By Patrick Tokpah, in Bong County
Bong County University Students Union has issued a one-week ultimatum to the Bong Project Management Committee Chairperson, Steve Mulbah, to retract what the students called “his recent sweeping statement” that the Madam Suakoko Scholarship scheme’s resumption is non-priority issue in the County.
Speaking in separate interviews with this paper in Bong County, Jeremiah Gbaryan of the United Methodist University (UMU), Jefferson Kollie of the University of Liberia (UL) and Paul Kerkulah of African Methodist Episcopal University (AMEU) respectively said the PMC chairman’s statement is only intended to undermine the student community and it has the propensity to derail the County development.
They explained that the Madam Suakoko Scholarship was established with funding from the County Social Development Funds to provide tertiary educational opportunity for deserving Bong County Students at various universities across the Country, but met its unexpected suspension by the County’s leadership in 2012.
But due to the pressing demand to restore the Scholarship program, the students said delegates at the November 12, 2018 County Council sitting in Gbarnga allotted US 100,000 for the Madam Suakoko Scholarship program; an amount that is yet to be made available by the Project Management Committee.
The students expressed surprise that Mulbah’s recent assertion that the county’s priority listing under expenditure did not capture the Madam Suakoko Scholarship, after the county has received US 1.1million from national government since the November 12, 2018 County Sitting.
The student leaders further said the assertion made by Chairman Mulbah is only from the belly of the devil, threatening to stage serious demonstration in demand of resumption of the Madam Suakoko Scholarship scheme for students of the county.
The students further accused members of Bong County Legislative Caucus of being in the know of the PMC Chairperson “irresponsible statement” against the student community.
But the Bong County Legislative Caucus seriously criticized the Bong County PMC Chairman Mulbah for the alleged misappropriation of the 1.1 million dollars, from which the Madam Suakoko Scholarship program should obviously be provided for.
The caucus however said the scholarship scheme will only be resumed following receipt of additional funding from national government.
Meanwhile, Mulbah who alarmed over limited funding in the county’s account is also on record blaming the illegal increment in the renovation cost of the Superintendent’s Compound from 50,000 to US 149,000 for the situation.
Similarly, several citizens of the county have expressed their disappointment over what they termed as unrealistic reasons provided by the PMC chairman for the delay in the resuming the Madam Scholarship program in the county.
Chairman Mulbah’s recent statement has raised serious concern among Universities students in Bong and across the Country.
Notwithstanding, the student leaders have giving, Mr. Steve Mulbah one-week ultimatum retract his “useless statement” downplaying the resumption of the scholarship program if the wrath of the students should not fall upon him.