Liberia: Two Lawmakers Bypass Health Protocols - Secretly Enter Liberia Through Buutuo From Ghana

Buutuo — Representative Samuel G. Kogar of Nimba County's District #5 and some of his colleagues bypassed health protocols and entered the country through Buutuo in Nimba County on Monday, March 23rd.

The representatives, including Rep. Francis Dopoe, are said to have come from Ghana and because they didn't want to be allegedly quarantined, chose to travel by road through Ivory Coast and entered Liberia via Buutuo border, which is in Kogar's District #5 in Nimba County.

The lawmakers had left the country through the Roberts International Airport (RIA) for Ghana.

Speaking to FrontPageAfrica Tuesday, March 24, in Buutuo, Representative Kogar confirmed that he and others entered Liberia through Buutuo.

"It is truth that I left the country through the Roberts International Airport for official duties for a week," he said. He added, however, that in Ghana, that country's authorities informed him and others that they were about to shut down their border with other countries so as to help them effectively combat the spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.

According to Rep. Kogar, because he had some money on him, he and his colleagues got on a chattered car from Accra and entered Ivory Coast even though the border between both nations had already been closed.

According to him, in Ivory Coast, they spoke with some senior Ivorian government officials, who were instrumental in allowing them, based also on their positions, to crossover that country's border to enter Liberia through Buutuo.

The Nimba County lawmaker further told FrontPageAfrica how vulnerable the Liberian side of the border is in Buutuo. According to him, when he and his colleagues crossed over to the Liberian side of the border, they only saw two border officials, including a Liberia Revenue Authority officer and a Liberia Immigration Service personnel. "There is no health worker there at the border," he added.

According to a young man, Eddie Miller, who is opposed to why the lawmakers entered through Buutuo and not RIA, while Kogar was still on the Ivorian side, he had phoned some of his allies, who gathered others and took a huge crowd to the border to welcome him.

According to our reporter in Nimba, Rep. Kogar has vowed to self-quarantine for 14 days at his home in his home town.

This hasn't gone down well with some Nimbaians. Callers on most of the radio morning talk shows in the county have been calling on Kogar and others to be taken into quarantine by the National Public Health Institute of Liberia.

On a visit by this newspaper in the Buu-Yao District, Nimbaians expressed their disappointment in Reps. Kogar and Dopoe for bypassing the health protocol in place by the health authority when one comes from a covid-19 hit nation.

However, lawmakers Dopoe and Kogar Thursday, March 26, in separate interviews, told journalists in Monrovia, that they entered Liberia through Buutuo. According to Rep. Dopoe, they were racing against border closure.

"I am not sick and will not get sick; I rebuke that question. I am well and kicking and if you want me play football I can do it right now," he further said.

For his part, Rep. Korgar said he is currently in Nimba County and is well. "I am here with my people and I am okay; I am not sick."

The two lawmakers told FrontPageAfrica that each of them is currently under "self-isolation" and will do that till the 14-day period is over.

"I am doing isolation for the sake of me and my people but I am not sick," Kogar stated.

Dopoe also informed this newspaper that other colleagues of theirs, including Representatives Acarous Gray, Munah Pelhm-Youngblood, Edwin Snowe, Suakoko Dennis and Clarence Massaquoi were also on the trip from Ghana. According to Dopoe, they had advised Kogar to stay in Nimba for the 14-day period.

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