Monrovia, Liberia: Liberians on Monday, in an unprecedented act, pulled together and rallied around Liberian renowned political commentator, Henry Pedro Costa, after his radio station was attacked by unknown men on Sunday.
Immediately after a Facebook Live appearance by Mr. Costa explaining the ordeal, a GofundMe page set up by supporters to assist in the purchase of new radio equipment, raised US$6,000 in three hours, and US$11,000 in eight hours.
Besides the GoFundMe Page which raised US$11,000, local donations were made through mobile money and direct donations to the station’s financial manager, Mr. Sylvester Tevez Nah.
Several influential and ordinary Liberians donated to Costa’s Root FM reemergence, and encouraged other Liberians to do same. Abe Darius Dillon of the Liberty Party was seen live on Facebook late Monday, urging Liberians to donate to the cause, stating that the Costa Show has made significant impact on Liberians and the politics of Liberia.
In a second Facebook Live appearance, Mr. Costa expressed gratitude to all Liberians who contributed, and were still contributing. He also challenged the Liberian government, whom he accused of orchestrating the attacks against his station, about his stance to continue to speak on issues of national concern and on behalf of the Liberian people. Mr. Costa said, his station will be back on the air on Tuesday, and his Costa Show will air on Wednesday morning.
Although many Liberians empathized with Mr. Costa after his station was vandalized on Sunday, however, some Liberians, especially CDCians, accused Mr. Costa of devising a scheme to extort money from Liberians, while using the government as a bait. Several CDCians took to social media and attacked the Radio Talk Show host, alleging that he and his staff staged the attack because he did not have the financial capacity to continue to run the station, as well as pay his staff.
Meanwhile, the Government of Liberia has condemned the attack on Roots FM and has launched an investigation into the incident.
In a Press Release issued in Monrovia on Monday, the Liberian government through the Ministry of Information, expressed dismay at the incident, and reiterated its commitment to free speech and free press. The release urged the public to remain calm and promised to bring the culprits to justice.