MONROVIA – In continuation of her nationwide citizen engagement initiative with the view of directly holding talks with citizens and residents in the various counties to assess their needs and how the government could solve some of their problems, Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor and her entourage over the weekend visited River Gee County where she was received by mammoth crowd just as she urged the people of the county to overwhelmingly vote for President George Manneh Weah for the second term as “their own son.”
Amid singing, dancing, battle cries and jubilation from the people, VP Taylor was accorded a traditional welcome led by chiefs and elders who expressed their delight for the visit, ushering her into the county in the traditional Grebo hospitality of receiving august guest with kolanut and pouring blessings and libation and exchanging pleasantries as symbol of clear heartedness and friendliness from the innermost thought of the people.
Madam Taylor who has become fast accustomed and familiar with the similarities of traditions across the country, look on with rapt attention and admiration as the elders performed the ceremony, and to the delight of the onlooking crowd which included the Superintendent Philip Nyenow, members of his local administration and other officials of government from River Gee who had gone to the county to receive the Vice president, VP Taylor jokingly asked, “I know they have welcomed me, so when I am passing this way, then how do I now drop what I have in my hand here na (referring to a token , apparently some money she was holding tight in her palms), and drew cheers and laughter.
Immediately after the welcome formalities, the Vice President who will be contesting as running mate to President Weah in the ensuing general election, was led into the City Hall in Fish Town, where thousands of citizens and residents were already at the venue, some sitting , while others were standing inside and outside because of the lack of enough seating capacity.
An elated VP Taylor who had also joined some women to dance to a traditional song at the hall, said she was excited to be in the county to see the people and hear from them their concerns as well as to assess the level of development being undertaken in the county, “and I know they are many but it is good for the people themselves to say it because they are the direct beneficiaries of these projects”
VP Taylor said she was also in the county to thank the people of River Gee for the level of support they have been giving to the Weah administration, starting from the massive votes they gave him in 2017 and the encouragement and understanding they have exhibited in the course of the administration thus far. She also saluted the trustworthiness and commitment of the people, stressing “I know you people to be trusted and committed; you do not promise and fail and that is why we are not worrying about the support you will give to your own son, President George Manneh Weah”.
“I am happy to be here and to see and hear about all the good things the President has been doing for the county. I know there are many despite the challenges but we are grateful that our people have been seeing and feeling the impacts from the government.
“We are sure that you will be fair to the President Weah just like what you did for Madam Sirleaf when you gave her the two terms. So you must extend it to your own son too. Please vote for him, he has been there for you and he will do more when he is re-elected.
“You are seeing the roads, you are seeing all the development projects and you will see more, so please tell all your people to register and vote for President Weah”, she said
Earlier, several groups made remarks and presented petitions of requests, majority of whom were preceded with the pledge of unflinching support towards the re-election bid of President Weah and Vice President Taylor.
In a prepared text read by the President of the River Gee Rural Women Association, Madam Regina Nyepan expressed her satisfaction for the visit of the Vice President whom she described as “Our mother and our dear sister and a trusted leader in whom we believe and will follow”
While making case for the re-election bid of the President, Madam Nyepan enumerated several development projects undertaken by the Weah administration in the county, among them the level of road connectivity in and between the county and others, the provision of mobility for traditional rulers in the county, the ongoing construction of a cash hub for the Central Bank of Liberia, payment of WASSCE fees for the 12 graders, women empowerment, etc.
“Before then, to pass this place to go out was a problem. But today we can run everywhere, our businesses are going on well. Thank you Dr. Dr. George Manneh Weah.
“Our chiefs now have means of transportation with the cars and motorbikes, thanks Dr. Dr. George Manneh Weah for making things easier for our chiefs, they can now move around to discharge their functions.
“The government has been paying our children WASSCE fees and also offering them tuition free schemes in colleges and universities, thank you Dr. Dr. George Manneh Weah”, she said.
Madam Nyepan then followed up with a list of requests including micro finance loan, farm to market mobility, that is provision of means of transportation where their goods will be brought from the farm to the market places, construction of a women secretariat, among others.
The county education team, for its part, praised the government for several interventions made over the years which have positively impacted on the performance of the students in both school and public examinations. The representative of the team mentioned the massive renovation work done at a number of junior and senior high schools through the IRIISE project under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, the grant scheme to bolster the operation cost at some high schools, and the additional teachers recruited in the system in the county, among others.
He said while these are laudable, the county team looks forward for more support as the partner with the national government to deliver equipped and quality human capital in the country.
The Muslim community in the county expressed their gratitude for the visit and thanked the president for the peace and stability that have been sustained and maintained in the country, especially River Gee which has made it possible for people to move about their normal businesses. They presented a flowing red gown for her comfort during the holy month and a sheep for her to end the month of fasting. VP Taylor later on in the evening joined the Muslim community to break their fast.
Speaking on behalf of the River Gee Elders Council, Chief Pah commended the VP for the visit and asked that the message of goodwill and support to President Weah be conveyed so as to assure him that the elders of the county are solidly behind the President’s re-election bid. He spoke highly about the care the President has for the elders of the country “and that should be a mark of a good leader”.
“Madam Vice President, tell our son that we will stand behind him and to make sure that he gets the second term he is looking for. He has done well for the chiefs and we cannot sit down here and not pay him back too. Tell him we the chiefs are talking and we don’t just talk, we talk what we mean and we will do it this coming election”, the traditional ruler said
Superintendent Philip Nyenuh who summarized all the presentations in a nutshell thanked the VP for the visit and also commended the government for all the initiatives undertaken in the county, which according to him are enormous and that the people of River County will also live up to their side of the bargain by standing with the president and ensuring his re-election in 2023.
“We are not going to compromise on this. We are going to make sure that President George Manneh Weah will get the maximum support and votes for his reelection. The people have spoken and they are not going to disappoint him.
Also during her visit, Madam Taylor received 13,000 reusable and 14, disposable sanitary pads from the UNFPA meant for distribution in 10 counties, where she thanked the donors for the presentation and assured them that they will be used for their intended purpose.
Meanwhile, Vice President Taylor and entourage, according to our correspondent who covered the visit, departed River Gee County for neighboring Maryland County where she was expected to be received by a sizable number of citizens and residents of the area.