Supreme Court Justices to Attend LCC Prayer Service Today

first_imgJustices of the Supreme Court of Liberia, including Chief Justice Francis Korkpor, will today join members of the Liberian Council of Churches (LCC) for another round of intercessory prayers for Liberia.This Friday’s will mark the LCC’s seventh prayer service since it began praying for the nation in a National Prayer Campaign against Ebola.The one-hour Weekly Prayer Service, which is open to the public and begins at 12 noon, was inaugurated by Vice President Joseph N. Boakai.  VP Boakai launched the Ebola prayer campaign in the Providence Baptist Church Shrine, the nation’s oldest church edifice, where the services have been taking place since September 5.During the launch, the VP said that historically Liberians have sought the intervention of the Almighty when faced with great difficulty.“When all else is failing, the only place to turn to is the Almighty God, who is forever listening to our prayers,” Vice President Boakai declared.Citing Biblical references for the occasion, the VP pointed out that the battle against Ebola is the Lord’s. A call to unceasing prayer is not a call to constant prayers, but to persistent and consistent prayers. “The effectual fervent prayer of the righteous availeth much,” he said, quoting the Epistle of James.According to Apostle Dr. J. Adolphus During, chairman of the LCC’s National Prayer Committee, other major stakeholders have followed the Vice President in attending the prayer services.Dr. During disclosed that today, Justices of the Supreme Court have assured him that they would follow suit and attend the service to join in praying for the nation.Chairman During said while the Weekly Prayer Service focuses mainly on prayer against Ebola in the sub region and for peace and stability, “a holistic prayer is often made for Liberia.”According to him, these calamities were befalling the nation because Liberia has sinned against God, naming the sins of neglect, ingratitude and others as some of the sins, Liberians have committed against God. During the civil war, we prayed and God answered us, but as soon as we settled down, we forgot God,” Dr. During charged.Dr. During, who is the founder of the Soul Cleansing Clinic of Jesus Christ, told this newspaper that a few days before the nation observed a three-day fast and prayer, MSF and Samaritan’s Purse had threatened to pull out of Liberia.   But after calling on God to intervene, that decision changed, “ZMAPP came and the tremendous goodwill from the international community, including America, began to pour in.”The Weekly Prayer Service will run for the next three months under the theme ‘A Call to Unceasing Prayers,” taken from the Holy Bible books of I Chronicles 19:13 and I Thessalonians 5:17.According to Liberian history, the Providence Baptist Shrine, which is the small edifice overlooking Broad Street, has been used as a place of intercessory prayer whenever the nation was faced with a national crises.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Remembering The Quiwonkpa Invasion: The Hunted And The Naked Prey

first_imgWhile throngs of Liberians and residents took to the streets on Tuesday, November 12, 1985, dancing and chanting revolutionary songs and heaping praises on Quiwonkpa and his men, and as total strangers happily hugged each other in the streets as a way of signaling support for the ‘invasion’, very few, if any, of the jubilating crowds were aware of what the real state of play was militarily. In their convivial carnival-like activities on the streets, most of them cared less about what the reality was at that point. All they thought was that the game was over for Doe. But as events painfully and dramatically bore out later, nothing could have been further from that feel-good assumption.Even those of us who had attempted to get closer to the combat zones couldn’t be sure about what was obtaining at the Executive Mansion, where Head of Sate Doe was reportedly ensconced and protected by heavily armed loyalists on one of the upper floors. We knew even less so about ongoing communication between Doe and the Camp Schieffelin Military Barracks (now renamed after Edward Kessely), where Colonel Moses Wright (the quiet and unassuming commander and a close member of Doe’s family) was mobilizing and readying his troops for a confrontation with the ‘invaders’. Meanwhile, by around 11.a.m, based on the rather opaque and amorphous atmospherics I had noticed at some of the places we visited during our drive-around, including the Ministry of Information (close to the Executive Mansion) and the Benson Street armory (where we saw gunmen whose identities were anything but clear), I suggested to Sando Moore that we should get back home and observe the situation from there. I stressed to him that as things stood, the situation was becoming fuzzier by the minute. In any case, I reminded him, I was more than famished at that point as he (Sando) had not given me the space to have breakfast when he literally jerked me out of my sleep earlier that morning. When I got back to my compound, I learnt that an ELBC Radio/Television crew had earlier driven in my yard and asked about my whereabouts. Among them were senior television reporter Charles Beyond (one of the first media casualties of the ‘invasion’) and a very telegenic radio/television newscaster Ms. Rolande Wright (unfortunately deceased a few years ago in the United States). The experiences of these young state-owned radio/television journalists and those of their colleague Kwame Clement (once a superstar of ELTV news department), during the heat of the turmoil that day and afterward requires a whole chapter by itself based on eyewitness accounts. One of the aspects of Quiwonkpa’s radio statement announcing the ‘coup’ that day was that Doe had gone into hiding. Some political analysts have since attributed the eventual collapse of the coup attempt partly to that statement. They argue that by giving the impression that Doe was still alive and at large, many AFL soldiers who would have otherwise given up knowing Doe had either been ‘captured’ or ‘killed’ (even if a propaganda ploy) now opted to instead err on the side of caution by not joining or sympathizing with the rebellion. Others have suggested that the ‘invasion’ failed because the junta leader turned civilian President had been given a heads-up on the planned ‘invasion’ from Sierra Leone, but that instead of opting to nix it in its embryonic stage, he had decided to set a trap for the ‘invaders’; so that once they were in the country, he and his elite security forces would move against them—as they surely did with spectacular success a few hours after Quiwonkpa and his men had taken over the radio station and broadcast their statement.Still others say the ‘invading’ force was not only numerically small to take on Doe’s relatively well equipped loyal army, but also that Quiwonkpa and his men quickly lapsed into complacency in the mistaken belief that they already had victory in their bag as they enjoyed a groundswell of open support the ‘invasion’ generated among civilian residents during its early stages. Reports later surfaced about incoherence in coordination and poor intelligence gathering on the part of the ‘invaders’. At some point, according to reliable sources, the situation in the rebel camp became so bad that communication between Quiwonkpa and his men in the field broke down—leading to allegations subsequently that ‘malfunctioning’ of Walkie Talkies the rebels were using was a function of jamming by pro-Doe Israeli advisers.Whatever it was that eventually got the rebels on the back foot, two hours after I had settled down at home following our drive around town, I got a hush-hush message from a female lawyer friend telling me to quickly tune in to the Eternal Love Winning Africa (ELWA) radio station located by the beach on the Roberstfield Highway. I did that in no time, only to hear a recorded broadcast from the ‘President of Liberia and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed forces of Liberia’, declaring, among other things, that the attempted ‘invasion’ had been foiled. My mind then immediately went out to the hundreds of jubilating compatriots who, unaware of the recorded announcement on ELWA Radio (as most people were tuned more to ELBC radio), were still dancing up and down the streets. Many of the lucky ones were later whipped with rattans and dispersed by Doe’s troops; some less lucky ones were arrested, beaten and taken either to the Mansion or to holding cells for interrogation. Yet, much less lucky folks (especially persons from Quiwonkpa’s Nimba County) “never lived to tell the story”—to borrow a favorite expression of Doe in those days.What had happened militarily resulting in the ELWA radio broadcast was a textbook tactical maneuver on the part of Colonel Moses Wright and his Camp Schieffelin combat unit. Having probably sent in agents on reconnaissance to ELBC where Quiwonkpa, his bodyguards and a sprinkling of AFL soldiers sympathetic to his cause were assembled in front of the radio house and facing the main street, Colonel Wright (I think he was later promoted by Doe) first attacked the lightly defended religious radio station reportedly using the beach route as a decoy. Little wonder that the first recorded broadcast from Doe came over that station.The Colonel then stationed some of his men at the radio station and then led the main force to ELBC; not by using the main road via the ELWA junction, but by cleverly crossing the highway from the sprawling ELWA compound and then using a little known and little used dusty road that took them through the brushes on an elevated perch of land overlooking the ELBC building. It was from this rear end of the radio station that the Colonel and his men launched a fierce and tactical surprise attack on the building, and on Quiwonkpa and his men, who were only concentrating on the front side of the building facing the main road leading to Red Light.The rest, as they say, became history: Quiwonkpa and his men, according to several accounts, scattered and fled in all directions in a manner akin to a cat being thrown among the pigeons. Little wonder why he was eventually cornered in a nearby neighborhood hungry, exhausted and abandoned. The hunting party later claimed that the once powerful and highly popular General was shot and killed while he tried to resist—a similar copout Doe had blurted at his first major international press conference at the Executive Mansion in 1980 when asked why the coup plotters had to kill President William R. Tolbert instead of arresting him. Replied Doe at the time: “He tried to resist arrest!” The circumstances of his capture have never been clear; with some saying he committed suicide by taking a cyanide compound, while others say he simply surrendered and begged for mercy. (Whatever the truth is about his capture, Quiwonkpa remains a hero to many who perceived him as a patriot who died in the cause of his country). In the days following the bloody confrontation, Monrovia and its environs were enveloped by an eerie silence. Many persons – military and civilian – were rounded up. Demonstrations and gatherings of any kind were banned as were political activities and student groups. The Press Union was also subsequently proscribed and prevented from holding any meetings. (When, several months after the ‘invasion’ and the banning of the PUL, we went to the Justice Ministry to let the then Minister of Justice – Jenkins Scott, deceased – know that the PUL would go ahead to defy the ban imposed on its meetings, he threatened to have his police open fire on any such meetings. But for the intervention of religious leaders who dissuaded us from holding meetings at the last minute, we were hell-bent on standing up to him). As the hunt of perceived and real supporters of the coup attempt began that day, some family members came to my residence and literally ordered me to leave my apartment, after a good-hearted security officer at the Executive Mansion (who knew my family), had surreptitiously informed my brother that Doe’s Press Secretary at the time had fingered me and Sando Moore for “supporting” the coup attempt. He claimed he had seen us driving around and jubilating. The officer had strongly advised that I leave my residence immediately. As hard as I tried to convince my relatives that the Press Secretary’s allegation was downright false, no family member was interested in listening to my denial. For them, my explanation would have to wait for another time. I hurriedly packed a few belongings and, after sending word to Sando to do the same, I sought refuge in one of a few safe houses I had in those activist days. I remain very grateful to that fearless lady (who is today a highly qualified professional working in the service of her country) for putting her life and those of her family at risk for me during those very dangerous days. There were many such good and brave women who, at various times during our media freedom struggle, gave us sanctuary when we needed to temporarily switch sleeping places. (Since that monstrous allegation I have never had the opportunity to meet that press secretary – said to be leaving in the United States since then – and ask him to his face whether he made any such claim that could have cost our lives).Meanwhile, as I remained in my hideout, I heard gut-wrenching stories of how Quiwonkpa had been killed and his body reportedly cannibalized, and how TV reporter Charles Gbeyon had met his death after being stripped virtually naked, brutalized, bloodied and thrown into the back of one of the jeeps in Doe’s convoy and driven first to Broad street, and then to the Mansion almost half-dead. This was after the TV reporter had rather unsuspectingly gone to ELBC Radio compound and attempted to interview Doe, who had gone to the station to formally announce his triumph over the ‘invaders’. (Charles was apparently unaware that some of Doe’s men had bad-mouthed both him and fellow reporter Kwame Clement to Doe, accusing them of being supportive of, if not complicit in the attempt to remove the military cum civilian leader from power. Kwame was less unlucky when he was later only arrested and incarcerated for a while after immediate post-coup tensions had notched a bit). I got to learn further that successful businessman Jim Holder (affectionately called ‘Big Jim’) had also been arrested and severely beaten with gun butts, and was undergoing brutal interrogation at the hands of Doe’s henchmen—most of whom were by now in a bloody state of mind and all too disposed to dispensing swift and bloody vengeance against perceived and real foes. Jim was later arrested and detained along with the current Liberian leader and charged with treason. (Although they were later freed following intense international pressure, Big Jim passed away some four years later while serving in the Amos Sawyer-led Interim Government—with many anti-government critics attributing his death to the manner in which Doe’s security forces had manhandled and maltreated him during his detention and ‘interrogation’).As I sat on my bed in my safe house and internalized the disturbing news, I reflected on two issues that still stood in my mind at that point: the somewhat mysterious and fearsome gunman Sando and I had encountered near the statue of the ‘Unknown Soldier’ on the Tuesday morning of the invasion’ (wondering whether he was still alive); and the conversation I had with my visiting Liberian Business Caucus guy – who had cryptically raised with me the issue of the Press Union of Liberia providing a platform for an unknown important person and for an undisclosed statement – just a few weeks before the November 12, 1985 showdown in Monrovia. Some thirty one years later, I have never again asked that individual what he meant at the time when he had posed the PUL forum question. And consequently, I have never been certain whether what he was referring to at the time had anything to do with the abortive ‘invasion’—a military and political upheaval that further nudged the country closer to the all-out bloody guerilla war and generalized destruction and mayhem that eclipsed Liberia four years later and eventually claimed the lives of reportedly hundreds of thousands of Liberians, including Doe himself. (Excerpts from an unpublished monograph titled, Reporting Liberia—In The belly of the Beast).Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Injury draws icy response

first_img“It was just a patch of ice,” Radmanovic said. “I had my hands in the pockets, I didn’t have time to pull them out when I was falling down. So I fell straight on my shoulder.” Lakers coach Phil Jackson was dubious at best of Radmanovic’s report and said, “After we get Pinkerton on the case, we’ll get back to you on that. Yet Radmanovic was hoping the All-Star break would offer him a new beginning. Instead, he was left telling reporters his weekend getaway “turned out to be a nightmare.” He never got his cup of coffee, either. Jackson said he hadn’t talked with general manager Mitch Kupchak about the possibility of reuniting with 41-year-old Scottie Pippen, who said over the weekend he would like to come out of retirement and play again. ross.siler@dailynews.com (818) 713-3607 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! EL SEGUNDO – As if Kwame Brown’s cake-throwing incident last month wasn’t absurd enough, the Lakers now have the story of how Vladimir Radmanovic went out for coffee in Park City, Utah, and came back with a separated right shoulder. That was the account offered as the Lakers reassembled following the All-Star break and Radmanovic tried to explain how he slipped on an icy sidewalk Saturday afternoon and wound up with a shoulder injury that will sideline him for eight weeks. center_img “We have to accept that story and go from there,” he added. “We have to believe that our boys are being honest with us in this situation, right? It is a situation that’s a curiosity, for sure.” Jackson later described the time Radmanovic will miss as “filling out the term of his sentence.” Radmanovic was staying at the home of his Serbian countryman and former Lakers center Vlade Divac. He said he didn’t initially realize he injured his shoulder until after he picked himself up and continued walking. He had X-rays taken in Park City, called Lakers trainer Gary Vitti and flew home Sunday to be examined by team doctors. What Jackson was skeptical about was Radmanovic wasn’t doing his best Shaun White impersonation on the slopes. It has been a trying season for Radmanovic, the Lakers’ top free-agent acquisition last summer. He suffered an injury to his shooting hand during warm-ups for an October exhibition game and struggled to find his place in the triangle offense. last_img read more

DONEGAL FANS LEFT GUTTED AFTER ONE DIRECTION CANCEL BELFAST GIG

first_imgOne DirectionDonegal fans of One Direction have been left gutted after the band cancelled their Belfast gig tonight just minutes before they were due to go on stage.Fans from across the county had taken buses to the gig.But Liam Payne was reportedly too ill to perform on the night – making it the first time the boyband have cancelled a show The superstar boyband were due to kick off their three night stint in SSE Arena on Tuesday night but pulled out at the last minute.Excited fans had queue at the arena from 5am this morning and were expectantly waiting for their idols, when someone very different took to the stage.After watching support act Jamie Lawson, a rep from the arena revealed the shattering news.According to the official statement, Liam Payne was too ill to perform. It said “Unfortunately One Direction have had to cancel tonight’s concert in Belfast.“Liam has been taken suddenly ill, and the concert will sadly not be taking place.“Fans have been asked to hold on to their tickets and there will be a further statement tomorrow. The band apologise to their fans and wish Liam well as soon as possible.”DONEGAL FANS LEFT GUTTED AFTER ONE DIRECTION CANCEL BELFAST GIG was last modified: October 21st, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalfansgigOne Directionlast_img read more

TD DOHERTY WELCOMES NOWDOC U-TURN ON EMERGENCY CALLS

first_imgSpeaking today after receiving a personal confirmation from the Area Manager of the HSE that the changes to the Standard Operating Procedure for NowDoc has been scrapped, Sinn Féin TD for Donegal South West, Pearse Doherty said: “The statement released by the HSE this morning was ambiguous and suggested that the changes to the Standard Operating Procedure for NowDoc had not taken place.“After receiving the statement I spoke personally with the Area Manager of the HSE in order to receive clarification. During the conversation I received confirmation that the procedure had been in place but was now withdrawn and the normal operating procedure was in place.“In effect this means that the Doctor on call is now in a position to attend to emergency life threatening calls along with ambulance personnel and other emergency services. “While I am delighted that the HSE has reversed the introduction of the new procedure, which could have resulted in tragedy, I am disappointed that this change had been introduced in the first place without public knowledge or full consultation.“It is also fortunate that a serious incident did not occur in the county during the past 48 hours when these procedures had been in place.“I understand that discussions are ongoing with the National Ambulance Service in relation to the appropriate response procedures for emergency calls, which could result in changes to the procedures.“ I will be monitoring this situation closely to ensure that any changes introduced will be in the best interests of the patient. This reflects the personal commitment that I received from the HSE last year that the introduction of CareDoc would not change the quality of service offered to patients here.”TD DOHERTY WELCOMES NOWDOC U-TURN ON EMERGENCY CALLS was last modified: April 2nd, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:NowDocu-turnlast_img read more