Mob Violence is Turning Our Country into a Lawless Society
Monday, the 31st of March 2021 was a terrible day in our beloved nation. An extremely terrible day when a group of angry mobs took to the streets in Pleebo, the commercial hub of Maryland county to protest the mysterious death of a motorcyclist identified as Mordecial Nyemah. Note: the killing of innocent citizens is reprehensible and should be condemned by everyone.
By: Rufus S. Berry II, MBA, Contributing Writer
As a result of death of Mordecial, angry protesters stormed the Harper Central Prison, freeing 91 inmates and set ablaze the home belonging to Hon. Bhafal Chamber, the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The phenomenon of angry citizens, including Kehkeh and Pehm Pehm drivers burning homes and vehicles is of continuing concern to every peace-loving Liberian and resident.
Based on cases witnessed by ordinary Liberians and reported in the media and on the various talk shows in recent years, it has been observed that the act of burning homes, vehicles and hotels (private properties) has rarely been subject to judicial investigation and even more rarely conviction. In Ganta, Nimba County for example, a beautiful and well-known hotel was burned by angry mob with complete impunity. Regrettably, we aren’t aware of any conviction in cases of pehm pehm and kehkeh drivers burning NTA buses or other private properties. This passivity, even tolerance, by the police in the face of serious crimes violates the right to life as guaranteed by the constitution of our republic and international treaties to which Liberia is a party.
Even though mob Violence is wrong and totally unacceptable; people on social media and other platforms are giving reason to rationalize the use of mob violence as a lack of confidence in the police and Justice system, and the fear that perpetrators of crimes enjoy impunity, especially with so many uninvestigated deaths. This feeling by ordinary citizens is linked to the frequent failures of law enforcement – especially the police and judicial authorities to investigate, prosecute and punish crimes. Some people then replace these authorities in order to exercise what they consider to be a form of justice. The hypothesis has been established that authorities’ lack of resources to prevent and punish these mob violence’s reinforces the phenomenon and suggests that burning private vehicles and homes is implicitly an accepted practice.
Kehkeh and Pehm pehm drivers are NOT above the law of the Republic of Liberia, and they are notorious for dangerous driving practices throughout the country. As a matter of fact, they should be prohibited from driving on Tubman Blvd. These kehkeh and Pehm Pehm drivers have absolutely no respect of the law, no fear of the law and if it continues, anarchy will reign in our beloved homeland.
Despite the promises from the government that there will be crackdown that will ensure that the bad apples – the reckless and criminal minded kehkeh and pehm pehm drivers be forced to face the wrath of the law, nothing has happened thus far, but we are still keeping HOPE ALIVE.
The government urgently needs to go the extra mile to restore confidence in the police and the legal system. If they fail to act, citizens might reserve the right to choose which law to obey and when to obey the laws of the republic. Liberia cannot and should be turn into a lawless society, because there is a tragic irony that increasing lawlessness by criminals may provoke increasing lawlessness in the way the public responds.
Regardless of the circumstances, no one or group of people has the right to take the into their own hands. In case of fear and anarchy, our government must and should act positively. Violence can’t and shouldn’t be allowed.