By Mark B. Dumbar
Monrovia-Feb-13-TNR: Due to the mass protest by wives of soldiers of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), at the Camp Ware Training Command in Careysburg-VOA which started early as 2:00am yesterday morning, several persons were prevented from going on their daily hustle, while others were also prevented from burring the dead.
In an exclusive interview, Monday, a lady identified as Lorpudisclosed that she and other family members were on their way to bury their brother who has earlier died as early as 8:30am, but were prevented from using the road that leads to Camp Ware Training Command in VOA where the cemetery is located.
She disclosed that the soldiers’ wives who have been protesting over the past three days prevented the casket from entering the cemetery in Careburg-VOA, demanding theat the family return to Monrovia with the dead body.
Lorpu lamented that they pleaded with the chairlady of the soldiers’ wives to give them access to the burial site to enable her bury her dead brother but the protesting women refused and told her to turn the vehicle around to Monrovia.
According to her, they pleaded with the women who were protesting on behalf of their husbands and are also demanding the removal of Major General Prince C. Johnson from the Defense Ministry who was recently confirmed by the Senate.
Lorpu narrated that the situation has brought serious embarrassment to them as Liberians to see another Liberians stopping them from having access to burial sites to bury their love ones.
She said the Liberian leader, President Boakai needs to see reason to ensure that the women get out of the streets to enable the citizens go about their normal businesses.
According to her, they should also allow peaceful citizens to make their way and not to stop them from passing. Lorpudisclosed that where other person right ends, another person’sright begins.
At the same time, the wives of the AFL soldiers havevehemently refused to remove the roadblocks from the junction leading to other areas and forced family members to return the casket bearing the remains of their brother back to Monrovia.
Due to the severity of the ongoing protest, residents of VOA are calling on the Government of Liberia to withdraw the current confirmed Defense Minister, Maj. Prince C. Johnson as head of the military.
The early morning protest at the junction of Camp Ware Training command in Careysburg VOA community created serious difficulties for peaceful Liberians and other government officials as the soldiers’ wives gathered together to block the main road that leads to Kakata, Ganta, and other areas thus preventing the normal flow of traffic in the area.
Meanwhile the protesting wives of AFL soldiers were seen cooking on the main road that leads from Paynesville to Kakata, Ganta, Nimba, and other areas. The soldiers’ wives blocked the road with tables, chairs and other materials that could not allowed moving vehicles to have access to main road.
Narrating the situation during the protest, the chairlady of the AFL women, Madam Lawrenane Harris said during the time Maj. Prince C. Johnson was serving as Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia, their husbands did not receive any of their just benefits and salaries.
Madam Harris disclosed that when he was appointed by former President George M. Weah as Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia, he promised to ensure that their husbands’salaries will increase and schools would have been built to help their children benefit good education.
She said during the just ended six years of Johnson’s leadership of the AFL, their husbands’ salaries were not increase as he previously promised.
She said her husband currently served as Master Sergeant in the Armed Forces of Liberia at the Camp Ware Training Command, and he received US$300 along with L$10,000 as monthly salary.According to her, they are living in one room with their children and husband at Camp Ware Training Command.
She furthered that they currently lack electricity as part of their benefits for the services their husbands are offering to the country. Madam Harris lamented that they desired a better recreation of good lives for their children and husbands.
According to her, their husbands’ salaries are been slashed by Maj. Prince C. Johnson; and their Peace Keeping money has also been slashed.