Protest In Weala, Motorcyclists Burn 2 Police Depots, Other Buildings

Weala Police Depot and other public and private buildings and properties were set ablaze by angry youth over the death of their colleague

In the wake of reports of the ritualistic murder of a local motorcyclist in Weala, Upper Margibi County, commercial motorcyclists on Monday, April 1, 2019, went on the rampage and burned down the only police depots in Weala and the Baypolue, the Baypolue Magisterial Court and several other privately-owned buildings, the Liberia News Agency (LINA) Margibi County correspondent has reported.

According to the report, the motorcyclists’ violent action yesterday brought normal activities in Weala and other surrounding communities to a total standstill as tension was high, which compelled the closure of the main Kakata/Gbarnga highway to vehicular movement for some hours.

According to LINA, the motorcyclists reportedly destroyed several other businesses, among them a building owned by local businessman, Stephen Tokpah, (alias ‘Park it Better’). The motorcyclists’ action stands from the recent death of fellow motorcyclist, Moses Wolopaye (alias ‘PCK’).

PCK was reportedly hired by two unknown men, who later allegedly murdered him and extracted some of his body parts. Up to quelling of the riot yesterday, security officers were yet to arrest the perpetrators.

According to reports quoting local residents from the area, on Friday, March 1, 2019, two unidentified persons reportedly hired the services of motorcyclist Moses Wolopaye, 21, to take them to Worhn, Gibi District Headquarters in Upper Margibi County on the promise to pay a generous fare of L$800, rather than the regular amount of L$200 that is usually charged from Weala to Worhn.

Burning road blockade in Weala

Further, according to reports, shortly after Wolopaye and the unidentified men departed for Worhn, Wolopaye allegedly went missing; only to find his decomposed body along the Peter Town-Gibi highway with several body parts allegedly extracted.

Margibi County Superintendent and the District Representative tried pleading with the motorcyclists, who appeared very incensed about the alleged murder of their colleague and, according to local officials, instead proceeded to engage in violent mob action which resulted in the destruction of properties.

Police have however restored calm in the area, following the arrest of several persons they believed were involved in the riot.

Some of the rioters claimed to have earlier written a communication to the Superintendent, calling on the government to act promptly by finding the perpetrators and bringing them to justice within three days, or else they would have taken the matter into their own hands, not ruling out possible violent mass action.

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About Cholo Brooks 14426 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.