Liberia’s Inspector General of Police, Col. Patrick Sudue yesterday, Sunday, April 15, 2018 made swift intervention in resolving a lasting conflict that exists between the Management of Sime Darby and citizens of Damah Town and other surrounding towns in the company’s concession area in Bomi County.
Speaking to scores of citizens and top level managers of Sime Darby, Col. Sudue in the strongest term condemned brutal actions on the parts of the company’s security on peaceful citizens of the concession area. He made specific reference to a thirty two year old citizen, Mike Gibson who was allegedly brutalized by private security officers of Sime Darby.
According to a release, Inspector General Sudue pledged to ensure that perpetrators of the brutal act will be made to face the full weight of the law. He clarified that it is not the works of private security officers to brutalize any peaceful citizen. Instead, he called on private security officers to desist arresting citizens culpable of crimes and keeping them in their detention.
“If you grab anyone stealing your palm or engaged in any unlawful acts, it is your duty to turn them over to the Liberia National Police for investigation,” said Col. Sudue.
Additionally, Col. Sudue called on the Sime Darby Management to close down its withholding cell. He clarified that no private security firm under our laws is permitted to operate a withholding cell to detain citizens besides the Liberia National Police.
In furtherance of his commitment to assure citizens of their protection, Col. Sudue urged them to always take advantage of contacting the Police in case of any acts in gross violation of their rights. He called on them to carry themselves peacefully and desist destroying the company’s palms and stealing the company’s properties.
Addressing the Sime Darby Management, Col. Sudue mandated them to turn over all those who allegedly perpetrated the brutal flogging of Mike Gibson whom the company alleged was caught stealing their palm.
He condemned the action of the company for failing to immediately seek medical attention of the victim. He indicated that it was unfair for Liberians to have been treated in such form and manner.
Col. Sudue provided transportation to the uncle of the victim, Raymond Johnson to ensure that he is brought to Monrovia today and given good medical treatment at the expense of the Liberia National Police.
For his part, the county’s Superintendent, Samuel Brown called on the management of Sime Darby to create an enabling working environment for its employees. He urged the company to ensure cordial relations between them and the people in its concession area.
Superintendent Brown lauded the company for its investment in the county. He urged the company to provide job opportunities for citizens, something he noted will help alleviate criminal activities in the concession area. He also called on the company to help fix the citizens’ road which will ease transportation in the area.
Addressing the people of Damah Town and surrounding towns, Superintendent Brown encouraged them to serve as securities for the company. He admonished them to foster a good relationship between them and the company which will alleviate crisis.
Presenting a petition to Inspector General Sudue on behalf of the people of Damah Town, the town’s spokesman, Mr. Varney Johnson emphasized the need to build good relations between them and the company.
He called for the maintenance of their roads which was promised them by the Sime Darby company. He also called on the company to repay their damaged crops which according to them were destroyed through spraying by the company.
Speaking further, the town’s spokesman called on the company to provide them a health facility. He also prayed the company to ensure their security and provision of jobs for them.
Addressing the citizens’ claims, Sime Darby’s Head of Operation, Ali Kamal expressed his company’s willingness to working with the people in his company’s concession area in fostering a good relationship.
He added that his company is very pleased with the good soil given them by the people which he noted is greatly enhancing their investment.
In confirmation of the alleged brutalization of Mike Gibson, 32 and Bendu Nannah, Mr. Kamal disclosed that the company has taken immediate step by suspending its Chief of Security, Thomas Walker.
He confirmed that Boimah Feikai, one of the alleged perpetrators of the brutal flogging of citizens will tomorrow turn himself over to Police.
The visit of the Police to the Sime Darby Plantation yesterday in Bomi County is part of rigorous efforts from the Inspector General of Police to ensure confidence and build good community Policing relations with the public.