LIBERIA: Police Restore Calm To Weala, Arrest Several Rioters
The Liberia National Police has restored calm to Weala in Margibi County and made several arrests after throngs of motorcyclists protesting the “mysterious” killing of a colleague burned down the Weala Magisterial Court on Monday.
The Liberia News Agency correspondent said the demonstrators also burned down the Weala and Bopolu Police depots, and several private buildings owned by a local businessman.
The situation brought normal activities in Weala and surrounding areas to a standstill for hours with the main national highway leading to Monrovia closed to vehicular traffic.
The motorcyclists’ action was in response to a recent “mysterious” killing of a fellow motorcyclist, identified as Moses Wolopaye (alias PCK).
During the protest, the Superintendent of Margibi County and the District Representative made an appeal to the rioters to keep calm but they refused to listen to their leaders and rather continue their protest.
It can be recalled that on Friday, March 1, two unidentified persons hired the services of the late motorcyclist Moses Wolopaye to transport them to Worhn, the headquarters of Gibi District in upper Margibi County, promising to pay him a transport fare of L$800, about L$600 more than the regular fare usually charged from Weala to Worhn.
After their departure, Wolopaye, aged 21, went missing and his decomposed remains was later discovered on March 6, along the Peter Town-Gibi highway with several body parts extracted.
Since the incidence, residents of the area, mainly motorcyclists, have complained that the Police investigation was being delayed, prompting the riot on Monday.
Police spokesman Moses Carter confirmed to the Liberia News Agency (LINA) that the LNP has responded to the Weala, Margibi County riot and has returned calm.
He told LINA that over 100 persons have been arrested so far with more arrests to be made.
“They burned down the Weala Magisterial Court, Police station and the Town Hall in Bopolu,” Carter said, adding that “our officers are doing a great job in bringing the situation under control.”
“The violence started as early as 7:00 a.m. when some aggrieved motorcyclists set up road blocks thereby barricading the main road in demand of justice for one of their colleagues whose body was found in the bush in Weala,” he confirmed.
“While LNP investigators were trying to get a link as to the perpetrator of the act, these aggrieved cyclists jumped in the streets in demand of justice for their colleagues on grounds that we (LNP) were not paying attention to the death of their fallen colleague,” Carter noted.
“They even went on the rampage looting properties of citizens of Weala. More arrests are being made,” he said.