MONROVIA – It has been reported that a heavy shooting incident occurred in Bambala Town, Kporpa District, Grand Cape Mount County, last evening, resulting in the injury of one person and causing several residents to flee into the bushes seeking refuge.
By Mae Azango, [email protected]
According to local journalist Mike Rogers, he gathered that the shooting originated from the residence of incumbent lawmaker Bob Sheriff. One person sustained multiple bullet wounds to his back and is currently receiving treatment at Sinjey’s Hospital.
“We do not know where he obtained the guns from because in the entire Porkpa District, nearly everybody possesses a single-barrel gun. This is a serious issue that the national government needs to address. Many people spent the night in the bushes, especially in Bambala, the district headquarters in Porkpa,” said Rogers.
Journalist Rogers noted that Porkpa District in Grand Cape County, located near the Sierra Leone Border, has a history of violence due to similar shooting incidents in the past, largely attributed to the widespread possession of single-barrel guns.
He further explained that the commotion stemmed from Idrissa Mansaray, who had previously supported incumbent Bob Sheriff but had now fielded his daughter, Bintu Massalay, as a candidate on the ruling party ticket to contest against Bob Sheriff. Rogers also highlighted that the National Election Commission had raised concerns about Bintu Massalay not meeting the age criteria to run for office and changing her name from Mansaray to Massalay.
Regarding the escalating tension, Rogers stated that it was exacerbated when President George Weah visited the county and publicly endorsed Bintu Massalay as his chosen candidate. “President Weah told the people of Porkpa District to support Ms. Bintu Massalay as his candidate in the elections, and the supporters of Lawmaker Bob Sheriff became disenchanted, fearing that with the president’s support for Ms. Massalay, she might have an advantage over their candidate in the elections. This prompted the shooting incident yesterday evening, leading to people fleeing into the bushes for refuge,” said Rogers.
Rogers expressed concern that the incident occurred on market day in Bambala, causing many people from other towns and villages to be stranded and seek refuge in the bushes. This situation has instilled fear among the residents of the district.
“The situation has instilled fear in the people, and many are calling on the government to send in security forces to restore calm in the area because they do not know what might happen next. We are closely monitoring the situation to see if any further incidents occur,” concluded Rogers.
The Liberia National Police (LNP) announced that a Special Elections Investigative Team has been dispatched to Grand Cape Mount to investigate the shooting incident. In a statement signed by LNP Spokesperson Mr. Moses Carter, the Joint Security, responsible for election security, has formed a “Special Election Violence Investigation Team” to probe election-related violence cases during the upcoming elections. This team has been deployed to Bambala District, Grand Cape Mount County, to investigate the reported shooting incident from yesterday, which left one person injured.
The statement further explained that the team would engage with local authorities and eyewitnesses to establish the facts of the incident to ensure that those responsible face justice. Additionally, the Joint Security has sent a response team from the Police Support Unit and Emergency Response Unit to restore law and order and ensure peace in Bambala, Grand Cape Mount County.
The statement concluded by urging the public to remain calm and promising regular updates from the Special Joint Security Media Team. It also warned citizens and residents against engaging in violent activities, emphasizing that the Joint Security would not hesitate to take action against anyone attempting to undermine the peace and stability of the state.