Breaking News: National Youth Dialogue with the President ends in gbetee (Fistfight); students arrested

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Monrovia-Reports reaching our News and Information Desk says, the Liberia National Youth Dialogue currently ongoing at the Monrovia City hall yesterday ended in chaos as youths from opposing sides of the Liberia National Student Union got into a fistfight due to leadership differences.

According to reports, the chaos stemmed from a leadership crisis that have divided the Liberian Student Union for some time now. LINSU has been divided into two parties; one group in support of embattled President Varney Jarsey, who was charged with rape and jailed, but freed on medical reasons; and Mattias Nyeneh who became President when Jarsey went to jail. The report says, at the beginning of the dialogue, a panel was set to discuss youth issues and take questions and Mattias Nyeneh who is the current president of LINSU was selected to serve as one of the panelist. This did not go down well with supporters of Varney Jarsey who objected the selection of Nyeneh and all hell broke loose afterward. Videos and pictures in possession of The Liberian Billboard shows supporters from both sides throwing punches and pushing each other. This incident took place in the presence of Foreign Minister Gbezongar Findley who was representing the President, Education Minister Dr. Ansu Sonii, Youth and Sports Minister Zoegar Wilson, among other officials and dignitaries. The chaos subsided after members of the Police Support Unit (PSU) arrived on the scene, which led to arrests of supporters on both sides.

Supporters of the Varney Jarsey camp are contending that the Ministry of Youth and Sports didn’t invite the leadership of the Mano River Youth Liberia chapter because of leadership crisis, but invited the leadership of LINSU who are experiencing the same leadership crisis. This, Jarsey supporters say is bias on the part of the Ministry of Youth and Sports and organizers of the Youth Dialogue and as such, could not sit under a panel that had Mattias Nyeneh representing LINSU as its leader.

Further investigation by The LIberian Billboard about the leadership crisis revealed that both Varney Jarsey and Mattias Nyeneh who are claiming the leadership of LINSU two year terms have come to end. A source at LINSU told the Liberian Billboard that upon Varney Jarsey imprisonment, the National Administrative Council which comprise of counties union leaderships and eight executive committees members had the authority to replace Jarsey. The source said Nyeneh who was Vice President however coerced some executives and they staged managed a leadership takeover. Our correspondent was informed by the source that Nyeneh and his Secretary General,, Abraham Johnson; Vice President for International Affairs Emmanuel Flomo; Julius Dan, another Deputy; and Financial Secretary Charles Nagbe all collaborated and  cleared the coffers of the Union of over US$56,000.00 and closed the office of the Union without any explanation. The source further informed us that both Varney Jarsey and Mattias Nyeneh do not have any legitimate claim to the Presidency of LINSU as the organization is student based and both men are not students currently.

Efforts to contact representatives from both parties proved futile. We will keep following up on developments and as they come in, and the story will be updated.                           

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