The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

Police Averts Gas Shortage Protest

By Bill W. Cooper
Monrovia, Liberia -The Liberia National Police (LNP) yesterday prevented the Economic Freedom Fighter of Liberia (EFFL) planned protest leading to the arrest of several of its high ranking members and other sympathizers.
Those arrested were the National Chairman, Ansu Dukuly, the Secretary General, Earnest Mulbah, other EFFL members and citizens who had gone to assemble in protest towards the gasoline crisis that is confronting the country, but were later released by the LNP through negotiation by both the LNP and the EFFL leader.
The EFFL through its Commander in Chief (CIC), Emmanuel Gonquoi, recently announced a mass demonstration by his organization and the citizenry if the government of President George M. Weah fails to eradicate the gasoline shortage in the country.
For the past one month or so in the country, several citizens had been in queues at various filling stations in pursue of petroleum products of which many had criticized the government for its inability to arrest the situation from the unset.
Speaking to this paper via mobile, EFFL’s CIC Gonquoi said though his men had been released from the headquarters of the LNP, the LNP’s action to arrest peaceful protesters was an act of “Tyranny,” stressing that he foresees the country heading into a “dictatorship” regime.
According to CIC Gonquoi, their decision to demonstrate yesterday was based on initial warning given to the government to remedy the situation or else face a strike action by citizens and added that it is a constitutional right of all citizens to peacefully assemble to call their government’s attention towards prevailing situations in the country.
He added that though the LNP administration did apologize for their officers’ “reckless” actions meted out against peaceful protesters and warned that the LNP need to be more mature in dealing with citizens as it is the right of every citizen to protest as enshrined within the 1986 Liberian Constitution.
EFFL’s Gonquoi further reassured his organization’s commitment to remain uncompromising, resolute and unwavering in the struggle to protect the rights of all citizens, adding, “We will continue to fight for ourselves and our nation to ensure that the right things are done by our government as they were elected to govern and seek the wellbeing of the citizenry of the country.”
When contacted, the LNP spokesperson, Moses Carter, admitted to the arrest of the EFFL’s National Chairperson, Ansu Dukuly, the Secretary General, Earnest Mulbah, as well as other EFFL members and citizens who had gone to assemble in protest towards the gasoline crisis.
Spokesperson Cater said that the LNP’s decision to arrest the would-be protesters was as the result of the protesters’ decision to assemble on the streets without a permit from the necessary authority and added, “And that if for any reason anyone wants to protest, they should firstly inform and receive permission from the government before getting into the street.”
He further stated that though the national chairman claimed that the LNP brutality assaulted him during the arrest, it was not to his (Cater) knowledge and that, that situation had been amicably resolved through negation by the LNP Inspector General, Patrick Sudue and the EFFL CIC, Emmanuel Gonquoi.

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