Liberia: Monrovia City Mayor Subjected to Social Media Threats Amid Unsubstantiated Allegations
MONROVIA – Monrovia City Mayor, Jefferson Koijee’s life is being threatened. Some political activists want him dead. They profess that he is an element of insecurity but Koijee believes their motive is to get him out of the way in their quest to break the CDC ahead of the October elections.
By Lennart Dodoo, [email protected]
“Why would someone be wishing me dead? Why are they always accusing me? And when you challenge them to come forth with the evidence, they have nothing to show. Isn’t it clear that these people rather have an ulterior motive? Isn’t it clear that they are just fighting to tear me apart for political gains? You think they don’t know that their allegations against me are cooked and tailored, only intended to tarnish my reputation and the reputation of the CDC because election is coming?” Koijee told FrontPageAfrica.
His comments to FrontPageAfrica were in response to a Facebook post by Therry Genesis, a Liberian political activist residing in the United States of America. He posted to Facebook: “If nobody kills Koijee now, he will keep killing innocent people while the CDC police cover up his crimes!”
Henry Costa, a political commentator with strong ties to the opposition All Liberian Party and the Unity Party also wrote on Facebook: “Jefferson Koijee is the most dangerous person in Liberia. If we, in the opposition, don’t find a way to stop him, he will order the murder of more innocent people and use fear and intimidation to weaken us! He’s the greatest threat to our nation”.
Koijee who is now the Secretary General of the CDC served as the chairman of the party’s youth league before ascending to his recent post in the party.
In his then capacity as the youth league chairman, Koijee exhibited control over most of the youthful population, especially the downtrodden who became the core strength of the ruling CDC.
“My influence over the youth is unmatched. They know it. They can’t stand it. Why is it that only politicians accuse me? Have you ever heard any ordinary Liberian speaking ill of me? It’s not in my nature, there has been no evidence of my involvement in any form of atrocity,” he said.
He recalled that following the Montserrado County District 13 violence that occurred in 2018 during a by-election in that district, photoshopped images of him began to pop on social media of him holding a machete and gun.
“These same opposition people with wicked intent used photoshop to put gun in my hand. I have never held a gun before. They made up story on me. It has always been the case. So, though I get frustrated by these allegations, they don’t come as a surprise to me. They, however, need to be put in check and that is why I am calling on the Minister of Justice to take this matter seriously,” he said.
He added, “Do you think Costa would say anything positive about me? We all know his aim, we all know his political motives and affiliations, we all know he is an opportunist, he has no credibility, so, I’m not surprised by his comments. Liberians are following, Liberians know the kind of person Costa is. Who will take him seriously?”
The allegations and social media attacks against Koijee reached their height over the last two weeks when the home of the former Chief Justice, Cllr. Gloria Musu Scott, was allegedly attacked leading to the killing of one of the wards in her home.
Many have perceived the attack as an assassination attempt on the former Chief Justice. However, the motive of the assassination remains unknown.
Barely a day after the attack, Cllr. Jerome Verdier, former Chairman of the defunct Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) alleged on Spoon Talk that the attack on the home of Cllr. Scott was masterminded by Koijee. He said Koijee had ordered Varlee Telleh, a patrolman at MCC, to carry out the execution.
Cllr. Verdier is currently a resident of the United States.
Both Koijee and Telleh have submitted themselves to police interrogation since the allegation was made by Verdier.
Interestingly, Cllr Scott who recently told journalists at the Liberia National Police that she looked the perpetrator in the eye when she used pepper spray in his face before fleeing his attack declined to confirm if it was Telleh who carried out the mayhem on her home.
This is not the first time Cllr. Verdier has accused Koijee. In 2019, Verdier who headed the TRC accused Koijee of being an associate of the son of former President Charles Taylor, Chucky Taylor. Verdier also accused Koijee of being the architect of a series of human rights violations in the Weah-led government.
Verdier, however, he came under heavy criticism and condemnation by the majority members of the Commission who categorically stated: Former TRC Commissioners would like to inform the public that at no time during these engagements did the TRC receive a statement, whether written or verbal or a complaint from any of our witnesses, perpetrators, persons of interests etc, suggesting that the Mayor of Monrovia, Hon. Jefferson T. Koijee, was a part of any waring faction, perpetrating groups, or individuals, linked to gross human rights violations, war crimes or crimes against humanity. Even in our individual capacities, we did not hear or receive any information in this regard.”
The former Commissioners making the clarification were Massa Washington, John Stewart, Rev. Gerald Coleman, and Rev. Dr. Cllr. Pearl Brown Bull.
The Commissioners noted it was expedient to provide clarification for the “record because of blurred lines in distinguishing between the Chairman of the TRC, Cllr. Jerome Verdier and the Executive Director of the IJG, Cllr. Jerome Verdier.”
According to them, Koijee was one of several youth volunteers who provided his services free of charge in assisting with the sensitization and public outreach component of the TRC engagements.