MONROVIA: The Ministry of Internal Affairs over the weekend inducted into office Council Members of the Virginia Township Local Government to represent the nine(9) wards for decision making of the area for the a period of four(4) years at a colorful program held on Saturday, June 24, 2023 at the Unity Conference Center in Lower Virginia where the Deputy Minister for Urban Affairs at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Hon. Paulita CC Wie urged those inducted to work for the interest of the people and community.
Delivering her keynote address at the occasion, Deputy Minister Wie congratulated and inspired the inducted officials to see their preferment as an opportunity to serve the people and understand the purpose for which they were elected and not use power against their people, but to respect their views and work in their interest.
Speaking on the topic, “Roles of a Good Leader” she further said that leaders are servants and must be willing to listen and have integrity, adding “you cannot be the people’s leader and eating their money”. She spoke against corruption, poor accountability and administrative malpractices by those in charge, warning those in such practices to end same.
“Stop eating the people’s money. The money should be for development and good governance rather than corruption by those in charge. You should make good decisions in the best interest of the Local Authority”, she said.
Deputy Minister Wie also called on Township Commissioner, Mr. Tye Socrates Weah, Jr to work with the new Council Members with peace, love, respect and understanding for a better Virginia. She added that good working relationships and a sense of listening will avoid unnecessary tension and promote proper accountability and better transparency, which will result in peaceful activities and good governance. She also extended greetings to the People of Virginia Township on behalf of the Minister of Internal Affairs, Hon. Varney A. Sirleaf who was expected to have been present at the occasion and was unavailable due to other official duty but proxied by Assistant Minister for Research Development and Planning at the Ministry of Internal Affairs Esiaka Sheriff.
Madam Wie concluded her address by thanking President George Manneh Weah for signing into law the 2018 Local Government Act of Liberia which gives power to the people and encouraged residents to be peaceful during the upcoming October 2023 Presidential and Legislative elections. Prior to her departure she also made a contribution of L$50,000 to the occasion as a little contribution on behalf of her office to the new Council Leadership.
The induction of the council members was done by Assistant Minister Esiaka Sheriff, on behalf Minister Sirleaf who also used the occasion to send out message of peace, love and respect to all.
Sheriff urged Commissioner Weah and the newly inducted Council members to take advantage of the opportunity of serving the people of Virginia. He told the Commissioner that his working relationship with the new council members will determine his output and performance and that the 2018 Local Government Act of Liberia has decentralized power to people which according to him implies “that it is a 50/50 balance of power and authority. He underscored the importance of the 2018 Local Government Act of Liberia and the power it gives the people.
On the other hand, he also encouraged council members to work positively with the Township Commissioner to ensure smooth working relationship and avoid tension in these times “since we are not far from October 2023 presidential and legislative elections”, adding, “whether you support a change or satisfied with the government performance remain peaceful”.
He emphasized the wonderful works the government is doing under the leadership of President Weah most especially in the rural counties, “but the choice is up to the citizens to decide whether there is a need for another change based on the level of works done so far”.
He presented a copy of the 2018 Local Government Act and recommended that a copy should be given to each of the nine council members. He then contributed USD100 to the township on behalf of himself and another USD100 which he said he contributed on behalf of the Minister but not in consultation with the Minister.
The nine (9) Council Members will serve the Township in decision making from 2023 – 2027 and work alongside the Office of the Commissioner to ensure a new Virginia, to promote proper accountability and better transparency with a 50/50 balance of power and authority.
In his remarks, Commissioner Weah thanked the officials from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and others for gracing the occasion and also used the occasion to induct the leadership of the council into offices. He called to order the first Township Council business as he shared his thoughts and vision for the Township of Virginia and told the new council members that his major priority is the construction of the Township Multipurpose Hall as well as the drafting of a Township Ordinance among others and called the session to adjourn until July 1, 2023 to have the Township first Official Business.
The program was attended by several government officials especially from the Ministry of Internal Affairs including Deputy Minister Wie, Assistant Minister Sheriff, Isaac Mozac Wilson, Assistant Director for Urban Affairs, Alvin S. Bono, Director for Urban Affairs, Loving Kranga, Secretary for Department of Urban Affairs, amongst other officials of government and several residents of the township.