A young Liberian man, Emmanuel Johnson last Friday reportedly survived an assassination attempt after an unknown gunman allegedly shot four times at the windshield of his vehicle.
Mr. Emmanuel Johnson, who is a professional Monitor and Evaluation Officer, Climate Change Adaption Agriculture Project, Ministry of Agriculture and United Nation Development Program, was returning to his home in the Barnaresville, Day Break Mouth Open Community when two men stepped from the dark, flag-stopped the car, but as he slowed down he saw the men pulled out guns, what looked like AK 47s and fired straight at the car he and his daughter rode in.
Mr. Johnson and little daughter, Erica, were fortunate to be alive because the first bullet shot from one of the gun men’s , grazed through the front windshield through the back and the subsequent ones riddled windshields of his car did not hit him or his daughter.
He confirmed the incident when journalists converged at his house early last Saturday day morning.
Describing his ordeal, Mr. Johnson said, the incident occurred at 5:30 a.m. on Friday after he came from a relative function on the old road and was returning home with his daughter Erica asleep in the back of the car.
“Praise and thank God that nothing happened to my daughter and,” Emmanuel lamented. Adding, “I have already informed the Justice Ministry Public and Safety Affairs and the national police and they promised to conduct investigation, but since then I have followed up and have not received redress or response. I fear for my life and the life of my daughter and the rest of the family.”
According, Mr. Johnson did not recognize the men because they wore covering on their faces and when the car light flashed they stepped away from the light beam and started firing at his vehicle.
“ I slowed the car a little bit to observe situation when I noticed the men flagging me to stop. I thought they needed help for some sick desperate person in need to be rushed to the hospital. But when I noticed the men pulled what looked like gun, I stepped the gas speeding off,” said Emmanuel.
“I don’t have any idea why people would want to kill me or why they would want to kill me. I am just a simple guy who inherited some property from my father and want to develop it for the rest of the family , so why would somebody want to kill me when I have shown interest in spreading every bit of revenue generated from the farm,” he fathomed.
Emmanuel said he will do everything possible to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice or better still put all the property in care of either a law firm or human rights organization and flee Liberia to remove himself from what is becoming ‘dangerous’. “I am already in talk with a law firm to serve as trust and administrator of the properties and we are also going to follow this until we know those relatives who are trying to kill me,” Emmanuel declared.
“It is not the first time that I have been attacked. About two months ago, my home was arm robbed and fortunately for me and my family, were not home but they left death threat messages and did not take a pin from the home. I know why people want to kill me. They want to grab forcefully all the properties and lands I inherited from my father.”
When asked whether he had a disagreement with anyone before the incident, Emmanuel responded, “Yes, there are disagreements with some relatives about properties I inherited from my father. He said that before his father, Edward Johnson, died he turned over all the properties to him, including houses in Monrovia and Gbarnga and huge rubber farms in Bong county.
According to Emmanuel, since the death of his father other relatives have been demanding that he relinquishes some of the properties inherited to them. They say he is too young to have inherited such properties and lands over them.
He tried and made sure all of them get some shelter to live in and land for them to carryout farming. But they keep demanding for more and more each time and he refused to heed to their demands they threatened him with death.
“l can see now some of them want me dead so that they can take over the properties that is why they are behind the plot to assassinate me, ” Emmanuel retorted tearfully.
“When the appropriate time comes, we are going to know who is behind these incidences of attempted assassinations, because we are going to take legal action against anyone that is involved in the failed assassination attempts,” Emmanuel vowed.
Confirming the disagreement among relatives and the death threats when he spoke with journalists recently, Mr. Harry Ragland, half- brother of Emmanuel Johnson admitted that there is the ongoing demands by some relatives from the father side who want to take over all of the properties and have sown that ‘’if it takes for them to murder Emmanuel to get hold of all the properties, they are going to do so and nothing will stop them members of the association”.
Mr. Ragland expressed dismay over the haphazard investigation by the police and apparent cover-ups. He said they have asked the Justice Ministry and the National Police for protection for his brother and family over and over, but their cries for security and protection fell on deaf ears. He said the respond from authorities are appalling.
”What the rest of us the family have advised Emmanuel is for him to Leave Liberia immediately to avoid being murdered. We asked him to put the properties and Lands under Trust administered by a law firm and go into self-exile to save his own life. “The rest of the evil minded relatives want Emmanuel dead by all means. Emmanuel must think about securing his life first by leaving Liberia” he said.