Tense Thursday As Government Shuts Down Roots Fm


Monrovia, Liberia’s capital City has now become one of the least under developed Cities across the globe that is now addicted to protest actions since the administration of the CDC led Government.

The City unlike other Governments has experienced series of protests action by its people in less than two years under the Administration of President George Weah.

On Thursday, October 10, 2019 in Liberia normal activities were disrupted for hours in one of the popular and busies streets of Monrovia that host the Central Bank of Liberia, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, a sub office of the Liberia Fire Service, The United Methodist University (UMU)the historic Centennial Memorial Pavilion among others all on Ashmun Street when state security officers enforced one of their mandates and forcibly entered into the facilities of Roots Fm owned by Famous Political Commentator and Talk Show Host Henry Costa, broke into the main entrance of the Station and damaged professional broadcast equipment and also seized several media gadgets to include: Microphones, Broadcast mixer board and many others as Liberians watch the scene in disbelieve.

The situation was greeted with mixed opinions from the public especially followers of Roots Fm who branded the action by the Police as unprofessional and a complete attack on the media.

Up till press time no exact reasons so far has been given for the Police and court sheriff  action but it is alleged by some that the Station owner Henry Costa uses his airwaves on his popular Show-The Costa-Show to incite the people against the Government, cause unnecessary violence and disturbances of the peace  as well as hate speeches including the persistent rendering of insults on the President of Liberia, George Weah and other key Government officials something some of the listeners and followers of the Costa show termed as false and a political lazy argument.

According to them during the police raid on Thursday about the station and the Costa  show in particular has over the period informed them about the ills in society and has in no way been unprofessional as claimed by others.

However, some supporters of the police action Thursday also claimed that it was necessary for Roots Fm to be shut down due to its alleged unprofessional broadcast which they pointed out allegedly has the propensity to scare away investors as well as undermining the current peace and security of the state of which the people are now enjoying.

The City of Monrovia especially Ashmun and Broad Streets were very tense as police officers barricaded the intersections including the exit and entry routes to the two Streets just to enforced their action.

Fear subsequently overwhelmed the people as Banks, other businesses including Schools were abruptly shut down in a bid to protect and secure their respective investments  as well as their individuals’ safety.

The City later appeared dramatic when some supporters of Roots Fm hastily ran to Freedom Fm on Benson Street in demand for it to be shut down as well.

According to them, both Roots and Freedom Fm have been branded by the Press Union of Liberia as Bad Apples in the Liberian Media Landscape.

The Decision by the Police came just two Days after the entire membership of the PUL pledged their overwhelming support to the Leadership against unprofessional media institutions including journalists who are polluting the profession.

The Union according to its President Charles Coffey maintained that it will not condone any acts of ethical transgressions in the media but has repeatedly clarified that it has not ask any government functionaries to shut down media houses.

Meanwhile Opposition Unity Party has condemned in the strongest termed the action by the Government to shut down Roots Fm.

The Party through its Assistant Secretary General for press and propaganda Mohammed Ali promised to work with the Collaborating Political Parties to explore all legal and political means possible to ensure the reopening of Roots Fm.

The UP also called on the Independent Human Rights Commission to launch an immediate investigation into the matter because according to them it is a direct infringement on the rights of the people and the opposition to freely express themselves.

It is still unclear what may have prompted the police action Thursday as many have so far criticized the manner and form in which the process was done.

Meanwhile unconfirmed reports have it that Roots Fm manager Fidel Saydee was arrested by the Police during the process.

Investigation Continues.