Marketers, Police Clash
By: Buxton Davies
During the process, a scuffle broke out between the angry marketers and the police, resulting to stone throwing, missiles as well as sticks at one another.
In the process, one of the marketers only identified as James was seriously
wounded in the head.
When contacted, the Physician Assistant, Edward Gbollie who received the victim at his medicine store in West Point, confirmed the incident but said the man was treated and discharged later. He told our reporter that the victim received 25 stitches as a result of a third degree laceration received in his head.
Market stalls were being demolished by the police which prompted the closure of stores by Lebanese and Fula merchants.
The National Chairman of the Liberia Marketers & Welfare Union, Francis Sanyon attributed the harsh action taken by the police as “politically motivated.” H e pointed accusing finger at the President of the Liberia Marketing Association (LMA), Jennifer Koffah, whom he alleged recently said there was a need for the marketers to be relocated because they have sufficient space available for them.
He however called on the marketers to remain calm as efforts are underway
for a delegation to meet the authorities concerned.
The traders said they saw police officers burn their stalls in the early hours of the morning in the eastern Paynesville district of the capital. Up to late afternoon yesterday the situation in the city was still tense as hundreds of marketers were heading towards the Executive Mansion but stopped at the intersection of Broad & Buchanan Streets by a team of CIVPOL and the Liberia National Police.
Meanwhile, President Ellen Johnson-Sirrleaf says the relocation of marketers from the streets is not meant to subject them to any form of abuse and the rights of all will be respected including marketers, buyers and pedestrians.
According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf reminded the marketers that their continuous selling on the streets impedes traffic and pedestrian movements.
The Liberian leader spoke yesterday in the Parlors of the Executive Mansion when she granted audience to twenty marketers who had gone to express their grievances and appeal to the government of Liberia to suspend the removal exercise.
President Sirelaf informed the marketers that the government is doing everything in its power to obtain support to build a proper market and instructed the Director of the Liberian National Police (LMP), the Minister of Commerce, the Minister of Gender and Development and the head of the Liberia Marketing Association (LMA), to move with the marketers to identify more sites to be sued for business activities.