MONROVIA: When other candidates against him are struggling to get the much needed support and endorsement that could translate to votes in the ensuing general elections, Mr. Nathaniel Farlo McGill continues to soar unhindered, as throngs of Margibians in flocking about all over the place reaffirming their resolve to elect him as the next senator of the county.
The McGill message that he has built new Margibi under his senatorial leadership is certainly resonating with the people in the face of all the hostilities from his rivals, who at some time resorted to legal suit seeking his disqualification.
He continues to tell the people of the country that in the next dispensation the county will not play a second fiddle role to any county, and that the people will be united and stronger together for the benefit of every citizen and resident.
Once again enormous reaffirmation of support continues to come from the citizens – something that comes in the form of responses and feedback to the widely aired interview he granted to the Voice of Liberia on Saturday, September 9, 2023.
During the interview, the former Minister for State for Presidential Affairs spoke on a wide range of issues about Margibi, including the challenges confronting its development, the solutions to the problems, his senatorial bid and agenda if he wins. He also spoke of the need for greater unity among Margibians, and the imperative of the re-election of President George Manneh Weah among others.
Endorsements have so far come from every nook and cranny of the county, including one from a group headed by Toney Gbayu Davies, a well-known community leader in Unification Town said during the online talk show: “Mr. McGill, we bless God for the opportunity to have you as a candidate in this race. At this stage of Margibi County, we need people like you who have the uncommon love and commitment to change the lives of the people.
“We need people who will speak for us, defend us and advocate for us, the key things that have been lacking in the leadership in the county. Your entry in the race is a blessing and it is the resolve of every right thinking Margibian to vote for you so that together we can actualize the aspiration of a One Margibi that will be for all of us.”
Another caller, Betsy Wennoh-Stevens, a mother of 4 and a petty trader, seized the opportunity to describe the McGill candidature as “moment of my life”.
She said she was thrilled by McGill’s agenda to build the human capital of the county with his decision to introduce legislation that will make education free in the grade category of the education sector. She added that she has absolute confidence in the ability of McGill.
Betsy Wennoh-Stevens continued: “Your plan to introduce legislation to make education free at the grade level in public schools throughout the country is commendable and must be taken seriously. Coming from you as someone who has demonstrated in your private capacity to support Liberian children in school gives us the joy as parents. It will not only be helping us as parents but the whole country because when they grow up educated and qualified in other skills, they will be useful citizens. I have never voted for any candidate for a politician since 2005 but for this election, I and my household are going to vote massively for you.”
Similar perspectives came from the numerous other callers who went on air to commit themselves to the cause of electing McGill as well as extending to massively voting for President George Manneh Weah because, according to them, for McGill to succeed “he needs to work with a President who knows him and is comfortable with and McGill is that kind of person since he worked with the President before and still enjoys his confidence”.
Earlier during the interview, McGill said Margibi County will be his top priority and “I dare anybody who will think that we are going to allow this county to come last in everything.”
According to him, upon his election, he will initiate a process of reconciliation among all the contenders in the race and then move to a larger platform to meet with all the stakeholders and a broader umbrella of the citizens of the county to see reasons to unite as one and a strong family.
He told his audience via Voice of Liberia: “We are deeply aware that this election is going to bring some hard feelings because we are already seeing how some people have stopped speaking to other people but that is not how I do politics. In fact I speak more often to my opponents and their various camps more than my own supporters, there is no need to cut off speech with anybody because at the end of the day, we are all from Margibi County and we must work together for the better good of the county. I will be magnanimous in victory and will ensure that those who are in the race will be given jobs after elections so that together we can build Margibi together, it cannot be done by one person.”
McGill said he will be robust as a senator in performing his cardinal responsibilities of lawmaking, representation and oversight while placing emphasis on oversight “because most of the government institutions are relaxed when no one is bringing to book when they default or when they are not reminded of the task they should perform after receiving appropriation from the budget”.
“That is why I will prefer working on committees on agriculture, education and labor. There are millions of dollars at the Ministry of Agriculture and our people who are mostly farmers are suffering. We are going to make sure that our farmers will benefit from the funds at the Ministry of Agriculture,” he posited. “On education, we will propose legislation to make students go to school free at all levels and it is doable. The government has been doing this at the higher education level in our public institutions. We also have to make laws to protect our citizens in terms of securing jobs and ensuring that their rights are not violated, especially with private companies.”
The former Minister of State for Presidential Affairs who boasted that he will not be “an ordinary senator” promised a showdown with any government official in the executive who will toy with the right entitlements for the county.
“I can only promise such persons that I will recommend your dismissal if you fail to give Margibi what rightly belongs to us,” he said, noting that “underdevelopment has dogged the county for a very long time and noticed that while there has been some progress made, there is still a noticeable imbalance in the development space in the county about 39 years after it was created”.
Margibi came into being in 1984 as a result of the merger of two territories, Marshall and Gibi.
While development may be at a low pace, Marshall is fast becoming a modern place but Gibi is still in a sad and remote state, like something being abandoned, he observed.
“So we have to initiate measures to make development even. I have made an intervention to pave the road to Gibi and we are hoping that it will be paved with coal tar in the near future as well as constructing another road that will connect Gibi with Grand Bassa County,” McGill said.
He said he is glad that the people are now thinking more about sustainable development and not much about what they can eat today and still look the same.
McGill further asserted: “On most of my campaign tours people are not asking me about food to eat, they are not asking me what they can get today for instant happiness. They are asking me for roads that will move their products from the farm to the markets, roads that can ease movement between one place to another, they are asking about clinics, hospitals to overcome the treatable and curable diseases that continue to take their lives away.
“They are asking for schools for their children to attend and opportunities to make it cost free to them. So they are thinking differently now and I am glad that they are seeing the bigger picture we want for the new Margibi County to be. All these things are possible if the people are united and willing to use their power during this election to elect me and also go as far as re-electing President George Manneh Weah. So we have been telling our people that on elections day, they will give them 3 ballot papers. One for President, one for Senator and one for representative.”
The former State for Presidential Minister narrated: “For the President, we you get it, just forget all the ones above, they are not important, just go way down, the third to the last, number 18, that is President Weah, just vote him and forget about the rest. Then you come to the Senate, I am #4, there is one woman above me there, I am wearing a suit with red tie with a stripy shirt. Just mark and vote for me and we can now make the county a great place.”
He lamented the infrastructure deficit of Kakata City, the capital city of the county, especially the dusty roads and streets all over the city, stressing that it does not deserve the outlook as a major capital city of the county.
He said if development must come, Kakata should not be like a village that lacks almost everything.
“Kakata is older than the county in terms of when Margibi was created. We are talking about 1984 but Kakata existed before this time. Now look at the place, it does not deserve the status it is now. It needs a better facelift and not the dusty streets in Kakata. We are rebuilding CH Rennie Hospital and we expect a good road leading to the new hospital. We have to rebuild Kakata.”
After the interview, McGill stormed Kakata in a convoy of a multitude of motorbikes that drove him around major streets, waving to the people and getting admiring acknowledgment from the people before meeting hundreds of citizens who had been awaiting arrival since the early hours of the morning.
The people who were mostly women had come to extend their thanks and appreciation to him for the assistance he has been giving to their children in schools.
They vowed to be at the forefront of his campaign to ensure that his election becomes a reality.
McGill, in response, told the people that “God is about to do a new thing for Margibi and we all should pray for it because when I am elected, we will have a new Margibi that you and I will be proud of”.