There is still a raging debate over whether the tumultuous welcome put up by the citizens of Maryland can be compared with any other in terms of numbers or crowd sizes and the colorfulness and demonstration of ululation in greeting President George Manneh Weah and delegation to their counties. With the likes of Grand Gedeh, Nimba, River Gee raising the bar extremely high, not too many observers following the President’s countryside tours had predicted that there would any more tsunamic welcome ceremonies as already displayed in those counties. But from Plebo, Webo and Harper, Marylanders rose up in ways that make comparative analysts regarding the largest crowd and clamorous celebration more difficult. But all was not about celebration and crowd sizes; it was also about the substantive issues of engaging the President on his development agenda so far and about the President responding to the pleas of the people. Once again, the President demonstrated his sense of hearing, and by the time he concluded his tours of the beach, the people of Maryland had something for which the celebrate long after the visit. The Analyst reports.
As President George Manneh Weah walks out of the oceanic city of Harper, there is so much reason for the people of Maryland to celebrate given the multiple development projects initiated or dedicated.
For two whole days, even before the good news of development was announced to them by the President, Marylanders laid out red carpet for the head of state and his encourage—one of the biggest attractions of human assembly seen during the six-county tour.
For two whole days, February 23 and 24, throngs of locals, including women and young people, traditional leaders took to the streets until the President could not resist the temptation of staying in his convoy but to disembark and trek along with the crowds.
In separate town hall meetings, one in Karloken, another in Plebo and the third in Harper, the Liberian Chief Executive briefed the citizens on what he has done to improve their lives and promised to do more in the coming years.
Saying development is a process and not an event, President George Manneh Weah disclosed that the administration of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) has done more in the first three years of his term than any administration had done in their three years.
The President, who noted that his administration will measure up to the challenges facing the nation, promised to find solutions that would benefit all Liberians. He also pointed out that despite the Corona virus, his government continues to do the people’s work.
The President thanked the people of Maryland for helping electing him to the presidency, adding that he takes seriously the confidence reposed in him by the people of Liberia. He called on the Marylanders to join him shift the paradigm to develop the country.
“This country has 173 years of serious socioeconomic challenges but averred that “we could measure up to face the challenges to find solutions that could benefit all Liberians.”
He added: “It will take time to plan and to implement. Today, we are at the mid-point of our six year term. In the first three years, we have planted a seed of development; we are beginning to see the first yields.”
He earlier spoke highly of the hospitality of the people of Maryland, exclaiming that Maryland is “the first county of Liberia where the key to the city of Harper was given to me before his arrival.”
The President was accompanied to the county by enthusiastic members of the Maryland Legislative Caucus including Speaker Bhofal Chambers and Senator Gblebo Brown.
Speaking at the Occasion, Senator J. Gblebo Brown Senator Brown reechoed the needs of the people of Maryland as was said earlier by representatives of the people themselves, thanking the President for providing opportunity to the people to speak to him about their needs which he believed the President have heard and will address.
“Thank you for hearing them. And to you the citizens, particularly the women, thank you so much; you’ve made all of us that came with the President proud,” Hon. Brown said. “The huge turnout, here and out there and for the many gifts you have given the President, we say thank you from the bottom of our heart. And thank you for speaking your minds [about] your needs to the President. We know him, he has a hearing ear, and he’s going to hear you.”
Turing to the President, Senator Brown reecho the needs of the people of Maryland County which encompass economic empowerment, the need for a housing program in a town he named as Karblaken along the banks of Cavalla River. He als pleaded with the President for a vocational school in the county.
“But Mr. President, if we can add a few of what the people have said; if you can remember few months back I went to you at your home and I asked for support for these women, the women of this county. If you look, there are not many companies that can provide employment for this county,” Senator Brown reminded the President.
He said Maryland County is being kept up economic largely by the women, which is while more emphasis should be placed on helping the women folks of the county.
“In our weak ways, Mr. President, I launched a micro loan scheme in this county. The first was $1,865,000. When I was coming on this visit, I brought $2.7m but in distribution it went to $3,000,000. So, in total, what I have distributed now is over $5,000,000 that is circulating in this county,” the Senator recounted.
He recommended to the President to request the First Lady, Madam Clair Weah to declare some support for the women of the county in the form of “Madam Clair Weah Support for the People of Maryland.”
Thanking the President also for the initiatives at constructing housing units in other counties, Senator Brown called President’s attention to a town and place that he said is very, very particular to benefit from housing scheme which he identified as Karblaken.
Karblaken, the Senator indicated, is located at the place Cavalla joins the ocean. “When I was Superintendent, Mr. President, I observed that at certain time in the year, the River wants to take over the entire town. This poses great security risk. So I appeal to you, Mr. President, that Karblaken benefit from the Housing Units so we can relocate these people,” he added.
He also reminded the President that the women also requested a vocational school. “And let me say a bit about the school. Last night we were in Pleebo City, and the President accepted to construct a vocational school in this county,” he assured
He further stated that during the course of last year, he proffered a Bill at the National Legislature for the construction of a state-sponsored vocational institute in the county, and pointed out that the Senate has already passed the bill which he noted is before the House of Representatives.
“Once it is passed into Law, the President will sign it and then we have a full fledge vocational school in Maryland with the support of this government.”
Also speaking, the Chairman of the House of Maryland Legislative Caucus, commencing with a traditional battle cry joined other speakers who had earlier commended the President for his development initiatives.
The Maryland Senator said: “We feel very proud and lifted this afternoon for the expression made by our people in recognition of your development agenda. As the people’s representatives we are aware of some of what have been doing, and have been in believing in your ability to knowing what good governance is, cognizant of the fact that what they ordinary people have expressed.
The Caucus’ chairman further said, “we will work along with you to ensure that subsequently, all of what they outlined will be executed properly.”
He expressed delight that Marylanders who have turned out in their numbers to receive the President to Harper.
“Being the political Capital all of the three electoral districts are all assembled here, so what they have spoken represent the landscape of Maryland County.”
“So in confirmation, Mr. President, we want to add our voices to the people to express our appreciation to you. We are working with you because we believe in your ability and concerning what the people have said, we will work with you diligently to ensure that all they’ve said are executed.”