By Alva M. Wolokolie
A youth group in Zorzor District, Lofa County under the banner of “Lofa Youth for Peace and Good Governance” has staged a protest against the reconciliatory conference organized by two senior officials of the county. The peace conference was allegedly being sponsored at a townhall in Zorzor District by the county senior Senator Sumo G. Kupee and District # 5 Representative Moses Y. Kollie respectively.
It may be recalled that in 2009, Mr. Sumo G. Kupee was accused of having knowledge of the mysterious death of 13-year old Vewu Kezelle. The death of Vewu Kezelle surfaced a day after Kupee reportedly declared his intention to contest the 2011 Presidential and Legislative Elections.
Kupee, now a University of Liberia (UL) Professor of Economics and senior Senator for Lofa County denied having the slightest knowledge about little Kezelle’s death. He however chose not to comment further on the matter because the case was in court. At that time, the magisterial court in Lofa had issued a formal writ of summons on the Senator to appear for questioning.
To date, nothing has been done to bring the perpetrators to justice because investigation conducted by the Ministry of Justice unveiled that there was no evidence to arrest or prosecute the accused (Sen. Kupee).
But in their counts against the commencement of the peace talk to the sons and daughters of the district, the group’s secretary general, Jackson Grant told the INQUIRER Newspaper in an interview recently that the issues of ritualistic killings and the death of little Vewu Kezelle, a boy who was below 15, should have been addressed before proceeding with a peace conference.
Mr. Grant said in order to organize a peace conference, the issue of justice must begin because the victim’s relatives, parents, schoolmates and citizens of Zorzor are still weeping. Additionally, he said the county has suffered several ritualistic killings and victims have been deprived of justice. The group had placards with inscriptions asking for justice over the death of Vewu Kezelle. They also had symbolic caskets bearing the unseen remains of little Vewu Kezelle.
“The recipe for any reconciliation is justice and open confession. We have come to remind our citizens that 2014 is closer, people have mismanaged the opportunity given them. Let us be aware of the political pharaohs coming back for state power. We should not dignify this so-called politically motivated peace conference organized by someone who has been accused of our son’s death,” Mr. Grant said in an interview to the people of Lofa.
The youths’ group spokesman reminded his colleagues to be careful ahead of the coming special senatorial election because those who have lost their images, have come in the name of reconciliation to regain it.
As a result of the protest action, the conference was disrupted with noise and political slogans and battle-cries from several youth groups of Zorzor District. With the intervention of Representative Clarence Massaquoi, who was newly elected in 2011, the Lofa Youths for Peace and Good Governance decided to halt the protest but insisted that the hall would not be used for that purpose.
Although the youth group relaxed their action and the conference was boycotted, they have decided to chase the Senator whereever he goes to organize a peace conference in the county.