President Weah and his caravan of officials and supporters are moving further east of the Liberia to Grand Bassa County today before River Cess and Sinoe Counties, holding town hall meetings, hearing out citizens, greetings school kids and harnessing national peace and unity. Since Monday, April 18, the President stepped out of his Monrovia enclave and for three days combing towns, villages and citizens of Margibi and interacting with the ordinary people. As he concludes his tour of the rubber forested region of Margibi, and having delivered the goodies of development and the message of unity and hope, the Liberian leader also took up some time to disabuse the rural populace of what he considers frivolous propaganda against his administration’s development efforts. The Analyst reports.
After a memorable time in Margibi County, President George Manneh Weah and his encourage are on their way to Grand Bassa County today. He was in the county for three days.
From Kakata to Weala, from Cotton Tree to Charlesville, and from Duazohn to Unification Town, Margibi, which is fondly called a “Rainbow County” due to his mix of tribal people from across the country brought about by the oldest concessionaire Firestone, was afire by the visit of President George Manneh Manneh.
Clamor by Margibians to show unreserved solidarity for the President refreshed pundit’s minds about the role the county played in electing the President in 2017. This fifth populous county of Liberia tendered 64.5 percent of their suffrage for President Weah out of the nearly two dozen presidential candidates that participate.
Indeed, for the three days in that Rainbow County, it was something to watch as local government officials in concert with a strong CDC base who had spent sleepless time mobilizing and animating the people of this fifth most populated county in the country, took the streets and communities to welcome the President.
Due to the close proximity of Margibi to the seat of power, Montserrado, it was all tsunamic ceremonies in both the lower and upper parts, because all their citizens and eminent people were prepared and a lot of government officials who had not accompanied the president on tours were in sight.
The ceremonies were well organized by the local leadership and their citizens, depicting color and substance in terms of issues of development and peace put before the president who also dedicated new projects and promised many more goodies for the county and its people.
Not a single request on the market list of issues presented by the people were left unanswered by the President, who said with the help of the lawmakers of the county, all they requested will be fully addressed.
The President appears to be following all that is said negatively by his opponents regarding his development initiatives. Perhaps not wanting to allow citizens get deceived by those criticisms, he also used the time with them to state in passing his defense.
He said there are unscrupulous citizens who criticized just anything, including positive strides of his administration, such as the roads, electricity, medical facilities and others that he has undertaken in just three years of his incumbency.
“Those who do not see the ongoing road construction activities as major achievements that are positively impacting on the people, must not be taken serious,” the President retorted when he came up to defend his stewardship against cynics, especially those saying the execution of road projects throughout the country are not serious achievements for his government.
The President’s statement is in apparent reference to former Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai who, last Week, took a dissenting view of the road projects being executed by President Weah – referring to them as ‘sidewalk roads’ that cost less but were inflated in cost so as to get kickbacks from the projects.
Mr. Boakai was speaking from a live interview that was conducted by talk-show host, Henry Costa.
Responding to Boakai’s criticism of the road-building agenda of the government the Liberian Chief Executive said: “For more than 170 years this country has been backward and we are trying to make sure that we change this sad story. Unfortunately, some of the people who were part of the problems when they were in power for 12 years without any significant achievement are the ones who are trying to criticize us. We are building roads all over the country and you are calling them sidewalks but what they you built during your time? You have to give us the chance to do for our people what you did not do for them.”
The President made the assertion yesterday while speaking to a mammoth crowd who converged at a town hall meeting with citizens and resident of District 2 held in Cotton Tree, Margibi County as part of his nationwide tour in that county.
The President told the citizens of Margibi that he remains committed to build Liberia, and thanked them for reposing confidence in him by electing him as President during the 2017 Presidential and General Elections. He said his visit to Margibi was planned earlier but was delayed by the outbreak of the Coronavirus.
After listening to the various representatives who spoke on behalf of the various groups, the President told the people that their requests will not be a quick fix because government works through processes but the best way to get things done faster was for the citizens to liaise with their lawmakers because everything about the government especially the budget starts from the national legislature.
He called on those who are in the haste to write about his administration should be truthful to themselves and posterity to admit that what he has done in the last three years cannot be compared to the corresponding years of past governments. He named some of his landmark achievements as the pavements of roads throughout the country, construction of 100 housing units in all the 15 counties, installation of street lights, market buildings, free tuition at public tertiary institutions, payment of WASSCE fees, etc.
The Liberian Leader and his entourage then moved to Duazon, for another meeting with the citizens where again he was received by a large crowd who turned out to give him and his party a befitting welcome. As was said in his previous meeting with the people in Cotton Tree, the President thanked the people for his support during the 2017 elections and said he will work harder not to disappoint the people.
He said the time has come for the people of Margibi to enjoy the benefit of their support him and like where he had already visited and made commitment, so the case of Margibi was not going to be different.
“I have gone to so places and saw what our people are going through. I am moved by their plights and it is said that this kind of thing was allowed to last this long. But like what I have seen and promised the people, the good people of Margibi will also get some of the good things we gave and promised to give the other people too.
Speaking further to citizens of the County, President Weah noted that as feminist in chief, he will do his best to ensure that women succeed. Already, according to Pres. Weah, the government has made US$2m available for rural women and urged the women to talk to their lawmakers to legislate the US$2m in the National Budget every year.
“I am not here to play politics, I am the president of the Republic of Liberia and base on what I will do for you will elect me in 2023”, the Liberian Leader accentuated.
President Weah urged the Margibians to make use of the 14 Military Hospital in their County. He said he built the hospital because he is aware that the people of the County need it and further said the government is building hospitals across the country.
Onwards to River Cess, Sinoe
Though there are unconfirmed reporters that the President and delegation may defer their trip to River Cess and Sinoe Counties for a later date, reports are that the two counties are anxiously waiting after the President’s Bassa tour.
In Grand Bassa County, where youthful, hardcore CDCian superintendent Janjay Gbakpai is seated, it will certainly be an explosive affair, according to some pundits who are predicting activities of the third presidential visit.
“We are not letting any stone remain unturned here, as this is a welcome home event for the President in Grand Bassa County,” said Jeremiah Kotartee, a CDCian based in Buchanan City.
“If there was any fine, colorful and memorable welcome and hosting of our President and his team anywhere in this country, the best comes out live in Bassa. Just so you know that. There is no march for us at all!”
River Cess might be a small county, in terms of size and population. But besides Grand Kru, the president’s second blood-linked abode in the country is River Cess, the home of his mother.
“We are preparing a mother’s welcome here,” said youth leader Timothy Sundaygar. “And anyone knows the difference between a mother’s welcome from a stepmother’s welcome for a son. Even the father can’t beat a mother’s welcome.”
Sinoe County is still being discussed in some quarters of presidential protocols if bad road condition would allow the presidential convoy to sail in there.
If it does as the President insists it should, there awaits an unusual welcome and hospitality from the Krus and Sarpos of that county.
Politically, Sinoe County is an unwavering longtime CDC base and more so, the people of Sinoe, forebears of the President’s paternal Grand Kru, see their county as the actual fatherly province of the president. And, as a local government source indicated to The Analyst, the people’s shoulders await to convey the president throughout the county.
Superintendent Lee Nagbe Chea and his county’s CDC-legislative bloc are reportedly combing every corner of the country in preparation of the President’s visit.
Senator Teahjay who is perhaps the only opposition legislative official in the county has shown tacitly but forcefully clearly that his umbilical cord still remains tied to this second indigenous president of Liberia produced by the CDC of which he was a fanatic if not a founding member.
Evidence is that this fearless, tough-talking politician has never ever spoken ill, at least publicly, of President Weah and his administration.
“It is true that every successful child belongs to his nation, and is a coveted citizen of the world,” said Schoolroom Joseph Nagbe in Greenville. “This does not preclude the fact of his nativity or biological origin. George Weah belongs to all. But he hails from a home, a quarter. That bloodlines got its cradle in Sinoe County. And we are prepared as the fathers of the Father of the Nation, to show all and sundry he belongs here most particularly.”
The President’s visit to the rural parties had not just been about fanfare and celebrations. It has also been about serious matters of state, a unique matters of specific communities. It has also been about providing hope for the hopeless people and delivering much-needed projects on the spot or breaking ground for them.
While the President uses the countryside tours to tell the rural populations ‘thank you’ for electing him in 2017 out of the list of nearly two dozen choices, and against odds of propaganda that he was not the most suited, he also relieves the people with provision of solar electricity in major towns and citizens, and announces ambitious projects.
He also dedicates projects undertaken by his administration and break grounds of projects by this administration or development partners.
He also intervenes and takes decisions that address conflicts between and amongst tribes and communities.
And for the most part, the President visit attracts unusual public attention to the rural communities, setting the stage for active engagement between the people and the government on one instant and between the communities and other well-meaning people interested lending a helping hand.
Wherever the entourage lands, live returns—businesses boom and the people smile.