly after he signed the book of condolence of the fallen Director of the Internal Audit Agency (IAA), Mr. Emmanuel Barten Nyeswa in Monrovia.
But speaking in an exclusive interview with Frontpage Africa at his offices in Brewerville, outside Monrovia on Tuesday, November 17, Bishop Brown pointed out that the Liberian leader’s comments signifies that the current growing wave of mysterious deaths and his government’s efforts to unearth the facts continue to get more “confusing”.
It can be recalled that on Thursday, October 2, 2020, the lifeless bodies of the Assistant Commissioner for Internal Audit and acting Manager for Tax Payers of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) were found in a vehicle on Broad Street in Monrovia during the early morning hours.
Two days later, another auditor from the LRA, Mr. George Fahnboto, reportedly died in a vehicle accident around 72nd Paynesville, outside Monrovia.
On Saturday, October 10, the Director of the Internal Audit Agency (IAA), Emmanuel Barten Nyeswa was also found dead in his compound along the 72nd Boulevard, outside Monrovia at 2AM.
Bishop Brown claimed that President Weah spoke out of frustration over the situation that has engulfed the nation, as well as the slow pace of investigation into the mysterious deaths of the four Liberian auditors working in his government.
“I think what President Weah could have meant is that, the whole crisis is getting more and more confusing; more difficult to solve, and that he’s probably getting or expressing his level of frustration with the process, the police investigation and just everything because, you don’t know who is killing who and how people are dying at the time when people are even struggling to find food to eat everyday”.
Bishop Brown , however, called on President Weah to go beyond just expressing frustration over the situation and take concrete actions.
“It speaks to the frustration of the President himself which is good, but the President should not be there just expressing his level of frustration; he should take actions to ensure that the wave of mysterious deaths within our society are addressed”.
Release autopsy reports
On Wednesday, November 11, the Government of Liberia, through the Ministry of Justice received separate autopsy reports from Dr. Benedict B. Kolee and Dr. Zoebon B. Kpadeh on the remains of four Liberian auditors who died under mysterious circumstances one after the other in the country.
The two pathologists, who are employees of the Ministry of Health and the John F. Kennedy Medical Hospital respectively, were hired by government to conduct the autopsies on the remains of the victims.
Bishop Brown disclosed that the LCC remains concerned over the delay by the Liberian government to release the reports to the families of the victims, and the public in general.
He noted that the release of the reports will help put to rest some of the speculations or suspicions surrounding the mysterious deaths of the Liberian professionals.
“We are concerned about the release of the reports. We understand that it supposed to be released on Monday and it has not been released. All we can ask for is for the report to be released. I think first and foremost they supposed to release the reports to the families. But if we think by releasing the reports to the public is the right thing to do, than we should go ahead and do it; if it will help slow down some of the anxiety or suspicions”.
He noted that it is now time that Liberia confronts the high rate of mysterious deaths within the society.
“It does not augur well for our country-for people to continue to die and we can’t find the answers. The autopsy report does not tell you who went to kill someone, but it suggests to you what could have killed the person”.
“We need to unravel the mysteries to the mysterious killings within our society and whatever we can do, we should do it. We should not wait until it worsens, before we rise up. People are missing their loved ones-you know what grief and sorrow it brings to them. You know what it means in the morning to wake up and hear that your husband or wife is dead, or your son is gone”.
He added that there is no justification for the delay of the release of the autopsy reports by government to the public, since in fact; all of the processes have been concluded.
Bishop Brown attributed the growing wave of mysterious killings in the country to the failure of the Liberian government to be proactive and vigilant in investigating and releasing investigative reports to the public in a timely manner.
He claimed that the “inconclusiveness” of some of these investigations launched by government into mysterious happenings in Liberia is also another factor responsible for the secret killings of citizens.
“You don’t know what’s happening and who’s doing what. Why every day we have conspiracy theories? We can solve some of that by ensuring that we are vigorous of those investigations; and the facts are made public. If people died natural deaths, they died natural deaths and the investigation should establish that also. That’s why sometimes people call for independent investigations into these kinds of unfortunate incidents.
“The Ministry of Justice needs to do whatever it can; the Liberia National Police should remain focused on its job-get investigations done and get information to the public. Let people have confidence in the process and in the future of the country”.
Growing wave of fear
He alarmed that the current situation has negatively contributed to the growing wave of fear Liberians and other foreign nationals residing in the country are experiencing.
“Right now there is fear all over. People fear so much and they advised their loved ones that ‘you should not stay out late’”
Bishop Brown further underscored the need for government to be more progressive towards addressing the current level of fear in the country.
He noted that government should take actions that would serve as a guarantee for citizens’ security during these times in the history of the nation.
“It is on the government now to be progressive as aggressive to ensure that people can have confidence that the government is on their side when it comes to their personal security; and the country can be assured that our security is guaranteed”.
He indicated that it will require “ingenuity and expertise” for government to establish the actual facts surrounding mysterious deaths in the Liberian society.
“Government has to continue to encourage the public that these mysteries are resolvable or can be broken through; security is guaranteed and you can go to sleep and fear anything because the government has your back”.
There has been mixed reactions on the social media since the call was made by President Weah, with a huge number of citizens making mockery of the Liberia leader’s assertions.
“Is there a CCTV that runs on battery? Cus my LEC is not reliable,” Austin Togbah Doe stated.
Senator Abraham Darius Dillon: “Maybe if we installed CCTV cameras in public offices, stealing and other forms of corruption would stop or be drastically minimized. Then we can install them in homes as well!”
“From his most recent statement on CCTV, I think President George Weah is the main ‘enemy of the state,’” T. Melvin Cephas
Ali Bongo Trawalay: “The pro poor human CCTV camera is on the way to Liberia . How long from now to 2023 to vote you out George Weah and your CCTV camera to follow Trump”.