Recent action of the elite presidential guards, the Executive Protection Service or EPS to publicly open firearms during the holding of the National Convention of the ruling Unity Party (UP) in Gbarnga, Bong County seems to scare Liberian and foreign residents who are pondering as to whether state security is capable to keep the lives of Liberians and foreigners save.
Unity Party’s Partisans attending their annual convention in Gbarnga, Bong County were said to have fled helter scatter as early as about 1: 00 am on Saturday morning after an officer of the Executive Protection Service (EPS) fired one of his colleagues in the leg during a heated argument outside the convention hall.
The partisans who were outside the hall of the convention awaiting the results of the party wildly ran in the hall, while other partisans sought safety into nearby vehicles that were in close proximity to the scene of the dispute.
The situation was said to have claimed the attention of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and Vice President Joseph Boakai, who were in the hall during the melee between the EPS officers, as their respective security guards rushed outside the hall to calm the situation.
The officer, whose identity has not been established, was said to have been drunk when our reporter arrived on the scene moments after the shooting.
According to our reporter who was on the scene, it took over 10 EPS officers for over 30 minutes to disarm the officer, a situation that brought the ballot counting process to a standstill. The EPS officer was apprehended before been taken to the headquarters of the Gbarnga Central Police, while his injured colleague was rushed to the Phebe hospital for medication.
Just today, another incident involving a vehicle belonging to the EPS knocked down an elderly man on the bypass breaking the victim’s leg also drew more fears in the hearts of Liberians who are again questioning the professionalism of the EPS.