MONROVIA: As citizens continue to take stock of the way they voted during the first round of the October 10, 2023 general elections, some women of Gbarpolu County under the aegis of Gbarpolu Women Organization have admitted voting the wrong way against the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), and tendered their public apology to the party through the Vice President Madam Jewel Howard Taylor, adding, “sorry, we will correct our mistakes”
The remorseful assertion of the women was made over the weekend in Bopolu City, Gbarpolu County during the graduation ceremony of the Dekegai vocational training center where VP Howard Taylor served as Keynote Speaker during the exercise.
“Madam Vice President, we want to first of all say we are very sorry for the way we voted during the first round of the election against the CDC but we vow to correct our mistakes during the second round.
“We were misled into making such decision that we are now regretting but as God may have it, there is another chance for us to make the necessary correction by turning out in our numbers to vote President George Manneh Weah and our own mother Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor for a resounding victory so that they will do more for the country and its people”, Madam Fatu Kamara, The Spokesperson of the women said, amidst reassuring cheers from her colleagues.
She told VP Taylor that the women were excited to see her gracing the graduation program where a good number of female beneficiaries received certificates in various domestic studies such as soap making, tailoring, catering, hair dressing, etc.
She also said the presence of the first democratically elected female vice president at the program will help galvanize the women regardless of their respective political affiliation to embark on vigorous campaign in support of the reelection bid of President Weah and VP Taylor “who are no doubt the better of the two sets of candidates left in the race going to the second round”.
Madam Kamara praised the CDC ticket for being gender sensitive which according to her is a reflection of the President’s description as a “Feminist in Chief” and the number of females in his government occupying high profile positions key to decision making in the country.
“No doubt the CDC government under the leadership of His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah is gender sensitive. It has given the highest platform to women to be at the high table of decision making in this country and you can find these women at every branch of government especially in the executive branch of government.
“The same message of women having a major stake in the governance structure of this country is resonating all over the country including Gbarpolu. We are blessed to have Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor in our midst today to hear from us also that we the women of Gbarpolu are in full support to re-elect President George Manneh Weah and Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor on November 14, 2023.
“The women from the 15 counties have come together to support their own so that they will have a face in government, so that they can have a say on the table.
“Women of Gbarpolu County, even though we made a mistake for the first time on October 10, 2023, but this time around we have agreed to correct the mistake by voting #2 on November 14, 2023.
“We are sorry for our decision on October 10; the traditional women say sorry, the market women say sorry, the rural women say sorry, the female students say sorry”, she concluded
In her brief keynote address to the graduates, VP Taylor saluted them for the courage to go through the training program despite some other distraction that may have come their way during the course of training.
She told the graduates that each of the them have gotten something from the exercise which is like gold, adding that the gold is what they have learned over the past months.
“It is a gold because any knowledge you acquired with your head and you work with your hand is not a waste. So I want to thank this institution for going beyond the ordinary to provide the training. Its impact will go a long way and as we speak on the issues of women, we see this opportunity as a step in the right direction to help our women down the ladder to obtain the requisite skills to improve their lives”, VP Taylor said.
She praised the benefactor and promoter of the institute, Representative Alfred Korwood for being thoughtful enough to establish the center as way of provide some benefits to his constituency and urged him to work with the management of the center to formalize its registration as a non-governmental organization so as to be in the position to attract funding and other institutions that sponsor similar initiatives.
Turning to politics and making a representation for the reelection of President Weah under whose administration she has been serving as Vice President, Madam Howard Taylor described President as a masses president, adding that everything that he does is to improve the lives of the ordinary people. “Every program he embarks upon whether it is to provide free tuition, whether it is to empower rural women, whether it is to construct roads, the overall goal is to lift the ordinary people from below the poverty line”, she said.
She said the reason why the CDC government is having a lot of tractions going to the runoff, attracting huge endorsements from political parties and well individuals and institutions, such as the recent endorsement of the CPP, is that because the party has an inclusive policy that sees every citizen or institution worthy partner in the formulation and implementation of development initiatives in the country.
“The reason why the Unity Party side is no go area is because the people have realized that for 12 years they didn’t provide what the people needed. Did they provide you with the free training we are giving you here? Did they provide you with free scholarship to attend public universities? Did they pay your WASSCE fees?”, VP Taylor said amidst response from the crowd , “no they did not give us anything”
She urged the citizens majority of whom were women at the program to give President Weah a second term so as to “do more for the country and its people as you can see a lot of development during the first term. The second will be much rewarding because he has used the first term to set up a sound formation on which the future will be brighter”
VP Taylor highlighted the issue of gender equity which according to her is key to the development of the country and from all indications, the ruling CDC government has a better record of promoting gender related issues as compared to the their main rival, Unity Party. “We believe that the women are very important to the development of the country and that is why the CDC chose me to the Vice President so that anything about women that is being discussed on the high table I will be there to represent you”, she said.
“Gbarpolu, Gbarpolu, Gbarpolu, how many times have all called you. Please look at this ballot, please do not make any mistake, vote #2 for development. Vote # 2 for the peace we continue to enjoy, let us not abuse this opportunity to change things for the better in this county”, she said.
While urging the benefactor and promoter of the training scheme, Representative Alfred Korwood to formally incorporate the institute as a non-governmental organization, she said she and Senator Edwin Melvin Snowe pledged LD1m towards improving the services of the center and hope that the management will endeavor to upgrade what they have been providing.
In his special remarks, Representative Korwood who organized and the only financier for the center said he was happy for the graduates, describing it as his own way of giving back to the community, urging them also to be grateful to the source as every good turn deserves another.
“And to keep running so as to create more opportunities for others yet to come, you will have to reciprocate and the way you will reciprocate is to turn out in full on November 14, 2023 to vote for President George Manneh Weah for his reelection bid. That is the payback I want from you”, he said.