Angry Residents of Morris’ Farm Accuse Company, Local Officials of Illegally Taking Away their Land

By Emmanuel Toe

Morris’ Farm, Todee District – Angry Residents of the Morris Farm Community in Todee Statutory District, Montserrado County have staged peaceful protest against the management of the Morris American Rubber Company (MARCO) and the local authorities.

The protesters, in large numbers and dressed in whites, held placards and matched on the main road of the community that leads to MARCO Plantation within Fanseh Clan in Todee District.

They accused the MARCO’s management of destroying their properties and taking their land illegally; while they claimed that that the Statutory District Superintendent John Tucker and the Senior Paramount Chief, Stephen Goba are colluding with the company to rob them of their properties and other benefits.

In a three-page joint position statement read by the spokesperson Jonathan Yorfee, the protesters, among other things, called for the removal of MARCO’s General Manager with immediate effect, or they will disrupt normal activities at the company.

The protesters called on the Government of Liberia to replace the Todee District Superintendent, on counts that he illegally sold the land belonging to the residents of the district to the company. They also accused him of constantly using his office and influence to intimidate the locals of the area.

Excerpt: “The Liberian government should speedy see to it that the Morris American Rubber Company (MARCO) and all those involved in the destruction of the homes of peaceful citizens when the land conflict between the both parties is before the Court face justice. The Government of Liberia should quickly intervene in to the land dispute between the locals of the area and the Morris American Rubber Company.”

Giving a historical background on how the Morris family settled in their area, an elder who is believed to be in his 90s, said a piece of land was given to the family by the residents in appreciation for Morris’ goodwill to the locals.

“We were many times freed from slavery by the Morris Family. He sometimes brought gifts from America for us, so when he said that he wanted to open his rubber farm, we give him land but we didn’t just give it like that, we all agreed that he will protect our towns and villages and it has been like that until this Francis Dennis man took over the farm,” the elder explained.

The residents said what was a kind gesture has now turned against them as the heirs of the farm are claiming their land and destroying their properties including houses and crops.

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