Liberia: Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence Attacked in Grand Bassa

Buchanan — The political leader of the opposition Liberty Party (LP), incumbent Senator Nyonblee Karnga Lawrence, has alarmed over an alleged violent attack on her campaign team in Kru Town, Grand Bassa County, by some citizens believed to be supporters of former Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Gbenzongar Findley.

Incumbent Senator Lawrence is the candidate of the opposition Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), while Mr. Findley is the contender of the governing Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) in the ensuing senatorial election.

The senatorial election is expected to take place on December 8, according to the National Elections Commission (NEC).

Senator Lawrence pointed out that she and her team stormed Kru Town in district # 1 to campaign, along with former Deputy Speaker Hans Barchue (who is the current Representative of the district), during the early night hours when the incident allegedly occurred.

Her assertions were contained in a statement released to FrontPage Africa on Tuesday, November 24, shortly after the alleged incident.

She pointed out that though her team has been avoiding night campaigning in the county; "a lot of grounds" were covered by her team during the day, something which led to the late attempt to campaign in Kru Town, right next to Edina where Mr. Findley has his base.

Senator Lawrence claimed that the base of the ruling party candidate in the area is being controlled by Mr. Austin Spader, who is an Assistant Minister, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Mr. Spader is also a former City Mayor and an eminent resident of Kru Town, where the violent attack occurred.

"As soon as we started the meeting and the oldest man in the town started his welcome remark, we started to hear heavy stones on top of the palava hut. The securities told us not to move. As the throwing of stones continued, I was covered up by the securities and taken to the vehicle with Hon. Barchue and we drove away in a hurry".

Second time

Senator Lawrence pointed out that the latest violent attack on her life by unknown persons brings to two the number of times she has been attacked in the county in recent times.

She recalled that while attending the funeral service of the Youth Leader of the Liberty Party at a local church in the county, she was attacked by an unknown in the presence of mourners and sympathizers.

Youth Chairman, Joseph Goffa was pronounced dead by doctors assigned at the government hospital in Buchanan, after he was involved in a tragic motorcycle accident on this year's National Thanksgiving Day.

"The guy ran in the church to attack me and he also attempted to push the casket to the ground. He was beaten by angry audience and taken away later by the police," Senator Lawrence stated.

She recalled that prior to his demise; Mr. Goffa was also allegedly by supporters of the CDC candidate who were armed at Magic FM radio station.

According to her, the youth leader was at the station for his regular evening show to boost her campaign when the incident happened.

Senator Lawrence pointed out that Mr. Goffa was allegedly thrown out of the station by Mr. Findley's supporters on grounds that the ruling party candidate wanted to appear on the station.

In recent times, there has been series of violent attacks among supporters of rival candidates contesting the senatorial election, particularly in Grand Bassa, Grand Cape Mount and Bomi counties.

In Bomi County, scores of citizens were severely injured when supporters of Representative Edwin Snowe and former House Speaker Alex Tyler, who is a candidate of the ruling party, engaged into a violent clash in Tubmanburg recently.

A local business center belonging to Mr. Obediah Varney, City Mayor of Tubmanburg, who is supporting the senatorial bid of Mr. Tyler, was vandalized and goods worth thousands of United States dollars looted.

Prior to the commencement of campaign activities and the qualification of candidates by the NEC, supporters of CDC candidate incumbent Senator Victor Watson and CPP candidate Simeon Taylor, also clashed in the county over alleged report of the ferrying of Sierra Leoneans into Liberia to register for the December 8 senatorial election.

One Idrissa Mansaray, a businessman engaged into mining activities in the county, was accused by the locals of transporting Sierra Leoneans to register and vote in favor of his candidate, Senator Watson.

Several persons were injured, including Liberian journalist Omaska Mark of the News newspaper and properties damaged.

Though officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) assigned in the various counties were the violent acts occurred launched separate investigations into the incidents, the outcomes of those investigations remain unknown.

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