20 February 2013

Liberia: Like Gray, Like Konneh - Finance Minister Faces Early Morning Protester

Just as the case of opposition Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) Representative Acarous Gray the day before, Finance Minister Amara Konneh Tuesday morning woke of to the chants of protesters holding placards before his resident calling of his resignation.

The protesters called for the Minister's resignation on ground that he was not qualified for the position, a similar call against Gray Monday when elements of his district stormed his home with placards demanding he leaves their district for incompetence, lies and threats.

Series of anti-Gray and anti-Konneh protests have persisted since last week, with both government officials reportedly paying groups to launch attack on each others. Gray and Konneh have however denied funding any group, but each of the group is coincidentally making the same demands: resignation.

Protesters of yesterday carried placards such as "Amara Konneh, gay of the year 2012/2013. We are asking you to relinquish your job as Finance Minister because of corruption."

Though they were calling for the Minister's resignation, there was no spokesman of the mob to give detail of demand Police moved in, as with the incident of Gray on Monday, and prevailed on protesters to vacate the Finance Minister's residence.

In the space of 10 minutes, another group allegedly mobilized to demonstrate in favor of the Finance Minister, appeared with placards with some reading "Minister Konneh, the Youth Love You'.

Speaking to journalists, the pro-Amara Konneh group's spokesman, Mr. Prince Kollie, who is also the President of the National Yannah Boys Association of Liberia, said "the battle line has been drawn between Rep. Gray's Group and those of Minister Konneh."

According to him, he is going to put 5,000 petty traders (yannah boys) together to protest against Gray, adding that the District # 8 Representative should be talking about how to bring benefits to the people of his district, rather than running propaganda against Konneh.

"This issue will not be put to rest. One should say we were paid to do what we are doing, so that all will be concluded," he said.

Konneh described the incident as "the workings of Democracy." According to him, he is looking forward to a good working relationship with Gray.

He said he has a lot of respect for Gray because he is a Lawmaker, and one of the national leaders. "I would like to know what could have been his motives. I need the legislature to keep the country going; we need to worry about how to bring the hydro to get these people who are demonstrating jobs."

At the same time, Konneh has clearly stated that nothing has gone wrong between him and the CDC lawmaker.

He added that "we need to worry about employment and about how to build our roads. Representative Gray could not be reached for comments but anonymous sources close to him denied he was behind the group that stormed the Minister's house.

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