Weah Awakens Citizens’ Hope -As Presidential Tour Continues in Montserrado

MONROVIA – President George Manneh Weah continued the second day of his Presidential tour in Montserrado County yesterday, Tuesday, August 16, 2022 when he visited Districts #7, 8 and 9 where he held interactive sessions with the people, receiving an overwhelming ovation and welcome from citizens and receptions in the areas.

President Weah kickstarted the visits with the commissioning of the LEC Substation in Transformer Community, District #10, which was funded by the European Union (EU) where the Head of the European Union to Liberia, Laurent Delahousse, while turning over the project to the Government and people of Liberia spoke highly of the stewardship of President Weah.

“Under your leadership, Mister President, the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development is the best development strategy for Liberia and the right framework for Liberia’s many dedicated and motivated development partners to set their actions,” Ambassador Delahousse stated.

President Weah for his part lauded the EU for the support, describing the EU as one of the outstanding development partners that has provided immense assistance to the country throughout its difficult period. While cutting the ribbon to open the gate to the facility, he made reference to the holy bible stating, “Let there be light and there was light”.

President Weah and entourage moved over to District #9 where an elaborate welcome ceremony took place followed by an indoor program at the Don Bosco Auditorium, Old Matadi Estate. While interacting with the citizens, the President received a number of requests read by the Representative of District # 9, Frank Teah Foko. Among the litany of requests was a plea to construct community roads; upgrade the Nancy Doe Elementary School, and construct a Town Hall to host events and hold community meetings. The residents of District #9 pledged their support towards President Weah’s re-election in 2023.

Responding to the requests, President Weah first thanked them for the support he received during the 2017 Presidential election and the peaceful manner they have conducted themselves during the period under review. He told them that with peace, the possibility of development to thrive is assured.

He promised to positively respond to all the requests made by the citizens and will consult the relevant authorities, especially the national legislature to appropriate funding to undertake the projects through the national budget.

In District #8, where the President visited thereafter, another huge crowd was around to receive him, as he was ushered in the auditorium of the GW Gibson High School on the Capitol Bye Pass, Monrovia.

After some speakers took their turn to commend the President for his development initiatives and pledged their undivided support to vote him en masse, Representative Moses Acarous Gray summarized their requests among which are the rehabilitation of the disadvantaged youth whom he referred to as “Inter-City Boys, the rehabilitation of the Soniwein Drainage facility, the upgrading of the facility of the GW Gibson High School, improvement of the water supply and sewage system, among others.

President Weah being excited from the reception accorded him and his party expressed delight and appreciation to the citizens for voting him in 2017 despite all the negative propaganda against him. He said he will make sure that he fulfills the promises plus others for the people of Liberia.

He said he will communicate the request for the upgrading of the facilities at the G. W. Gibson High School and that the current construction of another Sports Park and Recreation Center at PHP will factor in the Soniwein Drainage problem. President Weah further stated that the project will be completed January 1, 2023. He also said that the $1m placed in the national budget for at-risk youth was meant to start a robust project of rehabilitating the disadvantaged youth, including those in District 8.

The President rounded up his day’s tour in District #7 and was received by a large gathering of citizens and residents in the area.

As was done at places where he had gone, the President was greeted with traditional dancers, singing, sloganeering and battle cries from partisans of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), student groups, youths, market women, among others.

The citizens appealed to the President for the construction of a high school in the area, provision of electricity, constructing a coastal defense against sea erosion, construction of latrine facilities, among others.

Representative Solomon George who represents the District buttressed the requests of the people and assured him that as far as the District was concerned, the President should not have doubts about their massive support for him in 2023.

President Weah, while taking the podium, as usual extended thanks and appreciation for the support the District gave him which ensured his eventual victory against the former ruling party. While promising to positively respond to their requests, he also appealed to them to renew their faith in him by turning out in 2023 to campaign and vote for him so that he can do more for the people.

He stressed the need for keeping the peace which he said is paramount for bringing development to the people.  

Meanwhile President Weah on Monday, August 15, 2022 began his tour of the County as continuation of the initiative he started in 2021 that took him to all the 14 other counties but could not continue with Montserrado County due to other national engagements. The first day took the President and entourage to Districts 15, 16 and 17 where he met with citizens and residents in those areas appreciating them for the support garnered from them during the 2017 and promised to do more for the people in addition to what he had done already since his ascendency to power in 2018.

The tour which began in Logan Town, District #15 saw huge number of citizens and residents and partisans of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) converging at the Seventh Day Adventist Church with good number of them staying outside due to no availability of space, amid singing, dancing, chanting and jubilating as the convoy carrying the President made its way to the venue. As early as 6 am in the Monrovia, bulk of the residents and citizens were all mobilized to receive the President and entourage that included also the Ministers of State for Presidential Affairs, Nathaniel Falo McGill, Finance and Development Planning, Samuel D. Tweah Jr, Foreign Affairs Dee Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Internal Affairs Varney Sirleaf, Health Whilmena Jallah, some members of the Montserrado Legislative Caucus which included Senator Saah Joseph and Representatives Thomas Fallah, Chairman of the County Legislative Caucus and Abu Bana Kamara, the host lawmaker.

President Weah dressed in a white suit, locally referred to as Pro Poor Suit while speaking to respond to the various statements made by the citizens, thanked them for the support he got from them in the 2017 Presidential and Legislative election when he was elected President as well as keeping the peace which according to him made it possible for the government to embark on development projects in the area.

“I heard some of you thanking me for what I have done but it should be the other way around. I should thank you for reposing in me your confidence when I went to you in 2017 for your votes. There were others that went to you, they said all kinds of things against me, calling me a mere footballer but you decided to ignore them and took me because you believed I can build the roads, I can bring the development you need, I can change your lives and thank God I did not disappoint you. We have been able to offer free education at the tertiary institutions, pay WASSCE fees for the students, build hospitals, markets, houses for the poor people, and we will do more”, President Weah said.

President Weah told the people that inasmuch some of his critics referred to him in derogatory manner as a mere footballer, his profession gave him an impetus to challenge some of the odds he had to confront to reach at the top including being elected as President of Liberia.

“There was a time when I played against the top footballers in this country when I was in the amateur division and I was saying to myself that how can I play against these people but when we played the game, I passed the ball between the legs of one of the best goalkeepers in the country and scored the winning goal. That is how I got the confidence and I took it all the way to Europe and succeeded. That is the same determination that made me the President when some people were saying I was just a mere footballer,” he said.

“When I decided to build the Invincible Park, they said all kinds of things but today, see almost every day you find 1,000 persons going there and we can have these things in other areas. Everything you want to do that is good for this country, those who don’t love this country will first criticize it but we will not listen to them.  We will continue to do the best for our people”, he said amid cheers from the audience.

President Weah enumerating some of his infrastructural project including the construction of the 14th Military Hospital, the establishment of the Dialysis center at the JFK Memorial Hospital, market structures, housing units for the vulnerable people, road connectivity and a plan to construct another structure within the JFK facility to enhance the capacity and operations of the hospital.

He then took time to respond to some of the requests made, including appeal from the Co-Chairlady of the youth in the District, Dorcas Doe for the removal of import taxes on sanitary pads so that the products will be readily available and affordable for which the President said he will refer the issue to the Minister of Commerce to put mechanism in place and where the need exists, he will have to issue an Executive Order to remove the taxes.

The President did not end his address without asking the people to support his second term bid so as to consolidate on the gains he had made thus far.

“For the People of District #15, we will be coming back to solicit for support so that we will do more for our people and you will see my legacy when I leave from power”, he said.

He promised to look at all the requests made and if possible, will refer the requests to the national legislature for appropriation in the budget to undertake those projects.

Earlier, several groups spoke at the occasion, commending the President for his developmental drives in the district and the country and then appealed to him to undertake some projects that will alleviate their challenges.

Madam Mary Teh, Women leader of the district appealed for empowerment of women to enable them to get involved in businesses to generate income to support their families and handle other transactions. She lauded the President for his free education initiatives and the payment of the WASSCE fees for 12 graders throughout the county.

Madam Beatrice Williams, Commissioner of Garglor Community in her terse remarks after praising the President for his achievements, endorsed his second term bid and vowed to mobilize other women in the district to have the project succeed, adding that the other contenders for the Presidency missed their opportunities and must give chance to Weah who has made use of the opportunities.

“The others had their recess money and ate it and so they can’t have their lunch. The President was sensible, he kept his recess money and was about to eat his lunch, the others ate theirs and so they should not make noise.

 “Mr. President, we are going to campaign for you in 2023, we are going to vote for you and make you President once again”, she said.

The Representative of District #15, Abu Bana Kamara who was the chief host of the Program expressed thanks and appreciation to the President for the visit and all the developments he has been able to deliver to the Liberian people. He assured the President of the unflinching support from the people of the District towards his re-election in 2023.

He related the problems facing the district and appealed to the President for urgent intervention among which are the need for a befitting administrative hall that will contain a library, a court, police station, and event hall and the construction of a damaged bridge connecting communities of some 4, 000 dwellers whom he described as “voters”.

President Weah and party then crossed over to the Borough of New Kru Town where he also received a rousing welcome from the people as his entourage was ushered in the community.

Several speakers mounted the podium among them, a women group representative who spoke specifically of the deplorable health condition in the area, especially the poor facilities at the Redemption Hospital and called on the President not to completely relocate the Redemption Hospital when the construction work for a new structure is completed in Caldwell.

Representative Dixon Seeboe of District #16 speaking on behalf of the people recounted a number of projects the President has undertaken and completed including, the coastal defense project to stop the sea erosion in New Kru Town, the new Duala Market, the Resource Center to rehabilitate the youth, etc. He appealed to the President for the construction of a link road connecting New Kru Town and Island Clinic to assist easier access in the community.

He promised the President that the people of the district will vote for him massively in 2023 in recognition of the number of development projects executed in four and a half years of his administration.

President Weah in response to the citizens thanked them for keeping the peace and the support given to him in 2017 and will continue to justify the confidence reposed in him that attracted their votes.

He told the citizens that the present facility of Redemption Hospital will not be abandoned when the main structure being constructed in Caldwell is completed but will remain as an annex to cater to the needs of the people in the area.

He also told the people in response to Representative Seeboe’s appeal that the Waterways and Beach cleaning project which once provided jobs for up to 4,000 persons and was discontinued will be looked into for the possibility of renewing it. “We are doing everything possible but for a broken country, it is not easy. Some of these projects are funded by international support and they come in phases. We will study why the project was stopped and when it is an issue of finance then we will have to find a way to find the money so that it will continue”, he said.

President Weah upon completion of the citizens engagement in New Krutown, moved to Brewerville to continue and conclude the day’s activities, where like in the two previous visits in the day, he was welcomed by a jubilant crowd who had patiently waited all day long to receive him and his party.

In his welcome remarks, the City Major of Brewerville, Bedell Fahn thanked the President for the visit and told him about some of the problems confronting the people of the District among which are the damaged bridge in Clay-Ashland, the lack of market structure in the area, the lack of electricity, etc. He assured the President of the support of the people towards his second term of office.

A representative of the Disabled community appealed for the construction of a learning facility, housing units, scholarships for them, among others, stressing that they have been going through a lot of challenges with their conditions and there has not been any support from the government.

Head of the market women Madam Teresa Kollie appealed to the President for the government to make available soft loans or financial assistance for women in the area to get engaged into businesses as well as a befitting market structure like in the other areas where the President had built such projects.

Senator Saah Joseph who spoke on behalf of Montserrado County Legislative Caucus thanked President Weah for his visit and the level of development he has undertaken thus far. He told the audience that through his own initiatives he has been embarking upon a number of projects in critical sectors including health and infrastructure. He said in a week time, through his initiative 7 new buses will be imported from the United States and will be used under the Montserrado Transport Service Scheme and will be managed by the County administration.

He assured the President of a resounding reelection in 2023 because the county and its people are solidly behind him, adding that they are talking less and doing more work.

The President who was overwhelmed by the euphoria at the meeting where young and talented members of a local cultural troupe held the audience spellbound with splendid performances, while speaking later, thanked the people like in the other two meetings in Logan Town and New Kru Town, for keeping the peace and the support given him in 2017 when he sought their votes for the presidency which he eventually won.

He solicited their support subsequently for his reelection in 2023 so that he will continue to do what he has started.

Responding to various requests made, he said it was good that some members of the County Legislative Caucus were part of the meeting and that they will add their inputs to the budget process when it is sent to them for vetting and hoped that they will include some of the projects the citizens requested will be included in the financial instrument.

He consented to undertake all the projects presented to him and stated that they will be undertaken through the Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE), including the market structure, the damaged Clay-Ashland bridge, learning facility and residence for the disabled community and some community roads.

Meanwhile the Superintendent of Montserrado County, Madam Florence Brandy said she remains upbeat of the President’s tour as it will spur economic development in the county especially the Capital City, Bensonville and other rural cities, towns and communities including Careysburg, Caldwell, Harrisburg, Cheesemanburg, Arthington, etc.

Madam Brandy who had earlier welcomed the President and entourage and accompanied him on all the visits said that the tour will afford the citizens the opportunities to present their problems and interact with him with the view of finding solutions to some of the problems. She said she was optimistic that everything will be done to make the tour a remarkable venture that will be remembered.

“We are excited and upbeat that the tour will bring meaningful development in the county, especially the capital city, Bensonville, which is still a growing city, and the other rural communities. We are sure at the end of the tour a lot would have been achieved so we are happy”, she said.

The Minister of Internal Affairs, Varney Sirleaf had on all the occasions introduced and explained the rationale and objectives of the President’s tourn which he said were in a summary to thank the people for the support he got from them during the 2017 election and for the level of peace they have all worked towards in keeping the country together. He told the audience that the tour should have been held since but due to the many engagements of the President, it was postponed.

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