Several persons humiliated by serious traffic congestion along the Tubman Boulevard and other existing routes in Monrovia and its suburbs, have blamed the National Elections Commission (NEC), for causing the traffic congestion by allowing the governing Unity Party and opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC) to close their rallies on October 7, 2017.
Many commuters, pedestrians and vehicles were on Saturday, October 7, 2017, seen stranded in bottleneck traffic for almost 12 to 15 hours from late Saturday afternoon to the early hours of yesterday due to the closure of official campaign activities of the UP and the ANC.
The situation caused several users of various routes in Monrovia to abandon their vehicles thus leading to criminals bursting into their cars and making away with several parts and other valuables.
It was also observed that partisans of UP and the ANC were seen raining invectives and other anti-party slogans at each other’s when ANC supporters made their ways home using the Congo Town, Tubman Boulevard route that hosts the headquarters of the Unity Party.
The unfortunate situation occurred as a result of an NEC ruling instructing the Unity Party to launch at her headquarters in Congo Town while giving the go-ahead to the ANC to use the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS) in central Monrovia.
Few days back, the UP and the ANC had announced the official closure of their campaign rallies on the 7th of October, requesting the usage of the ATS in central Monrovia.
The situation caused serious uproar and war of words between the two political parties thus leading the ANC to file a formal complaint to the NEC; after which NEC ruled that both parties have their events but the ANC using the ATS while instructing Unity Party to use her headquarters; a situation that led to serious traffic congestion causing serious embarrassment for ordinary pedestrians, and other private vehicles and individuals plying that route.
It can be recalled that pandemonium broke out around 4 p.m. recently in Sanniquellie, Nimba County, when partisans of the Coalition of Democratic Change (CDC) and the Liberty Party (LP) reportedly clashed, while the two sides were simultaneously conducting their respective political rallies.
The situation, according to eyewitnesses, became so tense that partisans from the opposing sides resulted to stone throwing; thereby wounding several people. Police officers later arrested a number of the protestors, while the wounded were taken to the G. W. Harley Hospital on the outskirts of Sanniquellie for treatment.
Eyewitness told the journalists on the scene that the CDC while en-route to the Yekepa, north of Sanniquellie, supporters of the Liberty Party reportedly blocked the main entrance around the vicinity of the Circuit Court, demanding that the CDC uses a detour, because authorities of the National Elections Commission (NEC) disallows two parties campaigning in a given locality at the same time.
But the CDCians, who were travelling with their Standard Bearer, Senator George Weah, did not waste any time, but allegedly forced their way through the Liberty Party line, thereby intensifying the clash.
ANC accused UP of exerting undue influence on the electoral process to deny other parties the right to freely associate and to get their message out.
The ANC also accused the UP of using incumbency power to subdue the opposition adding that the party and its Standard Bearer, Alexander Cummings are in accordance with NEC’s regulations.
Motorists from the Paynesville area were piled up from the Congo Town belt near the residence of former President Charles Taylor while those coming from downtown Monrovia were trapped on the other side of town.
According to several pedestrians, supporters of the ruling party parked cars on the main streets, causing traffic delays.
Several persons blamed the situation on NEC for not announcing the dates for each party’s rally. UP, along with Liberty Party and the Coalition for Democratic Change had previously launched their campaigns in Montserrado County.
One motorist told Front Page Africa she was stucked in the traffic for nearly nine hours. “They actually blocked the road. Can you believe this? I got home 12:45 am. I got stucked at the Nigerian Embassy at 4:pm. How can leaders be so insensitive?”
Meanwhile, pedestrians and commuters are also blaming the Liberia National Police for not being adequately prepared to deal with the situation.