Police in Grand Cape Mount County have arrested at least seven persons following Saturday’s night electoral violence in Bamballah Town, Porkpa District.
The violence resulted into the burning of vehicles belonging to the senatorial candidate of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) Mr. Simeon Taylor and a partial damaged on the home of Representative Bob H. Sheriff.
The arrests were made on Saturday night after the police commander in the county led a backup team in the area to calm the situation.
The all-male suspects spent the night behind bars at the Bamballah Police Detail before being turned over to Inspector General of Police Col. Patrick Sudue who early Sunday morning arrived in Bamballah.
The Inspector General of the Liberia National Police who spent the entire day in Bamballa, assured residents of Porkpa District that there will be a prompt and unbiased investigation into the matter.
Col. Sudue urged the residents of Bamballah and the entire Grand Cape Mount County to be peaceful promising them more security so that they can go into an election that is free of violence.
While the actual cause of the violence is yet to be established, some eyewitnesses accounts have cited that the electoral scuffle erupted when supporters of CPP’s candidate Simion Taylor and CDC’s candidate Victor Watson met in Bamballah.
According to eyewitnesses, at about 7: p.m., few supporters from both camps met and engaged into a heated argument in the presence of security officers but the security were unable to calm them.
The Paramount Chief of Porkpa District, Chief Jamela Konneh-Watson recounted that during the late night of Saturday, she saw men armed with machetes, rocks, sticks and guns entering the town.
The Paramount Chief told the Liberia News Agency that she could not identify the men, but explained that upon their entry into the town sporadic shooting ensued something that prompted residents of the town including the Town Chief to flee the town.
She said while seeking refuge in a nearby bush behind her house some of the attackers proceeded to her house and started to throw stones over the roof while others advanced to the initial venue of the brawl and then set ablaze two vehicles belonging to CPP’s candidate Simeon Taylor.
“Those that came to my house I heard them say that lady is not supporting us, when I heard that it was when I go deep into the swamp where I remained until morning,” Paramount Chief Jamela Watson said.
However, the Porkpa District Paramount Chief complained of the lack of security protection by local county officers during the attack.
“No police came to my rescue as government official in the county, they were here when I was attacked and my house was being vandalized by the attackers,” the Paramount Chief said.