As if the Golas and their brethren on the Montserrado border flank of their county did not do much in drenching President George Manneh Weah and his entourage with cheers, dancing and praises, their counterparts further west and north of Bomi County overstretched their excitement with elastic limit and numbers, turning the President’s ‘thank you’ tour into grand parade of pomp and pageantry. Suehn Mecca District, rose up as never seen in the county for decades to welcome President Weah, drumming, singing and dancing riotously, almost overshadowing much of the time spent by the visitors. However, the substantive issues came on the table, the acute backwardness of the district on socioeconomic standards and what President Weah should do to lift them out of their quagmire. The President lent ears, and hands, to the cries of the people, promising to work with their leaders change their story. The Analyst reports.
The President Weah’s entry and welcome into Suehn Mecca in Bomi County was triumphant and tumultuous. It was a campaign-styled display of solidarity from the people who lined much of the difficult road to that remote community and burst into ululation as the President and entourage arrived.
The visit to Suehn-Mecca was in furtherance of the second phase of the President’s nationwide tour, which is covering Bomi, Cape Mount and Gbarpolu Counties.
In February, the President visited Bong, Nimba, Grand Gedeh, River-Gee, Maryland and Grand Kru counties during the first phase of his tour where he dedicated several development Projects.
The arrival of the President and party characterized merriments, performance of traditional rites which occasioned the outing of the “country devil” and other cultural displays befitting the official visit of the chief executive of the country.
It was not difficult for the President to grasp the magnitude of the suffering of the people of Suehn-Mecca as the lack of internet connectivity, something most villages in other remote areas enjoy.
Throng of citizens lined up along the main street of Cooper Town, to receive the President and entourage who visited that part of the country.
Thus, as the President was addressing himself to the avalanche of socioeconomic needs put before him by the people, he said: “Twelve years, there has been no network in your district; you can now know who cares for you. I defy anyone who can beat me when it comes to seeking the development needs of the people.
This made the crowds of hospitable people burst further into the frenzy of jubilation and celebration, a euphoric excitement that engulfed the entire during the stay of the president in the community.
Accordingly, the “country devil” of the Suehn-Mecca District traditionally received and welcomed President Weah and delegation into the district, while the President and First Lady Clare Marie Weah were showered with gifts from the local leaders, traditional people, elders and residents of the district.
Enthusiastically, some residents were heard saying, “There is time for everything; today, today is our time, our problems are over. The problems of bad our roads, education, the lack of sitting capacity in the schools will be addressed.”
The visit of President Weah later settled down for a town hall meeting, where the citizens made separate remarks, presenting their burdens of problems and appeals to the Liberian leader.
Key among them was an appeal for paved road which they said is a major challenge in the district, saying that the main road leading to Mecca District is terribly bad.
According to the residents, the road in question connects three counties, including Bomi, Gbarpolu and Monstserrado.
They also complained of the poor Health system in the district, which they indicated, posed serious challenge for pregnant women in the district. Besides, they said there are no high schools in the district, noting that students of the district are sitting on the floor to learn because of the lack of chairs or benches for the students.
Furthermore their grievances also captured communication when they complained about the absence of GSM Company or any source of internet (network) in the area. They underscored the importance of having the district connected to the GSM companies noting, “Having GSM network in Suehn-Mecca will also help our children with their learning process; they will use the internet to study and do research.”
“Mr. President, if you solve our problems that we have presented to you today, and then you say you change your mind on contesting for second, we the citizens of Suehn Mecca district, will ask the First Lady Clare Weah to encourage you to contest for second term,” a spokesman of the residents promised.
At the town hall meeting, every speaker thanked Mr. President for the appointment of their son, Varney Sirleaf as Internal Affairs Minister in the CDC-led government.
Suehn District, the second biggest district in Bomi County, has 18 polling centers. During the 2017 election, majority of the voters overwhelmingly voted for George Weah and CDC.
Responding to the grievances of the people of Suehn-Mecca District, President Weah said he was in the district to say thanks to the people for electing him president, and for keeping the peace. President Weah identified COVID -19 Pandemic as reason for his delay to visit the district since his election to the Presidency.
He assured the people that he would deliver on their expectations.
“We will pay you in return with good road, a high school, which you said you lack in this district,” President Weah assured the locals.
He said further that his administration would work for the people, adding, “We will do our best for you.”
The Liberian leader maintained that he was concerned about the road condition facing the people, and averred that he would put Suehn-Mecca’s road on the list of government’s priority projects, indicating amidst applauds that he had instructed the Ministers of Public Works and Finance to put out a bid to up upgrade the road.
On the issue of the health system in the district and the condition of the schools, the Liberian leader further promised to bring the two situations to the attention of the ministers of Health and Education.
“You are right; you need technical school. We will do our best so you can have one here.
President Weah is expected to, today, Wednesday, end his tour in Bomi County for Gbarpolu County.