Liberia: Bring Criminal Charges Against Augustine Nagbe, Aka General Power

Just when did Augustine Nagbe, otherwise known as 'general Power', become the trustee and guardian of the Kru people? And what gives him the temerity to openly declare on radio that he is forming a Kru Defense Force to, as he put it, to defend his Kru President, George Weah and the Kru people of Liberia? But just when did the Kru people come under attack from non-Kru Liberians, such that this common criminal would dare to openly threaten to form an armed group, in blatant violation of the Accra Comprehensive Peace Accords?

To the best of available information, this so-called 'general Power' was conscripted into the AFL as a volunteer in 1990 during the height of the civil war. The AFL volunteers were made up mainly of lumpen elements recruited from the slums of Monrovia, especially from the Township of West Point, from where Power hails. Later he would defect to Prince Johnson's Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia (INPFL) and then later to the Taylor-led National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL).

During the TRC hearings in Monrovia, a woman from West Point told the TRC under oath that 'General Power' forced her at gun point to eat a large can of feces. He is accordingly listed in the TRC report as a perpetrator of gross human rights abuses.

Since the election of President Sirleaf in 2005, Power and other ex-generals, including Momo Geebah, had been receiving regular monthly payments from the National Security Agency (NSA) according to well placed sources. It is from this pool of unsavory elements, according to sources, that hitmen were allegedly recruited to carry out attacks against perceived enemies.

Since the election of President George Weah, these unsavory elements have emerged from the shadows and have become so emboldened that they, at one point, held a press conference in Monrovia and issued open threats of arrest against Montserrado County District #8 Representative Yekeh Kolubah. But, faced by mounting public criticism for their actions, they shortly thereafter stormed the grounds of the Temple of Justice in a Ministry of State vehicle sending party litigants, lawyers and by-standers running helter- skelter.

More recently, this ragtag 'general Power' has been involved in brutally suppressing student protest demonstrations around Monrovia, He has been captured on video shots and he can be seen actively commanding Police officers although he is not known to have been recruited into the ranks of the Liberia National Police (LNP). Additionally, other criminal minded elements including an ex-US service man known as Zoely Zoe, have appeared on social media threatening to kill would-be December 30 protesters. These individuals, according to sources, are supported directly by Minister of State Nathaniel McGill.

The Daily Observer has often reminded President Weah to rein in these elements because, in the final analysis, he will have to take blame for their actions. Power and his likes proved unable to defend and keep President Doe in power neither were they able to protect and defend Taylor. At the end Taylor was forced to step down and go into exile, He was later tried and convicted of war crimes and today sits uncomfortably in a British jail where he will languish for years to come.

In this regard, this newspaper reminds Power and others in their proposed organization that his utterances will be sure to draw the attention of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The fact that his (Power's) open remarks have not drawn rebuke from the government tends to suggest that it is in full agreement with the actions of these men and it underscores the urgent need to establish the War and Economic Crimes Court for Liberia.

As the clock ticks towards the December 30 protest, there are growing concerns that the outcomes may be violent with unknown consequences for protesters and the government as well. Against the backdrop of extreme economic hardships currently being experienced, tempers and nerves could become easily frayed and provoke response to any incident of violence against protesters. In this regard, President Weah must act swiftly to distance himself and his government from Power's threats to organize a Kru Defense Force.

Perhaps, this ragtag, so-called 'general' needs to be reminded that President Weah is not leader of a Kru nation; rather, he is leader of all 16 ethnic groups of Liberia. The entire Kru population of Liberia put together would never have earned the required votes to single-handedly Make Weah President of Liberia.

Accordingly, it is the considered view of this newspaper that Power is inciting ethnic hatred, which should not be countenanced by this government.

Equally so, is the Freedom FM, whose hate messages and inciteful rhetoric have continued unabated. This needs to stop or be stopped forthwith. Those who seek to reverse the gains of peace and return the nation to its bloody past in a desperate attempt to cling on to the reins or power must be stopped at all cost for the future of this nation.

It is the considered view of this newspaper, that Power should be made to face criminal charges for inciting ethnic hatred. This recent outburst by this self-styled general warrants his appearance before a court of competent jurisdiction to face criminal charges.

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