E D I T O R I A L
Harry A. Greaves Jr. who died mysteriously about a month ago, was laid to rest yesterday, and on Camp Johnson Road, Monrovia, his remains saw funeral arrangements at the Saint Thomas Episcopal Church. For his, was an untimely death and the plenty aftermath drama. This has sent jitters through an unsettled country that have seen much the last decades. And yet, mysterious deaths continue to play out across the nation, say reports: Ballah Scott, whose body was found buried on the grounds of the John F. Kennedy Medical Hospital after he vanished mysteriously from his hospital bed in Sinkor. F Saah Gbollie, a former presidential candidate gunned down in the streets like a criminal, Angel Togbah, Victoria Zazay, Michael Allison, Keith Jubah, Dan Orungon—add these to gruesome ritualistic killings across the country and specifically Ganta. Mass rapes on legs, on rampage, hence armed robberies in which senior police officers are culprits in the face of UNMIL draw down. The indiscriminate discharge of fire arms irresponsibly, resulting in a sad death on Bright Farm this month of a young Liberian! and fighting in the streets by armed security officers. A restless country teeter on the brink seeking answers from those who govern them, to whom they have entrusted their safety and security having voted them into offices, but once in office the people interests are relegated.
They want to live in their homeland in peace, hoping their children will have a brighter future, giving the sufferings they endured these many decades—even in so-called peace times it was always drama—think Tubman, Tolbert, Doe, Taylor the war and now Sirleaf!
And as if a decade and half of civil war that saw 200,0000 deaths is not enough—a high runaway grinding poverty beats a hapless destitute population as officials ride in pomp and pageantry—while the citizens they serve live on the margins of society! Add this to a deadly Ebola Virus Disease [EVD] that visited unwelcome, spreading like a bush fire because officialdom initially overlooked a deadly scourge, an indecisiveness that was costly—enhancing an already dis-connectedness between the govern and the governed! Ebola left untold miseries, untold miseries, leaving thousands dead in its wake…and now strings of deaths under mysterious circumstances in the land of the free. A country Edwin Barclay praised in his “Lone Star Forever,” praying and eulogizing his dreams for a great nation meant to be a beacon!
“The birth, for Africa’s sons and sires,
The birth of Liberty!”
What a disappointment! Our leaders today are pre-occupied with raw political power, while its people seek answers… Barclay’s hopes for his nation are dented, when the citizens of Africa’s first black republic cannot look to its leaders for protection…it doesn’t matter who Harry Greaves had a beef with, he didn’t deserved to die like a chicken on the beach, and then obstacles placed in the way when investigating his death! He was a Liberian CITIZEN too! We live in the 21st century, but our national police force still lives in the stone age! The Liberian National police [LNP] lacks the dignity that brings respectability to any law enforcement agency the world over! It made no efforts to investigate the Greaves murder, and we stand to be corrected, yet harassing peaceful citizens who dare speak up!
In 1829, the Metropolitan Police is formed in London England, the world’s first modern police force, in the wake of Jack The Ripper and other morbid murders running wild in England! Using old fashion police investigative techniques, it is able to crack murder cases and bring justice to its peoples, and capital punishment [by way of hanging] awaited those found guilty, this is some 30 years before Liberia gained independence in 1847! Fast forward to 2016 and a modern Liberian National Police [LNP] force doesn’t have a website [can’t complain about that one, wanted and missing persons photos could be posted, and interactive intra-personal relationships developed with the communities it is suppose to be serving!]
It does not have a crime lab, or a forensic crime lab, neither can it investigate anything—it complains it doesn’t have the capacity, manpower and logistics—10 years going into the Security Sector Reform [SSR]! Meanwhile a restless population will not see justice done as their families are brutalized, and still deep wounds from the civil war and Ebola, given “all the money that is being thrown around the place in the name of official corruption and waste!”
Today, Liberia depends only on pathology reports and pathologists from abroad to settle homicides and murder cases. Petty crimes and crimes generally are pervasive as law enforcement look the other way, while we fly almost everyone out the country—destination Ghana for serious medical treatment! And the only findings we get from our homicides are drowning, drowning and drowning [Allison, Orogun, Greaves etc], suicide and suicide, case close! What happened, how, where, and when, plus motives are lost to the winds…the Greaves death becomes an issue, when two bodies are found feet, away from the seat of power in the land, on Capitol Hill, Monrovia; The Executive Mansion where the PRESIDENCY is located—prominent citizens at such! The sheer audacity of this crime is unacceptable—it is a “RUBBING IT IN YOUR FACE,” kind of murder and crime! Someone dared the entire country that this could be done and NOTHINGg would come out of it, and BEHOLD, God help us! Farewell Harry Augustus Greaves Jr!
But a generation must be determined—These crimes should be punished even if it take the next 50 years…these crimes must investigated! These cold cases should be resurrected. The time would come!
…and this refrain from all the departed—those who went to their graves in our beloved Liberia grudgingly seeking answers: The innocent thousands killed during the Civil War and Ebola, Twe, Porte, the Colemans, Gbeyon, Kpolleh, Doe [Jackson], Kamara [Tom], Ballah, Allison, Greaves etc etc… “I now bid farewell to the country of my birth – of my passions – of my death; a country whose misfortunes have invoked my sympathies – whose factions I sought to quell – whose intelligence I prompted to a lofty aim – whose freedom has been my fatal dream. ~Thomas Francis Meagher
PHOTOS GREAVES’ FUNERAL