It started like a drama at 6:40 AM on the early morning of Monday, April 19, 2021 when residents of the Fulton Dunbar Field were demanded by Police and Immigration officers who were heavily armed with AK-47, pistols and tear gas shooters to leave the area on grounds that the land they occupied belongs to Mr. Fred Suah Johnson.
The situation lasted for over 8 hours with tear gas being launched amongst citizens and onlookers who came to witness the situation were being disperse by the armed police officers.
About three young men who tried to react were being flogged and dragged to the Ganta Police station for detention. It caused a serious embarrassment for residents including parents and their school going kids many of whom had just woke up from their beds and setting up for schools and market were being left in total dismay over the incidence.
The situation brought a total halt in the normal activities of the folks making them to not attend to their businesses and other usual daily hustles as majority of the folks in the area survive by trade.
While people were trying to inquired about the situation, the Sheriff only identified as Mr. Emmanuel who refused to talk to newsmen on ground, ordered the vandalization of the buildings the people live in, including the removal of zinc and roofs and as well as demolition of the building structures.
Though, there has been a long-standing dispute of the particular portion of land between Mr. Fred Suah Johnson and the Donzos and Jabatehs on the other hand.
However, what appears confusing about the Monday’s situation is that, Sheriff Emmanuel and the armed officers who were ordering the demolition of structures in the vicinity stopped journalists who had earlier visited the scene to not carryout any normal function like doing a live Facebook broadcast, not pictures taking or video recording, though they have said that they were sent by the judge of the 8th Judicial Circuit Court in Sanniquellie.
Additionally, when the Superintendent of Nimba County, Nelson Korquoi and Hon. Mac Gblinwon the County Inspector later visited the scene, they were devastated about the latest happenings as according to them they were not served any communication to such effect as County Administrators.
The Mayor of Gompa, Amos N. G. Suah also said, he was never in the know of such thing in the City which he controls. Through the intervention of the County Administrators, it was later discovered that the Writ upon which Sheriff Emmanuel and officers were enforcing in keeping with, is a 2017 document.
Therefore, the vandalization was being halted and the people who were earlier arrested were later vindicated reportedly based on a call from President George Weah and that an emergency meeting will be held in Monrovia on Wednesday to look into the matter.
Superintendent Korquoi alongside members of the County administration and delegation from the affected community will attend the meeting.
The dispute between Mr. Johnson who is the overseer of the Christ United Heart for Soul Church in Ganta and the Donzos and Jabatehs’ families heated up in 2016 when former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf sent the ‘Musa Bility’s Committee’ to mediate the issue.
Following the mediation, it was agreed that those occupying the land would be compensated in order resettled somewhere else, but the Donzos and Jabatehs later took their complain at the Supreme Court of Liberia where according to Mr. Solomane Jabateh, spokesman of the Muslim community in Ganta said they took evidences and the case is still pending.
The incidence yesterday is glaringly brewing some tribal tension between the Manos and Gios on the other hand and the Mandingoes on the other side. Land dispute in Nimba had been one the traditional and most terrifying conflicts in the area.
Last year, there was a huge fight between the same Pastor Johnson and residents of Gbesehlah Town, where there were Cutlass throw with huge shared of blood.
With the current tension, citizens are opting that the Wednesday’s meeting will be able to resolve the matter for once.