LPP-USA Condemns Attack on Sawyer, Wesseh
(A Statement Issued by the Liberian People's Party-USA)
December 6, 2000
On Tuesday, November 28, 2000, Liberians and the entire world were shocked but not surprised over news that about 100 former NPFL combatants heavily armed with cutlasses, knives, sticks, rusty irons, etc. stormed the offices of the Center for Democratic Empowerment (CEDE), a democracy organization. The combatants under the patronage of Mr. Charles Taylor were transported to CEDE's offices in several hired vehicles believed to have been paid for by the Liberian Government. During the planned and unprovoked attacked, the Chairman of CEDE's Board of Directors and former interim president of Liberia, Dr. Amos C. Sawyer and the executive director of CEDE, Mr. Conmany B. Wesseh were brutally assaulted and dragged out of their offices in broad day light in the Liberian Capital, Monrovia. According to eyewitnesses, Dr. Sawyer was beaten by seven bandits who tore his clothes and took away his brief case containing valuable documents, watch, chain and over U.S. $650.00. Mr. Wesseh was reported to have been stabbed by the NPP thugs several times, which caused sympathizers to rush him to the Catholic Hospital. The News further indicated that CEDE's office equipment including computers were damaged and/or taken away by the NPP sponsored criminals, while documents, furniture, office doors and windows were vandalized.
From all indications, we believe that the perpetrators of this heinous crime were acting on orders from Mr. Charles Taylor, President of Liberia. Although the NPP led Government claims to be innocent of the barbaric act, no one in Monrovia believes that the thugs acted on their own. The fact that Government Police did not intervene in such a criminal act committed by an organized mob at 12 Noon is an indication that the Government of Mr. Taylor did indeed sanction the criminal behavior of his hired combatants.
It may be recalled that over a year ago, the house of Mr. Conmany Wesseh was attacked in similar manner by the same NPP former combatants in daylight. During the time of the attack, Mr. Wesseh was out of the country. His wife was assaulted and some of their properties were taken away, while others were damaged in the presence of Government Police who refused to intervene.
We are also reminded that in November 1997, Mr. Samuel Dokie, a former ally of Taylor was illegally detained in Gbarnga, Central Liberia, on orders of Benjamin Yeaten, head of the Presidential Security Guards. It was a known fact that Yeaten obviously acted on behalf of Mr. Taylor. He further forced Dokie out of the Police Cell and murdered him, his wife, sister, and bodyguard in cold blood. When public sentiment mounted, Taylor instituted a Kangaroo Trial in which few low ranking innocent security men were paraded as the culprits. They were later set free while the principal architect of the crime, Benjamin Yeaten is moving in Liberia scout free.
Again, in 1998, a vocal marketeer Norwai Flomo who refused to join the NPP was secretly dragged from her home in Paynesville by men who, according to neighbors of the victim, were dressed in Special Security Service Uniforms. She has not been seen since then in spite of public out cry and a call for an investigation into her disappearance. Government has done absolutely nothing in pursuing the matter.
Against the backdrop of this pattern of state organized terror, the partisan of the Liberian People's Party (LPP) residing in the United States of America express indignation and condemnation over the cowardly act of Mr. Taylor. The LPP recognizes that after three years in power as a "legitimate" President, the Liberian ruler has absolutely done nothing to show in terms of development in the country. As a way of covering up for his gross failure in addressing the basic needs of the Liberian people, such as the provision of water and electricity, he continues to create chaos in the country in order to conceal his insensitivity to the rapidly declining conditions of our people who continue to wallow in abject poverty unprecedented in Liberian History.
In regards to the above, the LPP partisans residing in the United States of America, call on all democratic minded Liberians and people of good will to strongly condemn Taylor for such primitive and cowardly act. Liberians must resist this brutal and uncivilized behavior, which has no place in the 21st Century. We further call on our partisans all over the United States of America to take appropriate measures wherever they are, short of violence, to address this savage act which is becoming his way of governance in Liberia. We are convinced that Taylor's plan is to do everything possible to drive away Liberians he considers "potential" threat to his rule because it is becoming clear that he does not want any formidable opposition come 2003. While other nations of Africa are 50 to 100 years ahead of Liberia, Africa's oldest republic, Taylor's concept of development is the reign of terror and pillaging of the country's resources for his personal benefit.
Finally, we appeal to our colleagues at home to do everything possible to work within the confine of Liberian laws, which Taylor, as an outlaw does not respect beyond lip service. Let us keep hope alive and do not engage in any act of violence since ours is a civilized approach to issues. As the saying goes, good shall always triumph over evil.
Issued this 5TH day of December 2000 AD in the city of Newark, New Jersey, U.S.A.
Signed: Stephen Y. Konah
Chairman, LPP, U.S.A.