Liberia: ‘We Were Not Aware of Cummings & Yekeh’s Stay In Grand Gedeh’, Supt. Says
Grand Gedeh County Superintendent Kai Farley has disclosed that the Chairman of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), Mr. Alexander Benedict Cummings and his entourage, including Montserrado County Representative Yekeh Kolubah, surreptitiously entered into the county without the consent of the local authorities and security apparatus.
Speaking to FrontPageAfrica late Thursday, Mr. Farley said Mr. Cummings and Representative Kolubah failed to notify his office, and security actors about their arrival in line with what leaders of other political parties normally do whenever they pay a visit to Grand Gedeh.
He made the disclosure in a telephone interview with FrontPage Africa on Thursday, July 30.
Supt. Farley further denied claims made by the CPP political leader that he (Farley) orchestrated the protest against Rep. Kolubah in Grand Gedeh.
Mr. Alexander Cummings, leader of the Collaboration of Political Parties(CPP) and head of the Alternative National Congress accused the leadership of Grand Gedeh County for the early Thursday morning attack on him and Rep. Kolubah.
“It’s unfortunate that he (Cummings) will say that as a political leader of an institution. For Hon. Cummings to say I came forcibly asking him out of the county-that is not true. It was something that was suggested by the Deputy Police commander in the county in the presence of Hon. Cummings. Hon. Cummings even asked me, but what’s your suggestion? And I told him that based upon the advice of the Joint Security; I think that this is something that we should go by”.Mr. Kai Farley, Superintendent, Grand Gedeh County
A group of aggrieved supporters of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) staged a protest in the county, demanding the unconditional and immediate departure from the county of Montserrado County Representative Yekeh Korlubah(ANC, District No. 10) from Grand Gedeh.
“The superintendent came this morning, made no explanation, no apologies. He came and said you need to leave; we will escort you out, but you need to leave. I have no proof, but I believe the Superintendent is responsible for what happened here today. Again, I’m alleging it because I don’t have proof but nowhere else did this happen – and if the Superintendent of this county didn’t want this to happen, I believe it would not have happened” Mr. Cummings stated.
In his reaction, Supt. Farley termed the allegation as “unfortunate”.
“It’s unfortunate that he (Cummings) will say that as a political leader of an institution. For Hon. Cummings to say I came forcibly asking him out of the county-that is not true. It was something that was suggested by the Deputy Police commander in the county in the presence of Hon. Cummings. Hon. Cummings even asked me, but what’s your suggestion? And I told him that based upon the advice of the Joint Security; I think that this is something that we should go by”.
Supt. Farley disclosed that though he was not notified earlier, the stay of Mr. Cummings, Rep. Kolubah and others from both the Alternative National Congress (ANC) and the CPP in the county was revealed to him by one of the authorities of the Liberia National Police (LNP) in the county.
He claimed to have been busy with providing preventive messages against the spread of Coronavirus outside Zwedru when the CPP officials arrived in Grand Gedeh.
“The first thing is that Honorable Cummings coming to Grand Gedeh County-the county authorities and the security apparatus were not aware. I don’t know the hour they really came because I came in the county around 4:00 to 5:00 in the morning hours”.
“I got a call from the Deputy Police Zwedru commander in the county telling me that Honorable Yekeh Kolubah and honorable Cummings were in Zwedru. I told him that I was just coming and needed to take a rest. I followed the information and it was proven that they were there but, nobody called me; and I was not aware of them coming like what other political parties’ leaders do”.
Supt. Farley continued: “Between 8;15AM the Deputy Police Commander called me again and said the guest house where Honorable Cummings and Yekeh Kolubah were staying, there were crowd around the guest house asking Hon. Yekeh Kolubah to leave. And I told him, ok, I will take bath and reach there”.
Upon his arrival, Supt. Farley disclosed that a formal discussion later ensued between the CPP Chairman, Rep. Kolubah and members of the Joint Security Force.
Supt. Farley narrated that following the suggestion from the Deputy Police Commander and his subsequent endorsement for Mr. Cummings and other to leave the county for their own safety, Rep. Kolubah allegedly objected and forcibly made his way out of the fence of the guest house with some officials of the ANC.
He added that the alleged action of the Montserrado County lawmaker prompted the commotion.
According to him, Rep. Kolubah allegedly threatened to “slaughter chickens” in Grand Gedeh County if Mr. Cummings allude to the advice from the Joint Security to leave the county.
“Hon. Kolubah said he will not leave if Cummings had to leave-it’s better that he sits here and damage chickens if chickens have to be slaughtered and if blood wants to waste, it will waste in Grand Gedeh County”.
“He came with about six persons outside while we were still in the living room talking to Hon. Cummings. And there were ANC people in the fence of the guest house saying we can’t go, anything you want to do, your can do it. The LDEA commander told me that he advised Hon. Kolubah not to come outside and so, I left the living room and came to calm down the situation”.
Exchange of stones
Supt. Farley claimed that there was an exchange of stones between supporters of the ANC who were in the fence of the guest house, and protesters on the streets before the premises.
He, however, failed to establish whether or not some of those behind the violent protest were arrested.
He described those who protested against the Montserrado County lawmaker and his political leader outside of the guest house as “a group of aggrieved citizens”.
“Those people were protesting citizens; we don’t know where exactly they come from; but they are citizens of the county”.
Supt. Farley disclosed that an intervention into the incident was made by the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), General Prince Johnson.
He noted that with his consent, AFL soldiers were sent in to calm the situation, following a conference call along with Mr. Cummings.
“Within that time, the Chief of Staff of the AFL called me and said ‘what can we do this time’ and I told him that as far as I am concern we have a shortage of manpower and AFL soldiers. We were on the call with Hon. Cummings and General Johnson sent the soldiers to put things under control”.
Not aware of damages
The Grand Gedeh County Superintendent further denied reports that vehicles belonging to Mr. Cummings and Rep. Kolubah were damaged during the saga.
“I am not aware of the damage of a vehicle because I have not seen it. I don’t what to speak to it because when the situation happened, I had to come outside to calm the situation. I think the security will be the right people to give you the information”.
Regret and apologies
He, however, extended regret over the incident and apologized to the CPP Chairman for the disorderly conduct of the protesting residents of the county.
Supt. Farley condemned the incident, but called on residents of the county to desist from acts that have the proclivity to tear citizens apart.
“I said to them that we regret the incident and we are going to make sure that things are put under control; but in that process Rep. Kolubah came with force and forcibly went outside and the commotion started.
“The situation is one that we condemn and we think it is not the right thing to do. We regret the incident and this is not anything that the local authorities of the county support. We want to extend our deepest sorry to Hon. Cummings
At the same time, Supt. Farley has pledged to guarantee the safety of citizens visiting the county, despite the latest incident.
According to him, residents of the county are law abiding, and as such, the latest incident should not scare away citizens, particularly opposition politicians from visiting the county.
“Grand Gedeans are law abiding citizens and peaceful people and we will continue to be peaceful; there are other opposition political parties’ leaders that had been here and are still alive. I even interacted with them; they come at my residence and we cracked jokes. Grand Gedeh is a peaceful county”.
He, however, commended the Joint Security Force in the county for restoring law and order following the incident.
A leaked audio in the possession of FPA shows Supt. Farley in a heated exchange, giving mandate to Rep. Kolubah and Mr. Cummings to depart the county.