MONROVIA – It was a scene of bloodshed. A man was stripped naked, beaten and stoned at the same time. He is believed not to be a student of the University of Liberia rather one of those who escorted Montserrado County District 8 Representative, Acarous Gray, for a controversial lunch at the university’s main campus.
By Edwin G. Genoway, Jr and Jaheim T. Tumu
Representative Gray last week wrote on his Facebook page that he was going to visit the campus of the UL to have lunch with his people.
His announcement came in the wake of constant booing of officials of government who attempted to visit the campus for personal and official reasons.
Over the last couple of weeks, the former Solicitor General, Cllr. Syrennius Cephus, Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor and the special assistant to the Finance Minister, Aloysius Howe, were chased from the Capitol Hill campus by students believed to be members of the campus-based Student Unification Party (SUP).
The latest action by the students apparently prompted Rep. Gray, a member of the ruling party, to announce that he would be doing lunch at the University’s student center. Many viewed his decision as a dare to the university students who are known to be antagonistic to officials of government perceived to be corrupt.
The lawmaker marched on the campus with men believed to be drug addicts living on the streets to protect him from any assault from the students as was done to Howe.
Howe, a partisan of the CDC was chased out of the Capitol Hill campus of the University of Liberia by some students purported to be members of campus-based SUP who were chanting “rogue! Rogue!”. His vehicle was damaged and he sustained some injuries.
Within less than 24 hours after Howe’s unfortunate incident, Rep. Gray wrote on Facebook: “Guys, you can join me on Monday at 12:30 pm for LUNCH at the University of Liberia Student Center. I, General Acarous Moses Gray, will be with my students and constituents. Thanks for your kind consideration as we peacefully meet and greet our constituents.”
The campus went in disarray when he and his men arrived on the campus, resulting to stone-throwing and the disruption of classes.
According to FPA reporter, Rep. Gray’s men were seen smoking weed and holding stones and sticks in their hands as they marched through the campus
As Rep. Gray was addressing his supporters on the campus of the university, he expressed disappointment in some individuals including his friends who had earlier advised him against going to the campus of the university.
As he addressed his supporters, he blasted the university’s administration for allowing students to create another republic within the Republic of Liberia.
Rep. Gray: “Let me repeat to the media, like I said, in District 8, let the world know, our international partners, human right group, the religious community, the women, political actors, officials of government, the students, and the traditional leaders, as long as I am a Representative in District 8 Montserrado County, there will never be a state within a state.
“I am not here to prove anything to University students. They are not my target. Those are my sons, my daughters, my family members. They voted for me also.” Rep. Gray said.
“I am even disappointed in some people in the fourth estate who will call me and tell me don’t go there for the sake of peace, but you cannot call our sons and daughters not to throw stones,” Rep Gray said.
He added, “No man, no soul will break the laws of Liberia and go scot-free. They said they were bringing Yekeh here, I was excited that Yekeh would be here today, and I am still excited; the reason is this: it means that the day he’s having program in his District, the same spot I will be there that day. There will be maximum political repository.”
As Rep Gray and his men chased the students from campus, Yekeh Kolubah, an opposition lawmaker and anti-George Weah regime critic went to the students’ rescue along with his own men to counter Gray and his group.
Yep. Kolubah stood at the same place Gray stood to address supporters. He called on the student community to forgive Gray for his ignorant act exhibited.
He blamed President Weah for embracing violence on the campus of the university. “President Weah, if you bring the guns, we will take the guns to your doors,” he said.
Meanwhile, the President of the Student Unification Party Mustapha Kanneh expressed frustration over Gray’s action and frowned on the UL authorities for not protecting the students.
“If the University authority cannot provide a peaceful learning environment for the students on the campus, the Vanguard Students Unification Party will be left with no option but to provide the necessary environment that will enable us to demonstrate our fundamental right for social justice and Peace,” SUP president.