MONROVIA – As the momentum towards the fast approaching October 10, 2023 general builds up and the various political subdivisions pledging support to presidential contenders and political parties, Citizens of Maryland County, Southeast Liberia have thrown their weight behind the re-election bid of President George Manneh Weah, through a message delivered to the Vice President, Madam Jewel Howard-Taylor on her historic visit to the county to hold series of citizen engagement interactions with people as well as solicit the support of the people for the President’s second term of office.
In an emotionally charged remark on behalf of the people of Maryland County, Representative P. Mike Jurry of Harper District told the visiting VP Taylor that the decision taken by the people was premised on a lot of considerations which factored into account the “impressive and unprecedented development strive of President George Manneh Weah in his current first term of office” and therefore it can only be expedient that another term should be extended to him so as to consolidate on the gains of his first term and do more in the second term not only for Maryland but also for the entire country.
“Madam Vice President, we want to once again say welcome to the Maryland County, the great county of hospitality and peace and to assure you that Maryland County is for President Weah 100%, and this is an honest commitment of our people to ensure that the President is returned on October 10, 2023 during the general election”, he said.
Citing some of the reasons why the citizens have taken the decision to support the President, Mr. Jurry who is also the Secretary General of the Southeast Legislative Caucus, enumerated a number of projects undertaken by the administration, which included, the provision of TVET education at the Cape Palmas High School which will soon begin, the increase in the budgetary allocation to the Tubman University(TU), the second largest state run higher institution, the increase in the health budget for the county, the provision of an equipped laboratory facility in the county, youth empowerment, road connectivity, expansion of electricity in the county, free tuition scheme at TU, payment of WASSCE fees for 12th graders, among others.
He described the atmosphere around President Weah’s re-election bid as “conducive” courtesy of the quantum of work the President has put into delivering projects that are impactful across the country. “We are proud of the President for what he has been doing and still wants to do, which can only be possible if he secures the second term through the democratic means. We will stand with him to secure that victory so that he will complete what he wants to achieve”, he said.
Corroborating the remark of Representative Jurry, Senator Numene T.H. Bartekwa of Grand Kru County commended the Vice President for the visit which he described as “wonderful” , stressing the VP has been a worthy deputy to the President since their ascendency to power in 2018. He said the people of the southeast should have every reason to thank and support her for standing with the President, a son of the Southeast in all the little over 5 years now.
“We have to thank and support her for standing with our son, President George Manneh Weah, for a little over 5 years now since they came to power. We Southeasterners must encourage her and ensure that the purpose for her coming will be achieved.
“Madam Vice President, we are taking the quest for the second term seriously from the Southeast and the caucus particularly, where I am the chairman, is fully in support of it. We have no other choice and you will know what we mean by this commitment. I can only assure you that it is real and we stand by this project”, he said.
Vice President Howard Taylor while speaking acknowledged the warm welcome and the hospitality shown her and entourage since they entered the county and said there was nothing much she could talk about except to re-echo the urge to keep the tempo of engaging the people as well as soliciting their support for the re-election of President Weah on the same ticket she is also vying as running mate.
“I want to thank you for everything since our arrival here. It has been exciting and wonderful seeing our people from this part of the country. Permit me to extend my many thanks to you on behalf of President George Manneh Weah, your own son, for the support you have been giving us over the years.
“We cannot say more than what has been said by those who have spoken before me about what this government has been doing in the various sectors. We know we wished to have done more but with all the challenges our mark can still be seen and felt by our people. And that is why we are saying give us another chance, give another chance to your son to complete what he has started.
“We gave you roads, we give you electricity, we gave our children free tuition in universities and colleges, we are paying WASSCE fees for our children, we are sustaining and maintaining peace, we are supporting girl child education, we are empowering our women, we are doing more and still want to do more for our people. Please tell our people to register and vote. Without being a registered voter, you cannot be able to vote for us to give you more development”, she said amid thunderous cheers from the hundreds of citizens who have thronged the venue of the all-important meeting.
Before arriving at Harper City where she was received with jubilant crowd of citizens and other residents, singing, dancing and chanting battle cries, the Vice President had earlier a day before arrived the county via River Gee where she had visited as the first point of call from Monrovia to engage the people of the Southeast and was received by an enthusiastic crowd in Karloken and Pleebo respectively.
Madam Howard Taylor was ushered into Maryland County by the Superintendent of River Gee, Philip Nyenuh and was received at the boundary between the two counties where he jokingly told the Superintendent of Maryland, George Prowd, “I am handling her over to you, please take care of her, if anything happens to her, we will come for her”, and received wild laughter from those present including the VP herself.
Thereafter the convoy moved to Karloken, where a brief welcome ceremony was performed by the traditional council and the team departed further to Pleebo City. The Vice President and party worshipped at the St. Stephen Episcopal Church where the pastor prayed for the country and its leader and asked God to give all Liberians the wisdom as they approach the decisive 2023 general elections.
He also prayed for God’s protection and journey mercies for the VP and her entourage on their visit in the Southeast.
VP Taylor on her part thanked the church for affording them the opportunity to worship at the edifice as she had made it as part of her schedule to worship at a church anywhere her team visited.
“I want to thank the Episcopal Church for allowing us to worship with you this morning. As a Christian this is a significant morning as we were planning the schedule. I said let us find a church where we will worship and so we have found ourselves in Pleebo and worshipping and thanking God for his mercy and grace upon us”, she said.
After the church service, the VP and party moved straight to the Pleebo City Hall where an enthusiastic crowd was already seated in the hall while some others were standing outside because of lack of space.
Several speakers representing various groups spoke at the program, among them the movement for the re-election of President Weah who marched inside the hall to pledge their unflinching support and vowed to ensure the re-election of President Weah come October 2023.
The Elder council gave blessings to the Weah-Taylor ticket and assured the Vice President of their undying commitment to the actualization of the second term bid of the President just as the representatives of the women and youth praised the president for the several development initiatives before presenting their various requests to the VP.
The Superintendent George Prowd who had earlier given insight of the VP’s visit thanked the government for a number of development projects executed and as well as those ongoing and assured the VP of the readiness of the people of Maryland Count to give the Weah-Taylor ticket a resounding victory.
The VP while responding to the citizens thanked them for turning out to welcome her and entourage as well as the support to the administration of President Weah over the years and urged the people to continue supporting the administration especially during the ensuing general election.
“I am sure that the people of Grand Gedeh, River Gee, Maryland, Sinoe and Grand Kru in the Southeast know that a lot of things are happening in this region. I want to thank the President for giving additional kilowatt to the region that will ensure that electricity is provided to the people. The government has done its part, what is left is the company that will do the job to come now and start the connections.
“In the Southeast, the government is building new schools in places they did not have school before. And I know everything we are doing, human beings are very important. If we must take responsibility to develop this country, our children must be able to learn new things to support the process.
“The President is doing a lot of things, but cannot do it 100%. So that is the reason why we are asking you for the second term so that he will be able to complete what he started”, she said amid cheers from the audience.
At the end of the program, the VP and the entourage headed for Harper city for another elaborate program to end the visit to Maryland County.