Dozens of Liberians who are regular listeners of one of Liberia’s popular talk shows, the Costa Show were yesterday disappointed following an abrupt halt of the show due to an attack on the facilities by some armed men; destroyed transmission cable of the uncompromising talk-show host Henry P. Costa.
The three armed men early Thursday morning, January 31, 2019, reportedly waged a ferocious attack on the radio station of tough-talking political commentator and talk-show host Henry Pedro Costa, according to reports reaching the Daily Observer. The attack compounded the little technical problem that the station was experiencing Wednesday evening, Henry Costa, in a live social media broadcast, said yesterday.
“Our station, Roots FM, was early yesterday, at 3 a.m., attacked by three armed men, who were wearing dark hood on their faces, to cause some damage,” he said.
Mr. Costa noted that the armed men had gone to the facility where his station’s transmitter is housed and introduced themselves to the two watchmen on duty as inspectors who had gone to inspect and probably fix damaged machinery.
Mr. Costa, who is the founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of the station, attributed the failure of his station to broadcast on Thursday on the attack, which saw a transmission cable damaged by the attackers. Mr. Costa said his radio station is now coming under attack because of his critical stance on national issues.
Costa is widely known to be a vocal and uncompromising but popular talk show host of The Costa Show. He said, “The attackers forced their way into the fence where our materials are, after banging the gate, and the security men opened it.”
“They opened the gate and let them in; they came in and immediately pulled out their guns – the three of them; they pulled out their guns on the two watchmen who were unarmed and began asking them “Where is Costa’s broadcast equipment?”
“Upon realizing that the watchmen did not have the key to the building housing the equipment, the attackers went at the back of it where they cut the ground cable using a cutlass,” Costa said.
This, he said, caused a power surge that blew up the power supply in the transmitter.
The popular talk-show host and rights activist is a fierce critic of President George Weah —condemning many of the President’s decisions, especially for the “lackadaisical” manner in which the President is governing the state. Mr. Costa has also been very critical of the flashy and flamboyant lifestyle of President Weah and few of his officials in such an “economically constrained country.”
According to Costa, the watchmen might have allowed the armed attackers to enter the fence because technicians usually visit the facility from time to time to carry out maintenance work on the transmitter.
Many Liberians, who appear wary about the manner in which the country is being led by the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), woke up to the disturbing news and have since started to condemn the attack. They are worried and afraid that critical voices against the government are being violently targeted.
They made reference to the recent violent attack on Montserrado County District #10 Representative Yekeh Kolubah, an attack in which gunshots recently riddled his home on the Old-Road.
Rep. Kolubah has also been very critical of the manner in which the president is accumulating wealth, supposedly at the detriment of the suffering Liberian masses. He believes that President Weah was acutely broke prior to ascending to the presidency; but surprisingly, the head of state is constructing luxurious duplexes and condominiums, including signing deals in the absence of legislation.
Costa said that he did not believe that the attack was sanctioned by President Weah, but strongly suspects that it was orchestrated by some officials of the government or the ruling party.
However, social media and local radio stations have been filled with a series of condemnations by friends, sympathizers, and followers of The Costa Show since he announced the attack on the station. The attack on Roots FM is invoking fear in Liberians both at home and abroad, and they have criticized the action on social media.
“This is pretty scary, but I’m not bothered by this one. My worry now is what they are planning to do next. This could just be the beginning. The Liberian media should now come together and address this situation. I’m afraid that Liberia is gradually slipping into the dark and gloomy days. Sad!” Aaron Saydee said on Facebook.
Meanwhile, Costa disclosed late Thursday evening that the station is back on air. He posted on social media, “We are back on the air! They cannot win!!”