LIBERIA: Islamic School Proprietor Accuses Community Dwellers of Attempt to Burn His School

Mohamed Alie Bah addresses the press on behalf of the National Fula Youth Council

By: Moses Quollin, quollinmoses@gmail.com Freelance Journalist/+231770922412/+231880922412 |

Mohamed Alie Bah, founder and proprietor of the Mo Ali Educational Foundation Inc has accused residents of Newport Street in Monrovia of attempting to burn down school for reasons unclear.

The elementary school which catered to close to 200 hundred students mostly Muslims of the Fula ethnic group is situated within around the Newport Street Community Market; a congested environment, according to some neighbors, uncomfortable for students.

Sources say some neighbors living within the area complain of what they described on one hand as the “constant disturbance” of the school; something causing misunderstanding between the school’s operators and neighbors.

“This school has been constantly receiving alarming treats and attacks on several occasions from some members of this community. Some of these treats and attacks have been reported to the community [Newport Street] leadership and the Liberia National Police [Center Street Deport].” Mohamed Alie Bah alleged.

According to him, sometimes the community dwellers (unnamed) would come midnight and even day threatening to burn down his school for reasons he said is because of envy or misconceptions about his tribe. “They say Fula people quick to do everything possible to take people land from them…if you give them a piece of land or allow them to live and around you.”

The recent fire incidents, he explained, happened last Friday (October 18, 2019) at about 7:00 pm – 8:00pm, “our school generator was set on fire…It all began when the current in the school building started going off and on. When I went towards the generator to find out, all I could see was a huge smoke over the generator.”

Bah, in his explanations, contacted the Police who later called the Liberia National Fire Service headquartered on the same Newport Street but the situation was according brought under control before the arrival of fire fighters who could not also establish the actual happenings.

Some eyewitnesses including marketers around the school in their testimonies, said the school proprietor is “faking the whole story” just to gain public attention.

“Everyday people against this school…what sound school people can’t hear in their ear. Nobody can burn down any school here,” a close door neighbor argued.

Another eye witness said she saw huge smoke coming from the restroom but she thought it was the regular smoking of the generator because the school has a security and she saw people around that night.

Socolo Sayon, the school security narrated that he too saw the smoke few minutes after his boss, Mohamed Bah boss switched on the generator around the rest room. “I don’t know all of the people that come here at night so I can’t say whether there were strange people among us.”

When contacted Police Spokesman, Moses Carter, quoting sources at the Center Street Deport said, they have no record of such neither was there any report of a fire incident within the area.

As the investigation continues, all efforts to speak with the community leader prove futile until press time. And the Liberia National Fires Service remains mute on the allegation.

This allegation comes weeks after the an Islamic learning center within the Paynesville area was gutted by fires leading to the loss of about 26 people including kids and teachers. The Liberia National Fires (LNFS), in her findings, said the incident was triggered by an ‘electrical shock.’

But some members of the Islamic including the National Fula Youth said they suspected ‘touristic attack’ which could not be authenticated by the Liberia National Police.

As many international partners and other foreign countries sympathize with Liberia on occasion of that horrible incident, the country is still mourning such a loss.

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About Cholo Brooks 13507 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.