Deadly clashes in northeastern Nimba County between rival supporters of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change and the main opposition Unity Party have led to the death of one person and several persons injured.
Aloysius Bahn, a member of the local Doldeh Movement backing the reelection of President George Weah has been identified as the first elections violence casualty. He died from wounds suffered from the fighting, according to health officials in the area..
The Liberia National Police is probing into the fatal incident. Leading Nimba politicians including Senator Prince Johnson, Representative Gunpue Kargon and Governance Commission chief Garrason Yealu are actively heading campaigning in the vote-rich region. They have confirmed the violence with differing accounts.
Senator Johnson’s version
This incident occurred during my campaign activities in that Nimba County region, a place I hold dear in my heart.
The attacks transpired when our campaign team visited a town named Sole Vayanglay. Here, CDC supporters, led by the head of the Good Governance Commission and former representative of District #4, Hon. Garrason D. Yealu (my own son, whom I propelled into Liberian politics), engaged in a clash with supporters of Rescue 2 and Unity Party Vice Standard Bearer, Hon. Jeremiah Kpan Koung Unfortunately, this clash resulted in the tragic death of a young man aged between 22 and 25 years upon his arrival at the hospital.
The situation escalated to such an extent that we were unable to find rest in Vayanglay Town that night. This was primarily due to the aggressive behavior exhibited by the CDC supporters, who fatally injured the young man by pelting him with rocks aimed at his abdomen.”
Former Representative Yeali’s Version
“The leadership of the Doldeh Movement in Nimba County and sympathizers across Liberia have strongly described the brutal stabbing which resulted to death of Mr. Aloysius G. Bahn, a staunch member of the Movement since 2008, as a callous act of insanity calculated and perpetrated by monstrous elements of nature who have no heart, conscience and sense of reasoning. On Monday, August 21, 2023, Mr. Aloysius G. Bahn was maliciously, purposefully and dangerously stabbed by two sons of Mr. Baccus Sayeh, cousin of Jeremiah Kpan Koung, Vice Standard Bearer of the Unity Party in Vayenglay Town, Soe Chiefdom, Twah River Administrative District, Nimba County, over simple political argument.
“The Chairperson of the Movement expressed absolute dismay and frustration at the inhumane monstrosity with which the killers of Bahn viciously ended his life.
“Garrison D. Yealue and his family are terribly troubled by this unfortunate situation and have thus instructed the entire membership of the Doldeh Movement to stand in solidarity with the bereaved family, whilst the killers are being frantically pursued to answer for their crime. The Movement added that Atty. Yealue has promised to do all within his means and power to ensure that all those responsible for the perpetration of this gruesome act of barbarity meted out against a peaceful member of his Movement are apprehended and made to face the full weight of the law.
“The Doldeh Movement has also called on the family of Mr. Bahn to remain calm and peaceful, while the issue is being looked into. The Movement notes that the exercise of calmness in a matter like this where a loving member of a family is killed out of stupidity can be a grievous situation to handle, but called on the family to remain put and stable, as the matter is being drastically pursued.
“Meanwhile, the Movement is calling on the Liberia National Police to vigorously launch a manhunt for the killers of Mr. Bahn, so that they are made to answer for their crime. We also call on all well-meaning Nimbians to rally forces, join efforts and build grassroots surveillance, especially along the border lines between Liberia and Cote dIvoire, with the purpose of instituting citizens arrest for the suspects who are cowardly running into hiding.
“The Doldeh Movement is made to believe that the recent inciting statement made by leaders of the Unity Party, especially former Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai, may have prompted the actions of their followers. It is quite unfortunate that the former ruling Unity Party and its Standard Bearer who claim to be peaceful and law abiding, would now provoke their followers into stabbing peaceful citizens on accounts of mere political disagreements.
“The Movement ended that whilst the quest for political power is ongoing, the Unity Party and their followers must note that no amount of blood sharing can compensate for their election to political offices in Liberia. We therefore call on former Vice President Boakai and his followers to campaign on the merits of the issues and stop inflicting harm and destruction on the very people they claim their quest is intended to rescue.
“We do not rescue by killing and intimidating peaceful souls!”