Margibians Turnout In Thousands for McGill -Hold ‘’Appreciation Program” For Massive Financial Aid to Students, Women
The people of the Central Province of Margibi have stepped in the shoes of the single leper who returned to Jesus to say “thank you” after the Good Master had healed ten of them. Certainly, not all Liberians or all Margibians would keep their quiet. Thousands of them, who see former Presidential Affairs Minister Nathaniel McGill still as a good friend despite his recent woes, flocked unto him Saturday when they swarmed what they call “thank-you” rally to demonstrate support and show gratitude to him for massive financial aid he once provided on behalf of his boss to hundreds of students and market women, turning lives around. As The Analyst reports, the appreciation program featured moving orations of solidary and lavish support from various segments of the local population appreciating the former Minister of State for Presidential Affairs.
For spearheading the scholarship scheme of President George Manneh Weah and the undisputed passion and personal commitment he diligently executed in Margibi County, which removed the burden and obstacles to accessing quality education in public institutions throughout the County, thousands of citizens, residents, parents, students among others of the county on Saturday, September 24, 2022 held a befitting appreciation program in honor of former Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Mr. Nathaniel Farlo McGill.
The citizens said it was a sign of their gratitude to him for the worthy contribution and assured him that his magnanimity will never go unrecognized and unrewarded.
As early as 8 am, momentum to the memorable event was far in readiness as people started trooping into the campus of the Booker Washington Institute where the elaborate program was held, causing vehicular and human hiccups in the process that lasted for a better part of the day as the program proceeded.
Traditional singers and dancers, brandishing banners, flags and placards, flooded the streets and communities and turned the often quiet Kakata City, Margibi into a sort of carnival normally held in Liberia on special occasions.
There were several campaign posters bearing the photos of President Weah with Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor and Mr. McGill that projected them as the choices of the bearers towards 2023.
Our reporter, who covered the talk-of-the-town event, said that the massive awareness and publicity put into the preparatory stage did the magic as promos, such jingoes, ran on Radio Margibi 103 FM, helping to mobilize the people and put them the entire county into the frenzy that was seen during the occasion.
Some of the jingoes, as aired on the radio, variously referred to Mr. McGill as “One of the sons, one of the fathers, one of our faces, our celebrated sons, etc.” amongst other things.
Early signs of Mr. McGill personally turning out for the program emerged on Friday, September 23, 2022 when some of his friends and associates as well as prominent sons and daughters of Margibi County started converging on Kakata, taking up accommodations in some hotels preparatory of being part of the big event taking place the next day.
Then all of the sudden, the next morning an advanced party to the event started trooping into the city in their numbers.
Despite the downpour of rain, the participants defied all odds to make the occasion successful.
The moment the people were waiting for came when Mr. McGill, in a long convoy of his entourage, arrived to an uproarious welcome by a mammoth crowd at the entry point into the city.
The avalanche of locals marched along with him, singing, dancing, chanting pro-McGill battle cries and slogans, even while he disembarked from the vehicle that brought him from Monrovia up to the venue of the program on BWI campus.
Welcoming McGill and his entourage to the county, the Mayor of Kakata City, said the county was excited to play host to the appreciation and honoring program of McGill for his outstanding role he played in the Presidential Scholarship program and said that the citizens and residents, especially the parents and students will continue to be grateful for the initiative, describing it as the first of its kind in the county and wished the participants a happy stay in the city.
Giving the overview of the fund drive, Mr. Harry Tarnue, Principal of the Booker Washington Institute (BWI), said the program which was launched on October 5, 2021 on the campus of BWI was the unprecedented and first of its kind in the county for such noble initiative.
He gave detailed information about all the activities as was compiled by the committee tasked with the implementation.
“I want to remind you that almost exactly one year ago, we gathered at this particular venue to witness the launch of the biggest support to the cause of education in Margibi County,” Mr. Tarnue said. “This report is transparent and shows the roadmap how public funds can be judicially used for the good of the people.”
He said the total amount received for the fund drive came to L$15,950,000 and USD105, 000 which was used to pay school fees for 36 public schools throughout the 5 electoral districts of the county.
He said only Duazon Public School did not benefit from the scheme according to the reports received from the field.
He continued: “This fund drive represents a significant achievement towards providing support to quality education, especially for both parents and students who have had challenges in meeting the cost of education. And for this we want to thank the former Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Mr. Nathaniel Farlo McGill for spearheading this presidential fund drive by President George Manneh Weah.”
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries of the scholarship program, Miss Younger Kollie of the Lango Lippaye High School who appeared very excited to have benefited from exercise, said she and her colleagues along with their respective parents were happy for the opportunity it afforded them to enroll for the academic year without any financial cost to them and their parents.
“We the students and parents assembled here today have come to express our gratitude to Mr. Nathaniel Farlo McGill for the immense contribution to our academic sojourn,” Student Kollie asserted in a prepared statement.
“We the students and parents can vividly recall that we were financially challenged in payment of tuition and fees and you stepped in to alleviate the challenge. Your support has been able to achieve our objective. Therefore, we are grateful to all of those who assisted you to assist us.”
In a short statement a representative of the rural women of Margibi said: “We are here today to tell our son thank you for our children, God bless you”.
The citizens later presented a gown to Mr. McGill.
Several other groups later on took the stage to pour praises upon the former Chief of Staff to the president. The groups included the Margibi County chapter of the ruling CDC represented by Johnny Johnson.
“The program today is the manifestation that Margibi deserves good things. It is a county without discrimination. President Weah, through Mr. McGill, is the first person to award scholarship of such to the people of this county,” he noted.
Remarks also came from a group called “Team Liberia for the Re-election of Weah in 2023”, whose leader said that the group presently operates in 6 counties, including Bong, Nimba, Rivercess, Grand Bassa, Montserrado and Margibi and that, in coming days, it will be launched in the rest of the counties.
A representative of the traditional council of the county showered praises on Mr. McGill, describing him as their worthy son who takes pride in them. He prayed that God would continue to bless him in what endeavors he engages in.
A special recognition was given to the Superintendent of Grand Bassa County, Janjay Baikpeh.
he Margibians thanked Mr. Baikpeh, who came all the way from Buchanan City, to show support to Mr. McGill who has been in the forefront of the worthy development initiatives in the country. The Lord Mayor of Bopolu City, Gbarpolu County also extolled Mr. McGill and encouraged him to continue doing the best for the people of Liberia.
As the celebrant, Mr. McGill, rose to respond to all the praises showered on him, he had to wait for long minutes to give latitude to several battle cries, sloganeering and cheers from the audience.
McGill accentuated the importance of the scholarship and market initiatives carried out in the county which he said demonstrated how committed President Weah is towards the provision of quality education in the country.
He said: “As you are aware, this President has made education a priority consistent with the constitution that the government is responsible to provide equal access to education and government is under obligation to provide education to our citizens. I want to thank you for appreciating me. The appreciation also goes to all those who made contributions to the scholarship program.”
The Honoree continued: “I want to assure you that this government will not relent. There is big news for all the public schools. Good news is coming for you. The government is making sure that the scholarship will not be abandoned; that the scholarship will continue so that you will attain your education. Our parents never had the opportunity. It is now time that we give you the opportunity. And I want to thank the period of Margibi for giving me the opportunity to be part of what they are doing.”
Mr. McGill promised that there “greater things are there for Margibi.”
“Greater things are in the future for Margibi. As citizens of Margibi, we will unite the county. This county will never again be divided. This county will remain. We the citizens and residents will work for the greater good of the county,” he said.
McGill he was thankful to them for defying the rain to be at the program, stating that he could not imagine the number of people who turned out to make the day memorable and adding that he is not going out of the county but will remain there.
As the program came to an end, parents and students spoken to separately said, for a long time, the generosity of McGill will remain evergreen in their mind.