Helicopter ‘War’! -As Gov’ Draws Protest ‘Red’ Line; Vows To Disburse And Arrest Any PLP-Helicopter’s Protesters

Despite breathing nose to nose, determining speed against speed and pressure against pressure over what seems to be a helicopter ‘war’, is not just far from over between the Political Leader of the People’s Liberation Party (PLP), Dr. Daniel E. Cassell and the Government of Liberia, regarding a helicopter bought by him (Cassell) and reportedly stopped from landing in Liberia, let alone, flying in Liberia’s air space, has made government to vehemently draw the ‘red’ line for battle, and set to thwart any illegal protest as threatened by PLP’s leadership if permission is not given the greenlight to land and operate in Liberia..

This tussle, loaded with mean, vain,  bitterness and gross violation of rights and independence on the part of the PLP’s Political Leader, while government remains ever steadfast thoroughly bent on absolutely ensuring that no  breaching of the law is bulldozed because of simmering fear;  which continues to brew serious tension and loud hullabaloos, has gone through several stages, solely to prove that the party of the PLP’s leader has done all the paper works, and met up with  all due requirements including safety and air worthiness along  with legitimate purchase of the helicopter from South Africa, where it flew from to Ivory Coast, were done inclusively, without by-passing  the standard procedures and the required processes of the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority (LCAA) according to him (Cassell), and despite the matter had even reached the Supreme Court; LCAA continues to make its case clear, that PLP’s Political leader has not completed its (LACC’s) requirements presented to him (Cassell) for temporary landing permit, and until that is satisfactorily adhered to, the helicopter will not operate in Liberia without same being done.

With the Liberian Government stern position to ensure that the LCAA’s law and regulatory procedures are not violated, the screw remains tightened on the fate of the helicopter of PLP’s political leader. While the helicopter ‘war’ heats up, Dr Cassell, despite calling on the US Embassy, the European Union including all Liberia’s international partners to intervene and stop the government from encroaching on his right to own and operate a helicopter in his own country especially when it is honestly and legitimately bought, with all requirements met, has promised to unleash a massive protest attended by civil disobedience until his right is recognized and not denied the least.

It can be recalled that the People’s Liberation Party (PLP) has vowed to initiate a civil protest in Monrovia and other parts of the country if the Government of Liberia (GOL), through the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority (LCAA) fails to rethink its decision taken to cancel the landing permit of a helicopter belonging to its Political Leader, Dr. Daniel E. Cassell.

The LCAA recently granted Dr. Cassell, through Kwenyan and Associates a permit for a B430 helicopter to land in the country in keeping with international aviation laws. The helicopter attempted landing in Liberia recently, but was denied.

The situation prompted the PLP Political leader to file a lawsuit against the decision taken by the Liberian government to allegedly infringe on his constitutional rights.

In a statement issued under the signature of the party’s Organizing Chairman, Mr. Tapple E. Doe, the PLP disclosed that it has exhausted all legal, moral, and rational means possible to compel the government, through the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority to act appropriately and all efforts have proven futile.

“The wishes to inform the Liberian public and diplomatic missions near Monrovia that the government of Mr. George Manneh Weah has resolved to infringe on the rights of its Vision Bearer and Political Leader, Dr. Daniel Estrada Cassell.

The party pointed out that as prominently reported in the media, Dr. Cassell through his firm, the Kwenyan and Associates Group of Companies lawfully acquired a helicopter “to facilitate the smooth and timely travels across Liberia and other parts of the region”.

The party added that to the full extent of aviation laws and regulations, nationally and internationally, the aircraft has met all due requirements and standards.

However, the government through the Ministry of Information, has warned the People’s Liberation Party (PLP) of any         unauthorized           protest.
Information Minister, Leggerhood Rennie addressing MICAT’s regular weekly news conference, told the media on Thursday, October 28, 2021 in Monrovia that anybody wishing to demonstrate must get permission from the Justice Ministry, but anything short of that by putting people in the street will not augur well.
He then reminded would-be marchers that Liberia is a country of law and order, and not men of lawlessness that would cause the destruction of lives and properties as anybody involved will    be     arrested.
“Going back and forward carrying complaint to international missions or embassies here will not help you because these people will not demean themselves in these kinds of domestics politicking,”      Rennie     noted.
This is in response to the three-day ultimatum given government by the People Liberation Party (PLP) who claimed that their helicopter has been denied landing rights by the regime.
Commenting on other state matters, Rennie urged public officials or political leaders in the country to lower their tones of raining insults mainly at the presidency which does not augur well.
He said that nowadays statesmen and women are fond of insulting each other has become a political culture which is not helping the future generation who listen or read about them daily.

But explaining further. PLP’ noted that predicated upon the legal qualification of the aircraft, both international and national clearances were obtained from the relevant authorities in Liberia and abroad, because, its Political Leader “is a lawful, honorable, mindful, and meticulous Leader and personality who engages and proceeds by the books”.

“Unfortunately, and interestingly enough, after Dr. Cassell obtained clearance and permit from the LCAA bearing the signatures of its highest authorities and as such, the aircraft took off from South Africa on October 5, 2021 and was scheduled to arrive in Liberia at the Roberts International Airfield (RIA) on October 14, 2021, we received a ‘null and void’ notification while in Abidjan that the aircraft cannot fly in to Liberia with no reason stated to the contrary. We should also like to inform you that the aircraft smoothly flew from South Africa to Cote d’ Voire squarely because it meets all international standards and regulations and was issued a landing permit by the LCAA”,

The statement indicated that Dr. Cassell, through his company, has since taken the matter to the Supreme Court and His Honor Justice Yussif D. Kabba, Justice-in-Chambers, having thoroughly verified that the aircraft had met all legal aviation qualifications thereto, ordered the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority (LCAA) on October13, 2021 to permit the aircraft to fly and land into Liberia unhindered.

“To date, the Liberia Aviation Authority has vehemently refused to heed the order of the High Court. This is detestable, ridiculous, and must be condemned by all, as it undermines the “Separation of Powers” and Authorities in no small way”.

“Members of the press, we are deeply appalled and disconcerted that in the government’s vicious attempt to rattle and ruffle Dr. Cassell for his strong yet worthy criticisms of the regime, it would summon the temerity to issue such gross disrespect to the High Court of the Land. How can a government that is clothed with the responsibility to uphold the law shamefully turn out to be the very government brazenly violating the laws and infringing on the civil rights of private citizens?”

The PLP disclosed that it is the right of Dr. Cassell and all Liberians to bring into their country aircrafts, cruise-ships, exotic automobiles, and all the fine things of this world so far they obtain them rightfully and meet the legal requirements to bring them into the country.

According to the party, the move made by the government to violate the rights of its Political Leader is not only “reprehensible and callously lawless but an act that can be equated to viciousness”.

“Denying an aircraft that has met all legal qualifications and approvals to fly in Liberia only because it belongs to someone who politically and fundamentally opposes the current CDC administration is despicable and condescending, to say the least”.

“The PLP demands that the aircraft be allowed to unconditionally fly into the country, as it has met the requirements in keeping with the laws and regulations of LCAA and any attempt to the contrary will be faced with a fierce civil protest against this administration”.

Writes GDJ

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