Cape Mount Promises “One blow” for Weah-2023 Victory -As Citizens Flock to Join CDC in Kinjor; Give McGill Mammoth Welcome

MONROVIA – The gold mining town of Kinjor, Grand Cape Mount went haywire over the weekend with jubilation and excitement when Minister of State for Presidential Affairs Nathaniel Falo McGill paid a working visit at Kinjor to acquaint himself with problems of the mining settlement. In a massively attended program that brought together traditional and local leaders, as well as government officials and representatives from the Bea Mountain Mining Corporation (BMMC), a cross section of Cape Mountainians pledged to support President Weah’s second term bid to allow him continue implementation of his development goals as enshrined within the PAPD. “One Blow!” was the political slogan that the citizens chanted as they flocked to join the CDC over the weekend.

Leading the group of Cape Mountainians who pledged their support to President Weah’s second term in 2023, former Grand Cape Mount County Representative Matthew Dablo said he is convinced that President Weah needs a second term to continue projects that will impact the lives of the Liberian people.

“Because of what I have seen in the performance of Honorable McGill; because of what I have seen from this government, I Matthew Varney Zoe-Zinnah Darblo, Sr., along with all my people in Dablo Clan, Gola Konneh District, Grand Cape Mount, will support President George Manneh Weah in 2023 for the second term. I have not been a CDCian, but I am now a CDCian. The people of Grand Cape Mount County are happy with President Weah. His reelection is absolutely necessary,” the former Grand Cape Mount County lawmaker said as he was ceremoniously emblazoned with the CDC party regalia.

For his part, Grand Cape Mount County Senator Simeon Taylor, who recently switched allegiance from the ANC to the CDC, provided the people of Grand Cape Mount County justifications about his decision, pledging to support President Weah’s second term bid because of what he has seen forthcoming from the Weah-led government.

“I am here to inform you that I have officially joined the Congress for Democratic Change, and the reason for that decision is because of you, because of Grand Cape Mount County. You have given me a nine-year job. In that job, I have a mandate. I could be selfish enough to say, I have a nine years job, and I will continue to make my money for nine years. But you elected me to be able to help Grand Cape Mount County, not to just make money; to help develop Grand Cape Mount County and to show the way forward; to help elevate young people and make them entrepreneurs. Our county is so rich. This county contributes towards the marketing of Liberia, but we are getting nothing back.

“Under President Weah’s regime, we have a vocational school here that is compared to none in this region. We have the Daniels Town-Kinjor Highway that is going to be paved. Under his regime, we have the Medina-Robertsport Highway. Under his regime, my district where I come from is benefitting $450,000. The 12 years that other people led this country the company was here; but we were benefiting nothing. I cannot stay in opposition. They say that the hand that feeds you, don’t bite it.

“Other people will say that this government is not doing anything. But this government is doing something for Grand Cape Mount County. If this government is doing something for Grand Cape Mount County, I cannot stay in opposition. What is the assurance I have? To say that when Mr. John Brown wins, this will happen? Where is that assurance? I have the obligation to serve you. And you have trusted my judgment. That’s why you elected me. I want you to support my idea. I want you to follow me. I want you to help me help this young man bring the development that we need in Grand Cape Mount County. If you don’t love me, just respect my idea for the fact that you elected me to help you. If I have a relationship with this government through the presidency; you sent me over there to work for you, my people; if you don’t know, I serve by ascendency as senator of Grand Cape Mount until I am changed. You can bear me witness. The battle is the Lord. It is God that will deliver and not man. My biggest political party is Grand Cape Mount County. I am with the CDC, but I am asking the CDC government to help develop Cape Mount. If you continue to develop Cape Mount, you will continue to have my support. And I will go all around to ensure that the President wins if my people’s interests are met. And so, I am asking the chiefs, elders, and the religious community to help pray for us.

“So, I want to say, thank you Minister McGill, for lighting Kinjor. But that’s not just the end. You’ve got more to do. And thankfully, the Minister comes from the Western belt. You know, Gbarpolu and Cape Mount are one people. We share the same cultural values,” Senator Taylor enthused.

Jah Fahnbulleh, one of the elders who spoke with our Grand Cape Mount County correspondent, said there is no reason why his people will not vote for President Weah in 2023. “We gave President Sirleaf two terms so she can put our country back on the map and start some of the projects that President Weah is continuing. Why shouldn’t we give President Weah the same opportunity?” oldman Fahnbulleh said during the relaunch of the CDC membership drive that saw Grand Cape Mount County Chairman Milias Sheriff promising to deliver his county with a first-round vote.

“During the President’s tour, he said the company needed to pave the road. Today we saw a paved road. He asked the company to build a TVET school. The school will soon be open. This is the President we are talking about,” Mr. Sheriff said, indicating that the people of Grand Cape Mount County will reciprocate President Weah by giving him a second term.

“We cannot lose this opportunity”

Responding to the overwhelming support that he received from Cape Mountainians, Minister Nathaniel McGill explained the rationale behind President’s Weah development concentration on Grand Cape Mount County, promising the citizens that more will be done during his second term.

“This is important for us. We cannot lose this opportunity. The last 12 years, there were a lot of prominent Cape Mountainians who were in the government. But why wasn’t the road built from Medina to Robertsport? They never built the road. But this administration is trying to build the road. And while we’re trying to build the road, they are saying, ‘change the government around’. Do you think if you change the government the road will be built? The road will never be built. Look at Kinjor. I was driving on this road today, and I am thinking to myself: imagine when this road is paved with coal tar, the whole country is going to move on this side, because once you bring development on this side, people are going to move here. And people who have lands on this road, the value of their land will increase. Roads bring development. Majority of you whose parents have properties on this road are going to get rich because people will leave Monrovia, come to Cape Mount to build their homes.

“We are not going to run away from our own country. It is only Liberians that are going to build this country. Majority of those who were in power for 170 years, told you they never had money. But they took their money and carried it out of the country. I want to recognize Daramie, even though he’s a Unity Party man, but I am happy that he’s working with me, and I will recruit all the Unity Party people for us to work together.

“I want to recognize the senator. This senator, my young brother, was a member of the CDC. For some reason he went to the ANC. One day I asked him: ‘do you know the man that you’re supporting? Do you know the man that is running on the ANC ticket?’ These are the people who never felt hunger before. These are the people who don’t understand your condition. These are the people who call themselves millionaires. One of his friends is a billionaire Liberian. But since he became a billionaire, he has never come to Liberia. He doesn’t care about you. Instead of MNG coming to build a company here, that guy can come do the same here. The only thing is he wants to make his friend president so they can come back and rule this country. We can’t be fooled. We can’t be fooled again.

“And he made the right decision. He said to me, ‘McGill, I see the President doing something. And together we can do something’. I want to thank the senator for this. Let us not allow the opportunity we have to go away. 2023 is very important. The new election is going to be different. If you registered before, you have to register again. Cape Mount must rise up and make sure every eligible voter should register to vote. That way, we will make a change. Other people had 12 years. Four years is not sufficient to do anything. I want to ask you to deliver Cape Mount in 2023 in the first ballot. One blow!” McGill yelled as the crowd cheered triumphantly: “One blow! One blow!”

Lights and Scholarships

Meanwhile, in continuation of his goodwill extended to less-fortunate Liberians across the country, Minister McGill provided the residents of Kinjor with sufficient solar lights to brighten the town and uplift the lives of community dwellers. Not stopping there, Minister McGill also provided L$10 M (approximately US$65K) to assist with school fees for public school students in Grand Cape Mount County.

Mounting the podium and disclosing the goodies that he had brought to the people of Kinjor in particular and Grand Cape Mount County in general, which he said was wholeheartedly supported by President George Manneh Weah, Minister McGill, who is also popularly known as “Porcupine” premised his benevolence to his own impoverished background, revealing that his late mother was a farmer who used to sell cassava leaves and gari to find money to send him to school.

“I was nine years old when my father died. I know the majority of you have that situation that I had. My late mother never went to school. I remember in 1984, when I first went to Monrovia, my mother used to scrub the floor of other people’s homes just to raise money for me to go to school. That time, school fees were just five Liberian dollars. But to get five Liberian dollars to pay my school fees was very difficult for my mother. I know the majority of your mothers are just like my mother. But today, God has given us this opportunity. So, we have to do things for our people, considering that we were in the same condition that you are in today. But you know what? There are a lot of people who are angry. But I want to tell you, it is not easy to change a system. It is very difficult,” Minister McGill averred.

Continuing on why he always opts to provide scholarship opportunities to other less-fortunate Liberians, McGill confessed that a lot of people are always asking him about the reason behind his specific philanthropy.

“In 1998, before I took the UL entrance, I needed 250 Liberian dollars to take the entrance. I could not afford the money because I used to walk from Logan Town Vicky’s Spot to Newport Street and back every day to go to school. I credited that money for the UL entrance. When I entered the University of Liberia, one of the guys I went to for school fees was George Weah. I did not know him. I went to beg for school fees for me and my friends, including Samuel D. Tweah. I was a student leader at the University, Vice Chairman for Administration with STUDA. I wanted to raise money for all students who could not afford their school fees. I went to Ambassador Weah and said, ‘chief we don’t have money to pay our school fees’. Without hesitation, he gave me US$7,000 and we paid for a lot of students’ school fees. That was the only time I met George Weah. But God has a way of bringing people together. I didn’t know today George Weah and myself will be working together and leading this country. So, because of that, we have to make it our responsibility to help other people’s children. When I went to Bong County, I raised money for the people of Bong County. An old lady came to me and said, ‘Mr. McGill, I don’t know you. I walked from the bush to come and see you. I have five children with me. All my children had to go to farm because I could not afford to send my children to school. It is because of your scholarship program; through you and the President of the Republic, that my five children are now going to school’. And so, some of my friends come and tell me, ‘Why are you not raising money for the western region’? And I tell them that sometimes it’s not good to start from home; it’s good to help people who are far away from you.

“So, we are going to work with Senator Taylor, especially for our children who are in public schools, to raise the first initial LD$10 million ($US65,000) to help our poor brothers and sisters who are in public schools in Cape Mount County; to help our parents who cannot afford to send their children to school because the majority of you have to sell either cassava leaf or potato greens to raise money. That’s the way we will help our people because when you have a future, when you go to school and have education, we will do something for your poor parents who never went to school,” Minister McGill stated philosophically.

BMMC Contentions

During the program, the BMMC Workers’ Coordinator Samuel G. Roberts decried the bad working conditions that Liberians are enduring under the Turkish management.

“We received an invitation to come and represent the workers of BMMC. Minister McGill, we want to appreciate you for the electrification of the Kinjor community. Ninety percent of our workers that live in Kinjor are going to benefit from the lights that you have presented today.

“However, the workers of BMMC are suffering. We have been intimidated in this mine. We have been marginalized. A lot of Turkish nationals are coming into the country, doing the work of Liberians, and no one is doing anything about that. All we hear is that they are shielded by the government and there’s nothing we can do. But we are peaceful Liberians, we are peaceful citizens. We will not go one stage to demonstrate. All we do is to go through the negotiation process. So, we want to bring to your attention our grievances that we are faced with here. The Ministry of Labor is doing their best, but it’s not enough. Please tell our president that we are suffering,” Mr. Roberts lamented on behalf of his fellow workers.

Broaching the issue of the long-standing unrests at the Bea Mountain Mining Corporation involving management and the workers on one hand, and the citizens versus the company on the other hand, Minister McGill said he is primarily a problem solver, which has been his vocation throughout his life.

“My whole life, I never used violence to solve problems. I have used persuasion, negotiation to get problems solved. My first time interacting with your leaders, I knew they were radicals, because we used to do the same things. But I knew they were talking in your interest. So, I went to the company and had a conversation. It is difficult to get everything done in one day. But let me assure you that I hear your plea. I hear your cry. I want to assure you that I am also a citizen of this region. Before this region was divided, there was one region called West-Central Region comprising Lofa County, Bong, Gbarpolu, Cape Mount, including Bomi. I am from Gbarpolu, that means I am from the Western region. Anything that affects you affects me also. Because I am sitting close to the President, because more people believe that Nathaniel McGill who is from the Western region is one of the persons who is capable of solving problems, and that if Cape Mount County has a problem and that problem is not resolved, the people are going to blame me. So, my responsibility is to work with you to resolve problems in Cape Mount, because whatsoever affects Cape Mount also affects me. And because of my proximity to the president; and because this president being a poor woman’s son, has delegated some authority to me. A lot of people are angry, a lot of people are asking: ‘but who is that country boy, born in the Belleh forest, where you had to walk for three hours before seeing a vehicle?’ But we have passion for you because you made this government.

“I remember the first time I came to Kinjor, and I saw the condition. Things are changing, but more needs to be done. I want to thank Daramie from the Unity Party and others. Someone said Daramie is from the Unity Party, but I said that’s the man I want to work with. I want to work with Unity Party people. And I am happy today that some Unity Party people have crossed over to the CDC. Because what we are about to do for 2023 is not about CDC alone. It is about a movement of citizens of Grand Cape Mount County. Whether you’re from the Liberty Party, ANC, from the Unity Party or CDC, everybody will come together to make George Weah president for the second term. We also want to thank Milias Sirleaf who is doing a great job,” Minister McGill stated emphatically.

The program was graced by the presence of Grand Cape Mount County Senator Simeon Boima Taylor who recently left the opposition Alternative National Congress to join the ruling Coalition; Cape Mount County Superintendent Aaron Vincent; Grand Cape Mount County acting CDC Chairman Milias Sheriff; senior management representatives of the Bea Mountain Mining Corporation (BMMC); as well as chiefs, elders, students, and citizens of Grand Cape Mount County. The citizens welcomed Minister McGill in a triumphant procession into the town of Kinjor, as the Minister and Senator Taylor rode slowly in an open-top jeep, with citizens lining the streets and cheering them on, while traditionally attired performers regaled the crowd with captivating songs and dances.

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