By Edwin G. Wandah
Police in Monrovia yesterday arrested a man in Congo Town for setting the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare on fire, leading to the burning of one of the conference rooms of the Ministry’s building.
Although, circumstances leading to the man’s action has not been fully established, but sources closed to the Ministry said that the action of the perpetrator was in connection with the death of his brother who he claimed the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare gave wrong impression that his brother died from the Ebola disease.
According to the Deputy Health Minister for Administration, Hon. Matthew T. K Flomo, the alleged perpetrator (name withheld) was arrested minutes after security officers assigned at the compound of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare alarmed about fire outbreak in the building.
Some by-standers who were on the scene told the INQUIRER that the perpetrator visited the Ministry on Tuesday and yesterday, Wednesday before committing the arson act. According to them, during the program with the President at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare yesterday, the perpetrator even asked a question at the meeting.
The perpetrator was immediately arrested by PROSECON; a private Security Firm owned by former lawmaker, Saah Gborlie, along with the Liberia National Police and is currently in the custody of the Liberia National Police.
Speaking later, the proprietor of the PROSECON Security Firm, Mr. Saah Gborlie, condemned the action of the perpetrator. According to him, the action of the man is tantamount to the act of terrorism which should not be taken for granted in our society.
Current Margibi Senatorial hopeful Saah Gborlie in the pending 2014 Special Senatorial Elections said his men are professionally trained to combat any crime, and that what occurred at the offices of the Health Ministry should not be blamed solely on his men. According to him, all Liberians should look at the incident as a complete terroristic attack on the part of the Liberian people by a single individual.
At the aborted arson scenery, the INQUIRER reporter saw several people running helter-skelter in the Ministry as they tried to surmise the cause of the fire in the building.
“We noticed smoke in one of the conference rooms; it was fire and everybody got alerted and it was not too long when the entire conference room was gutted by fireand all of us, including Minister Walter Gwanigale ran out of the building for our dear lives,” an employee stated.
Meanwhile, Police will keep the suspect in its custody for 48 hours and after its preliminary investigation, turn him over to be prosecuted by the court for allegedly burning one of the conference rooms of the Health Ministry.