President George Manneh Weah has vowed to decentralize governance in the country as the way to fast track massive development and to endure direct service delivery to the larger segment of the population.
President Weah made the statement yesterday in Klay District, Bomi County during Town Hall meeting while responding to the requests of citizens of the county as part of his first leg of the second round of his country wide tour that will also take him to Gbarpolu and Grand Cape Mount County.
The President had earlier visited the north and Southeastern region of the country including Bong, Nimba, Grand Gedeh, River Gee, Maryland and Grand Kru Counties where he carried out some development projects.
Speaking to citizens and residents of Bomi County, the President said “I want to decentralize the government; what is in Monrovia must be in the other capital cities of the country.
It is sad that after 173 years of independence, a capital city has got no fitting guest house. It is time we move on to provide those things that you people do not have”, he asserted.Earlier, President Weah and entourage who were received at Klay Bridge by mammoth crowd including the county legislative caucus and local leaders, had a brief town hall meeting at which time various groups presented series of requests to him and craved for his consideration and prompt action. The groups include the local authority, market women, students, and the traditional council, amongst others.
During the Hall Meeting, the students, who were the first of the groups to speak, extended appreciations to the President for initiating a package whereby the WASSCE fees are paid by the government. The students said the initiative has enabled many students to complete their high school education in the country.
They however lamented other challenges they go through with their studies, and appeal to the President to assist with provision of a library, recreational centers and other facilities to enhance the teaching and learning processes in the county.
They made specific reference to the lack of teachers at the Klay Public High School where about most of the teachers are volunteers. They further appealed to the President to assist the teachers to be enrolled on the payroll of the government.
Similarly, the market women appealed to the President to complete the market construction of the building started but left unfinished by former Speaker Alex Tyler. The completion of the market, they said will alleviate the problem they go through daily when they have to sell in the open sun and rain.
Another women group told the President in lamentation that the women of Bomi County are really frustrated with the conditions they are forced to live, especially in the area of health care. The spokesperson of the women said that because of the lack of public clinic, regrettably some women give birth to babies in the streets and open places.
They made a specific passionate appeal to the First Lady, Mrs. Clar Duncan Weah for the construction of a modern public clinic so as to alleviate the sufferings of the women and the general populace of the county.
Taking the turn, the traditional council extended thanks to the President for taking his time to visit the people of Bomi County and wished him a happy stay in the county.
The head of the Council told the President about some of the problems being faced by the Chiefs among which is the lack of mobility. He also mentioned that most of the chiefs are not on government payroll. He then appealed to the President to assist in solving these and some of their pressing problems.
The Superintendent of the Clay Statutory District, who spoke for and on behalf of the people of the district, used the occasion to welcome the President and party to the district and thank him for finding them worthy of the visit which has afforded him the opportunity to see for himself what the people are going through.
As usual the Superintendent narrated the challenges the local administration was going through, including the lack of a district administrative building. The local official then appealed to Mr. Weah to come to the aid of the district with the construction of the administrative building.
President Weah, while responding to the various speakers, first of all thanked the people for the huge turn out to grace the occasion. He said the delay his visit, which he said was overdue principally because of the advent the COVID-19 and other state protocols, was regretted.
However, he expressed gratitude that at last he was in Bomi to say thank you for the massive support he was given during the 2017 general elections that made him President.
“I have long been planning to come to you to say thank you for voting me as your President in 2017. People said all kinds of things about me; that I don’t know book, I am this , I am that, but you didn’t mind them, you still went ahead to make me your president and I will not make your support a waste,” he assured the people.
Saying “I am a talk and do person,” President said amid thunderous cheers and shouts from the people, “What is a clinic? how much is it to bring development to this place,”
He told the people that he has heard similar stories from other places he has gone during the first round of his county tour that took him to Bong, Nimba, Grand Gedeh, River Gee, Maryland and Grand Kru Counties.
“Our people are in darkness. We need to put light to places where our people will be able to use in their homes, to do business and provide comfort. One group of the people that I helped while I was going to school, has a company for solar energy, he is providing 10,000 solar lights throughout this country on contract and we want to make sure that all the major cities in Liberia must benefit from this”, President told the people while the place erupted into celebration.
President concluded his remarks by appreciating the people of Bomi County for keeping the peace which he said is very paramount to development because without peace, nothing can happen.