Monrovia – Henry Costa’s Roots FM 102.7 is off the air again, dealing a major blow to the highly-rated early morning talk show. The station’s office was burglarized for the second time in days, this time, attackers took away the transmitters along with other equipment.
Mr. Fidel Saydee, Mr. Costa’s sidekick broke the news on the station’s Facebook Page Monday.
“Sad Times: They finally succeeded in bursting the gate open and walking away with our transmitters (500 and 1000 watts respectively). Why all these attacks on Roots FM?”
Student political activist Martin Kollie has described the incident as an attack on THE MEDIA. Why is this happening. I thought free speech and press freedom are fundamental rights. Liberians will have to rise up to this NIGHTMARE. Roots FM is being heavily attacked for the second time in less than a month. The CDC-led government is overly intolerant and anti-democratic. The democratic gains of Liberia are fast eroding or reversing. We will have to stand up to this newborn dictator through mass civil action. We STAND with Henry P. Costa, Fidel Saydee, and Roots FM family. SAD Liberia under this new ruling clique of kleptocrats.”
This is the second time in many days that the station has fallen prey to an attack.
On Thursday January 31st, unknown armed men stormed the station and cut transmitter cables.
Mr. Costa told FrontPageAfrica that technicians usually visited the facility from to time to time to carry out maintenance work on the transmitter. “They opened the gate and let them in; they came in and immediately pulled out their guns – the three of them, they pulled out their guns on the two watchmen who were unarmed and they began asking them ‘Where is Costa’s broadcast equipment?’.
The vocal Costa has been a thorn in the side of the George Weah-led government with his uncompromising stance on corruption and revelation of damaging documents on a number of shady contracts. Most recently, the talk show host published and discussed leaked Articles of Incorporation showing that the government had given the ground handling operations of the new terminal at the Roberts International Airport to Jordanians and granted Bulgarians contract for the port of Buchanan. Jordanians is a regarded as one of the global havens for terrorists.
Mr. Kla Williams, of the opposition Liberty Party said the attack on the station is deeply disturbing.
“This is the second time in less than a week that the station has reportedly come under attack by unknown persons. What is even more noteworthy and sad but not surprising is the fact that the Slipway Police Depot and all-night Checkpoint, and the Central Bank where there’s a heavy deployment well-armed ERU Troops are just a stone throw from the station. “
Added Williams: “The pictures show a sign of the use of maximum force to breakthrough the facilities. Ordinarily, it’s not possible for anyone to be at the Slipway Police Depot and Checkpoint or the Central Bank and not hear the sound from such burglary. The fact that Costa officially reported the previous burglary to the police was sufficient notice to put the security agencies on the alert and leave them with no excuse. These people will become deadlier against their critics. There’s no more hidden signal left.”