By: Nathaniel Success Topkah (Nimba County Correspondent)
It was another drama to witness in the trade City of Ganta over the weekend as violence erupted between motocylists and security over the demand of the rightful corpse of their deceased colleague believed to be killed by former deputy director of police in the city.
It all started peacefully around 10: 00 am on the morning of Friday November 27, when family members, concern citizens, motocylists, advocacy groups and onlookers assembled at the grounds of the Gompa Funeral Home in order to take the body of Samuel Selleh,18, for burial following months of tensed clashes between the government and the family.
The alleged killing of the 18-year-old boy took place on the night of March 8 this year at the Jackie’s Guest House.
Dressed up in black to signify the painfulness the situation has brought over the city, Hundreds of motorbike operators in a sad mood took the remains of the boy to the site for burial at the deceased paternal hometown of Gbuyee, a place that’s about one hour thirty minutes walk from the funeral home.
After parading with the casket for over two hours across the street allays, the body was eventually brought at the grave site where he was to be laid to rest.
It all turned around when motocylists demanded that the casket be opened so that they can view the body of their colleague before his remains could be placed in tomb for burial.
After minutes of argument over the issue between cyclists and the undertakers, it was finally agreed that the casket be opened for the body to be viewed by both the family and the motocylists as it is normally done at every funeral service because there was no wake keeping.
When the undertakers opened the casket to unvail the body to the family, Mr. Paye Selleh, father of the deceased boy raised a contention that the body in the casket was not his son, Samuel Selleh.
” This body I’m seeing here is not my son body. The boy was just small 18-year-old boy, then how come I seeing one old man lying down here, the body grow in the funeral home?” Mr. Selleh agitated.
Other closed relatives and friends who knew the deceased during his lifetime also confirmed that the body was not their friend.
Some claimed that body was a Fullani, whilst other said that the body was of aged.
” The body you seeing in that casket is an old Fulaman. I knew the pekin [the deceased] very well, he’s my own brother.” Another man who claimed to be a relative of the late cyclists said in an agitated tone.
” Let me tell you, that guy was my own boy that we used to run traffic together, but that body in this casket is not Samuel I can tell you for free.” Another aggreived motocylist lamented.
This caused the motocylists and and other angry residents to grow even more furious.
” I’m very angry right now because why they should allow us to toot different body from all the way that funeral home to come here.” Another angry residents explained.
With in the twikling of an eye, they angrily took the body which they said was not theirs back to the funeral parlor and started to demolished parts of the facility.
They later came and ransacked the Ganta Police station. There was even an attempt on burning the station.
With the situation going out of hand, the police in Ganta hastily called for a reenforcement from the Regional Hub in Gbarnga, Bong County.
Before the arrival of the additional police force from Bong County, the angry rioters set roadblocks all across the city.
The situation instilled huge fear on peaceful citizens resulting to the closure of business places such as restaurant, stores, video clubs and other major market places especially the Ganta general market.
For almost six hours normal business activities came to a standstill in Ganta following this incidence.
Police made numerous arrest of motocylists and other rioters last evening in an effort to restore calm in the city.
Though almost all the hierarchy of the county are presently on ground but they are mostly concentrated on their campaign activities, like for hon. Jeremiah Koung of District #1 where the violence occurred, he is yet to make any official statement.
On September 30, 2015, similar incidence occurred where motorcyclists and other angry citizens staged a bloody protest in the demand of justice after a another cyclists identified as Milton Wehyeegbay was grusomely murdered by unknown in a swamp around the 404 Community.
A lot of people including students, business people became victims of this situation because a lot of people got wounded in the process.
Businessman, Prince P. S. Howard property including his Alvino Hotel, the Alvino Mini Mart on the Sanniquellie road and his personal house were all vandalized and destroyed during that time.
Following that fearsome incidence, motorbikes were being banned from running across the perimeter of the City for about three months.
This brought a setback on the economical activities of the city and many parts of the Nimba.