Liberia: Embattled Basketball President, Rufus Anderson, Raises Alarms of Threats on His Life
Monrovia – Embattled Liberia Basketball Association president Rufus Anderson says he is living in fear as a result of constant threats on his life by unknown callers and controversial vice president of Liberia Basketball Association James Emmanuel Potter.
According to Anderson, he was informed by Jarius Harris that Potter threatened his imprisonment should he go ahead with his planned basketball tournament in New Kru Town. He added that he was informed that Potter said he would be “dealt with in a manner he would not forget.”
Anderson told reporters during a press conference on Tuesday that he cannot take the threat lightly, especially with the level of insecurity in the country. He has, therefore, filed a formal complaint with the Ministry of Justice.
Anderson: “On Tuesday, September 29, 2020 during the early hours of the afternoon, I received a verbal threatening communication from Mr. James Emmanuel Potter through Mr. Jarius J. Harris of the Liberia Basketball Association warning me. According to Mr. Harris, Mr. Potter told him to tell me that the league I was about to run at the New Kru Town venue, if I attempted to do so, when they come for me from my house, my feet will not touch the ground until I reach South Beach prison.”
He said, Mr. Potter relayed the threatening message to him in the presence of his family, including his son and daughter.
However, he said, when he contacted Mr. Harris, he refuted the claim. According to him, Mr. Harris told him that he would take him to court if he organizes any tournament in the name of the Liberia Basket Ball Association, he would take him (Anderson) to court and “deal with him decisively”.
Anderson further alleged that two days after the he was informed about the threat, he should have left for Ivory Coast to receive some equipment for the Association but he received a call from Potter who again threatened that if he attempts making the trip, the vehicle taking him to the airport would go missing.
The embattled LIBA president explained that Mr. Potter’s alleged action is as a result of his dissatisfaction over the election which he lost.
Potter, according to Anderson, had complained about the election to FIBA which called for a rerun of the election based on the advice of the Minister of Youth and Sports. However, he said, Potter has not been making effort to ensure that the election is reconducted, yet threatening him for carrying out activities of the Association.
Anderson said at no time has he ever planned to organize a league, he has been focused on taking the Association to election.
Anderson, who has run Basketball in Liberia for the past eight years, got disqualified at the December 2019 election that is still under protest by him.
The embattled LBA president got disqualified by the elections commission headed by Moifee Kanneh.
He was disqualified along with his vice presidential for operations, Bruce Quaye, and treasurer, Jairus Harris for fraud.
According to the commission, Anderson’s team reported that its registration fees were deposited into the association’s account, instead of making direct payment to the Elections Commission’s account as agreed. Upon verification, it was discovered that the money was deposited at the association’s LBDI Bank on Nov. 23, only to be withdrawn an hour later without the Commission’s knowledge.