Wednesday's (October 9) arrival of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and delegation from the United States of America amid fear of protest by groups here compulsorily shutdown the entire Monrovia with businesses, public offices and schools closed for the most part of the day.
Government officials, including civil servants and ordinary citizens braved cloudy weather that earlier commenced the day and turned out in mass, lining the streets from central town to the Roberts International Airport in Margibi County to welcome home the President.
Monrovia virtually became a ghost town Wednesday as the routine hustle and bustle ceased and all ears directed at the RIA in anxious anticipation of the arrival of President Sirleaf.
There were also anti-Ellen group, who went to the Airport to ask the President to resign in the face of widespread corruption and nepotism in government, coupled with hardship among the population.
Business men and women at the commercial district of Waterside were forced to shut down their businesses upon hearing of the arrest of Congress for Democratic Change Vice Chairman, Mulbah Morlu. Mulbah Morlu had earlier called for mass protest in the streets of Monrovia to demand the resignation of Madam Sirleaf.
Liberians down Waterside told this paper that they have to close their businesses after they saw huge presence of the Police Support Unit (PSU) of the Liberian National Police (LNP) parading the area with arms.
According to some of the business people, who spoke to this paper Wednesday, the arrest of Mulbah Morlu, Ba-Wah Brownell, Julius Jensen, William Knowlden and others who are behind the "Ellen Must Step Down" campaign led to rumors that something bad was about to happen.
"We heard that Monrovia was bleeding and they have arrested Morlu and his friends; matter got worse when we saw the PSU people parading all around here, and that had not really happened before, [but] after hearing that Monrovia is bleeding and then we see all of these PSU officers, we got afraid and we closed," Catherine Wesseh, a businesswoman, explained.
A Lebanese businessman, Elloty Farwarzt, said he has to close down his store because since the 80s, he knows how many properties he and his family had lost due to war, noting, "This is how Liberia thing can start; I am not going to take anything for joke."
Most parents prevented their kids from going to school for fear of unforeseen eventuality. Observers say such atmosphere in the country has the propensity to scare away investors and strangulate the economy.