Of many areas visited so far during his ongoing nationwide visits, President Weah appears unhappy with the level of development taking place in River Gee County which, according to him, has so got many educated people in past and current governments. He blamed the county’s backwardness on the inability to its elite to show love and concern for the county and its people. But the President did not only criticize and lament living conditions in the county; he also pronounced a fair share of his government’s development agenda with the people of River Gee, as The Analyst reports.
President George Manneh Weah on his ongoing county wide visit promised to take steps towards providing befitting infrastructural developments to River Gee County so as to overcome some of the many challenges the county is facing being one of the two newest counties created during the administration of former President Charles Ghankay Taylor.
Speaking to a mammoth crowd of citizens and residents in the county, President Weah said his government will build 200 housing units to address the problem of acute shortage and availability of modern houses for the people and also provide 200 solar panels to light up Karweaken, the commercial hub in the county, the place which he said he used to admire while a child but has fallen in bad times.
The President said he can reason from the fact that as one of the two newest counties like her counterpart Gbarpolu, the county cannot be compared with the other counties that were fully in existence but also called on the citizens of the county to work towards the development of their place.
While bemoaning the state of development in the county, the President made specific reference to the existing presidential palace which he ordered to be demolished and be reconstructed with modern facilities in accordance to its status.
Mr. Weah whose visit was graced by the presence of three lawmakers from the county, Representatives Francis Dopoh of the Unity Party (UP), Francis Younge of the Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE) and Alexander Poure of the All Liberia Party (ALP) broke ground for the construction a dam on Gee River at a cost of $15 million to address the problem of accessibility to electricity in the county, a condition he seriously condemned and also dedicated an Isolated Center built within the premises of the Government Hospital in Fish Town.
In Karweaken where the President bemoaned the level of underdevelopment in the whole of Southeast Liberia, noted that it is unfortunate to see the beautiful district of Kawerken that he once visited as a child to be in extreme darkness stressing that the lack of electricity in that part of the country does not auger well for the oldest independent nation on the continent.
“I had to speak less in Kawerken because darkness was fast approaching during the evening hour; I think our people deserve better. I have instructed Gbehkugbeh junior, and the Finance Minister to negotiate for 2000 solar panel lights to light up Kawerken”, he said amid thundering cheers from the citizens and residents who turned out in their numbers to listen to him.
He reminded the people of the Southeast that his story as a child growing up in ghettos, is similar to theirs; adding that he experienced and understand what it means to live in poverty. He stressed that in the remaining three years of his administration, the pro poor agenda for prosperity and development in the hinterlands will be a top priority of his government.
“Fellow citizens, I am at this level of life because of God’s Wisdom, I know what it means to live in poverty. This is why, we need to work together to fight for our people. We will work for you, but I also encouraged you to talk to your sons, the lawmakers to join us in seeking your supreme interest’, Mr. Weah asserted.
The President also used the occasion to speak on his government’s plan for agriculture noting that if Liberia will be self- reliant, there is a need for every citizen to venture into agriculture so as to enable the nation, ‘eat what they grow and grow what they eat’. He urged farmers across the country to take advantage of a USD 16 million funding his government secured from our development partners so as to grow more food to buttress the government’s agenda for food security.
As one of the plans to promote and support rural women empowerment the Liberian Chief executive noted that his administration will advocate with the Legislature to make available US$2m every year in the national budget to help improve rural businesses.
President Weah who spoke on other wide range of national issues touched on the need for national reconciliation and working together despite the political differences that may exist among the actors in the polity.
“The development of Liberia, will need every hand on deck. Let us come together irrespective of where we are, be it opposition, independent, or no position, it is important for us to unite and foster peace and development” President Weah said.
Speaking earlier at the program, Representative Alexander Poure praised the President for the visit to assess things for himself as President of the nation with the view of taking steps to address the issues that will be put to him by the citizens. He called on the citizens to be united and forget about partisan politics that cannot move the county forward.
“We have to work together as a united family because it the only way we can help ourselves. We need to do away with partisan politics and focus on things that will make this county very conducive for everybody just like our counterparts that are far developed than us. Though I am a member of the ALP, but for the purpose of moving the county forward I can promise you that I am going to work with the President and his CDC led government to develop this county.” Representative Poure said.