Liberia: Tension Escalates at Nat’l Bureau of Concessions as Police Quarantines Compound
Monrovia – It seems the hullabaloo that had been brewing at the National Bureau of Concession (NBC) over the last few weeks on Wednesday, July 31, escalated into a physical altercation between Mr. Gregory O.W. Coleman, the Director General and his two deputies, who are said to be die-hard members of the ruling party.
According to Coleman, who is the immediate past Inspector General of the Liberian National Police, he had to be smuggled out of his office through the backdoor (unused gate) of the compound of the Bureau as the main entrance and exit had been blocked.
What’s Happening At NBC
The 19-street compound of the Bureau was Thursday, August 1st, quarantined by officers of the Liberia National Police, who arrested Coleman’s two deputies — Daddy Gibson, Deputy Director General for Administration (DDGA) and Nathaniel Bracewell, Deputy Director General for Concession (DDGC).
FrontPageAfrica was reliably informed that the arrest of Bracewell and Gibson Thursday, August 1st, was allegedly directly ordered by President George Manneh Weah, who expressed his indignation at the duo for reportedly influencing “thugs” to come and disrupt the normal working environment of the NBC on the same day.
Gibson and Bracewell, whom we couldn’t reach for comments, are alleged to have said that Coleman is engaged in corrupt practices at the Bureau.
A senior official at the Bureau, who asked us not to have him named, told this newspaper that DDGA Gibson and DDGC Bracewell further charged their boss for allegedly slashing the salaries of workers, who are believed to be some of those partisans of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), who were sent to be absorbed within the Bureau whether they are fitted for the posts or not.
“He cut the pay of Khalifah Jorgbor and was taking the money he cut from the man for himself,” this insider further alleged. He also stated that Coleman, allegedly removed Jorgbor from his post as Comptroller and replaced him with one Rose Kingston. This insider also stated that Coleman also allegedly brought with him one Evelyn Baikor, a former aide when he served as the Inspector General at the LNP. According to this source, Ms. Baikor still works at the LNP and is allegedly taking salary at both places — NBC and LNP.
Police Spokesman Moses Carter
The spokesman of the Liberian National Police, Mr. Moses Carter, confirmed to FrontPageAfrica that indeed the force did arrest Gibson, Bracewell and 11 others, who were brought in to make trouble on the premises of the Bureau.
Carter further confirmed that Evelyn Baikor is still with the police. However, he stated that she had sent in her resignation to Inspector General Patrick Sudue a month or two ago. “It is still on the IG’s desk. To the best of my knowledge, he has not acted on it; so she is still in the Police.”
Gregory Coleman’s Claims
In a Thursday, August 1st letter addressed to the Bureau’s staff, Coleman explained how he was “physically attacked and feloniously restrained” by his two deputies — Daddy Gibson and Nathaniel Bracewell.
The NBC’s DG didn’t state why his two deputies were or are at his throat; however, he charged further in the letter: “As you all may be aware, over time, there has been an escalation from wrongful communication, to incitement, then provocation, now verbal insult and physical assault.”
“DDGA and DDGC aggressively entered my office and physically attacked me, pointing fingers in my face, insulting me and violently banging on my desk. The DDGA stood in the visitor chair, while the DDGC took comfort in siting on my desk, continuing the banging and insulting me and my generation.”
He further told his staff in the letter that his deputies allegedly made series of phone calls for “vanguard forces from the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) headquarters to back them up in their pursuit, including an alleged call to Col. Patrick Sudue, requesting for six ERU officers to come and drag me out of my office.” According to him, all of what occurred, happened in the presence of the head of the human resource, legal director, office assistant and the security.
“To avoid the uncontrollable provocation, I decided to leave the office, at which time they both tried to restrain me from leaving. Members of the staff were able to create a wall around me, allowing me to safely leave the office. The both deputies did not stop there; they use their vehicles and deployed DDGC’s Office Assistant, thugs who arrived in response to their call, to block the entrance and exit of the Bureau, preventing me from leaving the compound. Thanks to the securities who managed to break the lock on the other unused gate to let me out.”
Coleman told the rest of the NBC’s staff that as Chief Executive Officer of the Bureau, he can’t guarantee their safety under those conditions, as such, he advised them to remain on the premises based on their personal comfort levels; adding: “There will be no administrative action taken against anyone who feels unsafe due to the prevailing situation. Meanwhile, I am working with the Office of the President and Ministry of Justice to restore order and sanity.”
Purported Blacklist of ‘Outsiders’ “Undermining” Gov’t
Later on Thursday, a list containing the names of certain officials of government surfaced on social media. According to the poster, one Manja Varney Kromah, those individuals, including the name of the NBC boss, Coleman, on his list, are “undermining” their government. The list that FPA has seen, has at least 20 names.
“Undermining our government and thinking that we will allow you to be comfortably in your position why our people are suffering? You must be mistaken because as of today’s date, there will be NO PEACE for you.”
Before this list surfaced, Mulbah Morlue, CDC Chairman, in his concession statement acknowledging that “Mr. Abraham Darius Dillon of the Liberty Party as the presumptive winner of the Senatorial Election of Montserrado County,” stated what some observers think is a ploy by the hierarchies of the ruling party to cook up plans to get at government officials, who are not partisans of the CDC.
“Now is the time that we have to swallow the bitter pills by taking some hard decisions both in government and our party. We commit to continuously seeking the interest of Liberians. Most importantly, our supporters who stood with us during our difficult days in the struggle must continue to be empowered. We can no longer sugarcoat this reality. The moral demands to empower our people is [are] a fierce urgency that remains our first line of defense as we serve our country.
“The verdict from our people in the just-ended polls in Montserrado is not only a wakeup call to action, but an insistence the party will not ignore to change course.
“Our officials in both the Legislature and the Executive will have to live in accordance with our Pro-Poor Agenda or, they will have to vacate the government and our beloved party. We have reached the point where we will separate party actions from the actions of some officials of government, where necessary; the period for honeymoon is over. The jobs we gave to you is to help our President succeed and, not to undermine our hard-earned gains.”