Liberians Condemn Ex-Rebels’ Threats against Rep. Kolubah; Say There’s Need for War Crimes Court
MONROVIA – Tension is reaching a boiling point in Monrovia as former ex-rebels threaten the arrest Montserrado County District 10 lawmaker Yekeh Kolubah but his supporters are prepared to aggressively resist any such move.
Report by Webster J. H. Clayeh, [email protected]
Several ex-combatants from different defunct rebel groups and the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) urged the lawmaker to submit himself for investigation within 72 hours for statements made against President George Weah.
Speaking to journalists at their National Headquarters on Benson Street, Monrovia on Tuesday, the chairman of the ex-generals and former chief of staff of Liberia United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD), Ofori Diah, gave Rep. Kolubah a 72-hour ultimatum to report to their Head Office on Benson, noting that he (Rep. Kolubah) is a former general and must adhere to the summon.
Said Diah: “We give Yakeh Kolubah 72 hours to report to our office. If he does not report to my office; we will bring him by force.”
Another former Major General of the defunct LURD Koffi Duo says “Liberians will not be happy that the peace they have been enjoying for more than 15 years to be destabilized by opposition political leaders”.
“We are also calling on the Liberian people to call on Yakeh Kolubah to desist. We now call him to report as a general, failure on his part we will get to him and bring him to our commander,” Duo said.
Siafa Norman, former Chief of Staff of NPFL urged citizens from making inciting statements, adding that it would cause chaos and will derail the peace of the country.
“If you have any political intention, transform your intention politically, go across the country and present programs to our people so that you can be able to raise the necessary votes to vote President Weah out for the next election.”
Daniel Bracewell, a former major general of the AFL, also called on politicians to avoid anything that will disrupt the peace in Liberia.
“We ex-generals, we know war, we fought the war, we make war, we study war. If anyone thinks that they are coming in to derail this peace process they will have us to contend with,” said Bracewell.
But Rep. Kolubah told journalists are his residence Wednesday morning that he has no regrets for his statements and challenges anyone to arrest him over his comments.
He reiterated that Pres. Weah is unable to govern the country and “he’ll go within three months.”
Residents Protect Yekeh
On Wednesday morning, hundreds of residents of Montserrado District 10, some also claiming to be former rebels, gathered at the residence of the Rep. Kolubah in the Old Road Community, to bar him from being arrested.
One of the residents, Oliver Cooper Kallon, challenged the ex-fighters to dare enter the district to arrest his Representative.
“Ofori has been paid to damage the rights of citizens in this country, but we are ready for them. They are the ones that destroyed this country during the past regimes,” he said.
Kallon added: “We will defend our honorable, let them come. We’ll defend our honorable. If they like, let them kill us, but we’ll defend our honorable.”
He said the government must use the legal process if they believe Rep. Kolubah has committed wrong.
Timothy Smith, a mobilizer of the #BringBackOurMoney and War and Economic Crimes Court, wondered why would a group of former rebels organize themselves to arrest a sitting lawmaker.
Yekeh spoke as a politician and he spoke to issues confronting Liberians. Yesterday, these same people (the Congress for Democratic Change) did similar things. You now, they have problem with it. I think this is a witch-hunt,” Alfred D. Nyemah said.
He lamented that the economy is continues dwindling, yet Pres. Weah is not to address the Liberians the challenges facing their day-to-day lives.
Armah Robert said the government must realize that Rep. Kolubah was elected by them as he, Pres. Weah, was, too.
“This is our Representative – he is speaking on behalf of District 10 and on behalf of the Liberian people,” he said.
He said the Chairman of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) is on record for saying that the opposition political parties have plans to assassinate the President, yet he was not called for questioning.
Condemnations Pour In
Residents of Monrovia from all walks of life have condemned the statements from the ex-combatants and at the same time urging the government condemn 72-hour ultimatum given Rep. Yekeh Kolubah.
Some believe that the statement from the ex-fighters reignites the need for war crimes court in Liberia to have people who committed atrocities account for their actions, rather than issuing threats.
Amelia Kerkula, Vendor
The statement from the ex-generals is not good for us, it is scaring. Those guys need to come together and see how best we can develop this country. We are not hearing gun sounds but things are difficult. Yekeh Kolubah is looking at the masses while they are just looking at what they can get for themselves.
They are taking money from government. If they were not taking money from government, Yakeh will not come and say that he has proof. Let them stop what they are doing.
Delux Fahnbulleh, MCSS Teacher
Liberia is moving in the wrong path and we want to tell the President to put his feet down. We are all aware of those crimes committed during the war by those ex-generals. So, the call from the ex-general is so troublesome and it is not good for our fragile democracy.
That is why some of us are calling for the war crime court for those guys to go and answer questions about the crimes committed against the Liberian people.
I think it is disheartening for ex-general to call on the sitting lawmaker to report to them.
We do not want to know whether Yakeh is part of them; our point is that everyone should be free to express themselves without being threatened by anyone.
We are strongly optimistic that the President will look into that because Yakeh is a citizen of this country and all of his fundamental rights should be given to him.
Henry Y. Sarlie, Portraits Vender
Yakeh Kolubah accused those ex-generals of taking money from government to go after people who will criticize the President, so, it is the reason those guys are calling on him to report to them because he is part of them.
They want him to come to them and give clarity on what he accused them of. Their characters have been destroyed by Yekeh Kolubah so that is why they are calling him for.
Yakeh Kolubah accusing those guys is a serious problem. Those guys have gone through the disarmament process. So, why will Yekeh keep accusing them?
The ex-generals said they helped Madam Sirleaf’s government and they are helping this government and they will help other governments that will come to power, so they are not bad guys anymore.
George Kiadii, CDC Partisan, Montserrado County District 14 Resident
I am actually against the statement from the ex-generals. I think it is counter-productive for our democracy. Liberia is all we have. So, this kind of statement coming from ex-generals is scaring for the public. I think what the ex-generals could have done was to write the House and see what they will do to Representative Kolubah. I think the ex-general will not do anything to Yekeh.
Selma Joejoe, Alumna, UL
Those are ex-generals and they should not be using that kind of threatening statement on the sitting lawmaker. They are not law enforcers. There is an any attempt to undermine the state. If anyone has problem with Yekeh Kolubah, let them use the law.
It is a threat to the public; those guys need to be called to tell the Liberian people their intention behind the 72 hours given to Yekeh Kolubah.
Yekeh is the voice of the voiceless in his district. If he has gone against anyone let them use the Constitution they should not be around sending out hate messages to the people.
Zayzay Kolubah, Stationary Vender
I see the ex-general statement as a threat to our democracy. They are not law enforcers; they do not have any legal rights to call on the Representative Kolubah to appear before them.
The statement from ex-generals is a panic to the public. For people who were launching mortar that killed people during the war, so, if people hear those names in the public, it is very worrisome. I do not think in that manner for ex-generals to give 72 hours to appear before them.
I think the national government needs to come into this situation to see how best they can look into the statement coming from the ex-generals.
Dejeh Quiah, Money Exchanger
The statement from those ex-generals is so scaring. We have an elected government and not the rebel government for which they are brave enough to come to the public and make such a threatening statement. That is why we are calling on the government to bring the war crime court to get rid of those guys.
Who are they to call on Representative Yekeh Kolubah to report himself in 72 hours? If they say Yekeh is their man, let them call him behind closed door and have a meeting with him and not to come to the public to make those threatening remarks.
For sure this statement is scaring to the public. Our lives have been threatened because we feel to ourselves that we stay have rebel with us.