Gbarnga, Bong County, venue of the just-ended three-day national conference on the Vision 2030 came to a standstill Wednesday December 12, 2012 when a soldier of the Armed Forces of Liberia allegedly stabbed a commercial motorcyclist (pehn-pehn boy) in the chest for $10 Liberian dollars.
The victim was reportedly rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment, but the New Dawn later gathered that he is on critical list at the C. B. Dumbar Hospital in Gbarnga. Commercial motorcyclists in Gbarnga went on the rampage after the news broke that one of their colleagues has been stabbed by an AFL soldier that couldn't be identified.
The angry cyclists mounted road blocks in protest at the Gbarnga Iron Gate, entrance to the city, preventing vehicles from entering or leaving in solidarity with their colleague for the incident.
Our reporter covering the Vision 2030 conference detailed that the motorcyclist took the fiance of the AFL soldier to the Camp Tubman Military Barrack on the outskirt of Gbarnga for a fare of LD$30, but upon arrival there, she handed the rider LD$20.
Attempt by the motorcyclist to inquire for the balance LD$10, was greeted with angry response from the girl, which resulted to a bitter argument between the two.
The harsh exchanges lasted for a while near the barrack when the girl called her boyfriend (the AFL soldier), who came and joined the quarrel and subsequently stabbed the motorcyclist in the chest. After the incident, motorcyclists were seen burning tires and erecting roadblocks in the city.
As the tension intensified near the Iron Gate, the Liberia National Police 102, Abraham Kromah, who was providing security for President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and her entourage at the Gbarnga conference, immediately dispatched a team of officers of the Police Support Unit at the city entrance to put the situation under control.
The New Dawn also observed that the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) here, who was also on her way to Gbarnga to attend the closing ceremony of the Vision 2030 conference, was constrained to return to Monrovia because her convoy couldn't pass through the Iron Gate, already besieged by angry commercial motorcyclists.
The 102 of the Liberia National Police Kromah however told this paper later that the situation has been brought under control, but he could not reveal the name of the AFL soldier, who allegedly committed the act. The police has meanwhile assured that investigation was ongoing and that authorities of the army would take all necessary steps to ensure justice.
The Ministry of National Defense spokesperson in Monrovia, Assistant Minister David Dahn, told a local radio station Wednesday immediately following the incident that appropriate action would be taken to address the matter.