Do they have votes?

Several lawmakers here have embarked on an endorsement spree of the Unity Party or UP presidential hopeful, Vice President Joseph Boakai’s 2017 presidential bid.

But what remains to be seen is whether their endorsements can be translated into votes as many of them face stiff oppositions in their respective districts. The endorsement of VP Boakai by some 31 members of the House of Representatives follows similar endorsement by about 19 Senators on the grounds of the Capitol Building two weeks ago.

Most of the lawmakers endorsing VP Boakai have been critical of President Sirleaf, it also remains to be seen how they will be able to detach VP Baokai from President Sirleaf’s alleged failures.

However, reading Mr. Boakai’s endorsement message Thursday, 25 May, Nimba County District #8 Representative Larry P. Yanquoi said for 14 years, Liberia has experienced political upheaval due in large measure to poor governance and bad leadership.

19 Senators had pledged their support to Mr. Boakai roughly two weeks ago, adding to the numerous endorsements that he continues to receive from different groups and individuals for his presidential bid here.

Rep. Yanquoi says the past 10 years have witnessed tremendous socio-economic and political transformation under the Unity Party or UP led government, suggesting that they have resulted in Liberia’s reemergence as responsible member in the comity of nations.

The Nimba lawmaker, on behalf of the pro - Boakai representatives noted that the vice president possesses the necessary moral, leadership and technical competencies to ensure economic prosperity for all Liberians.

The pro- Boakai representatives are contending that the vice president has the credentials to promote genuine reconciliation, a thriving democracy and sustained peace and security here.

Rep. Yonquoi claims that Vice President Boakai is the most experiencedand is the best alternative in preserving the gains realized which areaimed at further enhancing economic prosperity for all.

In response to the endorsement, Vice President Boakai recalled that just few days ago, 19 senators endorsed him, and it is now 31 representatives.

Recognizing that the lawmakers represent people at the Legislature, Mr. Boakai considers the endorsement by the lawmakers as showing that Liberians are now ready for change. The vice president suggests that Liberians are now saying they want peace, [reconciliation] and development.

For his part, House Speaker J. Emmanuel Nuquay said when he took overas Speaker of the House of Representatives, he promised to ensure that theHouse of Representatives is united. He said the endorsement of VicePresident Boakai has been organized in a unique manner and he is willing to stand by the pro - Boakai camp legislators at all times and wish them well in their sojourn.
By Bridgett Milton-Edited by Winston W. Parley

2 arrested with WFP relief

Two female marketers, ages 24 and 32 have been arrested with dozens of World Food Programme (WFP) Super Cereal relief cornmeal in the densely pupolated Red Light General Market.

The suspects identified as Julee Teah and Melina Johnson, were apprehended by security officers on Thursday, 25 May while convying the items in a wheelbarrow toward the Redlight-Duala parking station.

The cereal are supplied to hospitals and clinics to feed sick infants and young children between zero and six months and above. The women told The New Dawn that they bought the relief food from an unidentified individual in Paynesville at the price of 1,850LRD per cartoon.

Julee and Melina also disclosed that they purchased over 20 cartoons and sold some to others on Tuesday, May 24 in the same Redlight market for 2,250LRD per cartoon.
According to them, they don’t know where the individual in question who sold the relief items to them came from, explaining it was their very first time buying and selling relief food.

However, the suspects were subsequently taken to the Paynesville police depot for further investigation into the relief food syndicate. Apart from the arrest of the women, the WFP Super Cereals are being sold openly in other parts of Paynesville without any apprenhension whatsoever as though they are for marketing.

Meanwhile, a female patient living with HIV/AIDS (name witheld) who was also arrested with one cartoon of the Super Cereal, was released by security officers after establishing that she legally obtained the item from Benson Hospital in Paynesville, where she is receiving medication.

The lady frowns at some authorities of hospitals and clinics for allegedly selling relief foods meant for patients thereby, denying the intended beneficiaries to go hungry for days due to insufficient supply.

She wonders whether the World Food Programme actually monitors hospitals and clinics it supplied suplementary food to ensure it doesn’t get into the hands of wrong people.
She appeals to government to institute stringent measures to halt the sale of relief items brought in the country.

By Emmanuel Mondaye-Editing by Jonathan Browne


Watch Forum boss cautions govt.

The national chairman of the Community Watch Forum of Liberia (CWFL) Mr. Isaac Nyenti Kaffy, Sr. has cautioned government not to compromise the Code of Conduct for public officials to avoid confrontation during the October elections.

He says any attempt to compromise the Code Conduct could undermine the rule of law and create serious setback for the democratic process. Mr. Kaffey gave the caution recently at the Tubman Memorial United Methodist Church in Paynesville when he and his wife were honored by the church as “Family of the Year 2017-2018” for the imense contribution to humanity and the state.

He said relegating the legal instrument could sow seeds of disunity among Liberians and demonstrate disregard for the rule of law, stressing that the community watch forum is prepared to work with the Liberia National Police andother state security instituions in maintaining the peace of the state.

The CWFL boss his organization will not relent in exposing troublemakers who may want to disrupt the ensuing Presidential and legislative elections.

Woman arrested for murder in Gbarnga

Police in Gbarnga, Bong County have arrested and charged a woman with murder, after the suspect allegedly buried a day - old child on Saturday, 20 May that she gave birth to on Friday without calling midwives.

The Liberia National Police or LNP Bong Detachment says suspect PolanKerkerlah, a resident of Jorwah, reportedly wrapped the kid in clothes and placed her in a tub before taking her to a cassava patch.

Our Bong County correspondent says suspect Kerkerlah’s husband is said to have gone on some farming activities when she gave birth late in the night of Friday, 19 May.
The Commander of the LNP’s Crime Services Division or CSD John KellensoFlomo told our Bong County correspondent that the Belefanai police force transferred the murder suspect to the central Police in Gbarnga on Wednesday for further investigation.

Officer KellensoFlomo explained that after several thorough investigations, the woman admitted of committing the crime but refused to give reason for her action. Section 14. 1 of the New Penal Code considers the act allegedly committed by suspect Kerkulah as murder, punishable by law.

Speaking with our correspondent, the alleged murderer who is believed to be in her 30s has expressed regrets over the situation and says she does not understand what led her to do such.

Suspect Kerkulah who is from neighboring Guinea but resides in the bordering town of Jorwah is also said to be the mother of five other children. Some has attributed her action to the lack of support for her five children.
By Papa Morris / Bong County-Edited by Winston W. Parley

ECOWAS echoes security challenge

The West African sub-region is said to be smarting under serious security challenges despite the holding of two successive elections in the region, ECOWAS Commission President Mr. Marcel Alain de Souza said Monrovia.

Ghana and the Gambia are the two countries in the region to have held elections recently, although the latter was climaxed by pressure from the regional body to force the exit of President YayaJammeh.

“... And it is our collective responsibility to ensure that peaceful coexistence returns to every corner of our region”, he said Thursday, 25 May at the Monrovia City Hall before extending best wishes to Liberia “for a successful and peaceful general elections scheduled later this year”.

An ECOWAS Summit is ongoing here in Liberia after some 40 years, with approximately 200 participants expected to attend the meeting that is due to be climaxed by the 51st Ordinary Summit of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government on Sunday, 4 June.

The ECOWAS Commission Chief urged during the opening session on Thursday that efforts be doubled towards the improvement of the lives of citizens within the region and the realization of an ECOWAS of people.

“While some remarkable successes have been recorded in the 42 years of ECOWAS, challenges still exist, and it is our collective duty to ensure that the forward steps taken so far are not slowed down or reversed’, Mr. de Souza said.

Meanwhile, Mr. de Souza has encouraged all member states to continue with efforts towards the realization of the sub-region’s single currency goal.His encouragement comes following the first sitting of the Administration and Finance Committee or AFC of ECOWAS in Monrovia, which has witnessed multiple questions.

Welcoming guests at the Monrovia City Hall on Thursday, 25 May, AFC administration and finance committee chairman Mr. Benedict D. Roberts pondered whether the body’s decisions from last deliberations considered budget request that focuses on youth and gender development in member states.

Mr. Roberts raised further observations on whether the Commission transmitted “the 20,000 recommended by AFC and approved by the Council for youth development / employment” to member states.

As first line of examiners, he says the [AFC] is charged with responsibility to critically review and determine whether or not expenditures are in line with ECOWAS’ strategic framework, goals and objectives.

Though he says the AFC has continuously pledged its unflinching support to the Commission and its specialized institutions in its determination to implement the work of the Community, Mr. Roberts, however, suggests that the relationship between the AFC and other institutions “appear to exist only during the AFC meeting”.
He termed it a “lukewarm relationship”, suggesting that it is incumbent upon all to improve on the interest of ECOWAS.

By Winston W. Parley-Edited by Othello B. Garblah

Man in critical condition after honey bees attack

Report from Nimba County says a 48 year old man is under critical condition at the Karnplay Health Center after being attacked by honey bees.Victim LonpeaVulu told our Nimba County Correspondent at the Karnplay Health Center where he has been admitted that he got attacked by a swamp of honey bees while on his way from Laypea Town toward Karnplay.

The NewDawn’sNimba correspondent says the honey bees attack has brought normal activities to a standstill in the area, with locals suspending travels along the Liberian - Ivorian Border. The victim Mr. Vulu has spoken of several wounds on his body as a result of the attack.
By Franklin Doloquee/Nimba-Edited by Winston W. Parley

Presidential aspirant pledges support to Boakai

A presidential aspirant for the October polls, Mr. Hananiah Zoe has back off and pledged his support for the presidential bid of ruling Unity Party or UP standard bearer Vice President Joseph NyumahBoakai.

Mr. Zoe’s pledge to Mr. Boakai’s presidential bid comes after Liberia’s former Foreign Minister Mr. Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan dashed his unknown political dream for which he left the ruling UP in the first place to declare support to Mr. Boakai.

Mr. Zoe who had been with little known Liberia Educational and Development Party or LEDP, stood for the presidential race in 2011, but he reportedly crossed over to jailed former president Charles Ghankay Taylor’s National Patriotic Party or NPP last year.

Mr. Zoe told our Nimba correspondent that his decision to support Mr. Boakai is based on the vice president’s experience and his past record.He has described the vice president as a visionary man, claiming that his research conducted has led him to pledge support to the ruling UP standard bearer.

Mr. Zoe, a son of vote - rich Nimba County has vowed to bring on board other supporters from different political parties.He says Nimba will be turned over to Vice President Boakai.
By Franklin Doloquee/Nimba-Edited by Winston W. Parley

Liberia – African Union Hoist Flags in Observance of ‘Africa Day’

Foreign Minister Madam MarjonKamara has termed the observance of the 54th anniversary of “Africa Day” as an “important milestone” which the continental organization has reached.

She stressed that the day provides an opportunity to reflect on how far we’ve come, and to recommit ourselves as people of Africa to accelerate the efforts to achieve the goals and aspirations of the regional organization, the African Union (AU).

“We are hoping that today Liberians will join other African countries to celebrate this day and recommit themselves to playing their own role in bringing us closer to the achievement of the objectives set for ourselves as members of the African Union,” Foreign Minister Kamara urged.

A Foreign Ministry release says,Madam Kamara made the assertion during a brief press stake out following the hoisting of the AU and Liberian flags on the grounds of the Foreign Ministry as part of programs marking “Africa Day”.

“Africa Day,” formerly known as Africa Liberation Day, is celebrated annually on May 25, to mark the determination of the people of Africa to liberate the continent from foreign domination and exploitation as well as the signing of the Charter establishing the OAU.

Africa Day is being celebrated under the theme: “Harnessing the Democratic Dividend through Investment in Youth.”

For his part, the head of the African Union Liaison Office in Liberia, His Excellency Mr. Ibrahim Kamara, said Africa Day is the day all Africans should be proud of.

Ambassador Kamara said as a continent, Africa has embarked on new challenges from its earlier objectives of liberating the continent from foreign domination and exploitation. He named the promotion of peace, security and stability as new challenges facing Africa which eventually would help to strengthen integration and development across the region.

Ambassador Kamara, who is also the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union, highlighted the pivotal role the AU has played in recent times in resolving conflicts on the continent.

“As you very well know, three Member States in the sub-region were infected by the Ebola Virus Disease, and we played a pivotal role in helping those countries,” he emphasized, adding that the AU did not only help them eradicate the disease itself but also equally helped them mobilize resources for the devastated economies of these three countries.

He also indicated that the AU has established Liaison Offices across the continent for the prevention and maintenance of peace which is important for the development and eventual integration of the region.

The Organization of African Union, now the African Union was formed and established on May 25, 1963, to inter alia, rid the continent of the remaining vestiges of colonization and apartheid; to promote unity and solidarity among African States; to coordinate and intensify cooperation for development; to safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Member States and to promote international cooperation within the framework of the United Nations.
Comprising 54 Member States, the AU continues to provide an effective forum that enables its Members to adopt coordinated positions on international for matters of common concern to the continent and defend the interest of Africa effectively.-Press release

CDC goes for primaries

The Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), which has suffered series of defections in recent times, has scheduled its primaries for May 27 to June 17, across the country to elect aspirants for legislative seats ahead of the October elections.

Addressing a news conference on Wednesday, 24 May at the party’s headquarters in Monrovia, national secretary general and chair of the primaries steering committee, JangaKowo, said the exercise will be characterized by a zonal process in the counties as projected by the national executive committee of the CDC.

Kowo says the party, currently member of a three-party Coalition for Democratic Change endeavors to fulfill its obligation of holding free, fair and democratic primaries within the framework of its constitution, the Coalition for Democratic Change agreement, and the election laws of Liberia.

“We are pleased to announce the Primaries Steering Committee and the Guidelines. These Committees and processes are internal to the Congress for Democratic Change in line with Article 7(g) of the Coalition Agreement, which states that parties to the coalition which have seats in the legislature shall reserve the right of nomination to the seat. In constituencies where coalition members don’t have seats, the candidates that provide the best option for victory shall be considered as the coalition nominees,” he explains.

He urges all legislative aspirants in the party for the upcoming primaries to take note of the criteria, which shall remain enforced as authorized eligibility guidelines.

Kowo says no one will partake in the primaries unless such person is a proven member of the Congress for Democratic Change, in good financial standing with the party, and has already fulfilled all eligibility requirements set forth in the Constitution of Liberia, and the Electoral Reform Laws of 2004.

By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Editing by Jonathan Browne

Violent land dispute in Maryland

Machete-waving citizens of Yookudi town in Harper District, Maryland County have violently destroyed several properties, including houses in a dispute over 260.3 acres of land situated along the Harper Prollo border.

The land in question is occupied with palms belonging to one Dr. James Elliott, a Marylander, whocurrently resides in the United States of America.YookudiCommissioner Nathaniel Howe,claims the disputed land was given to one Joe W. Bush by the people of Pedobo, who planted sugar cane on it for several years and subsequently turned it over to the late former Senator J. Hodo Manston, who in turn, handed it over to Dr. James Elliott, the current occupant. Dr. Elliott has cultivated palms and other cash corps on the land in question.

However, in an interview with the NewDawn in Pedebo on Tuesday, Commissioner Howe said they are not aware how Dr. Elliott acquired the land from the Pedebo people as he claimed.

The case about the 260.3 acres of land has been in court for approximately five years now, but parties are yet to reach a common understanding, despite huge investment there by Dr. Elliott.

Both sides are claiming ownership over the premises that is situated between Yookudi and Pedebo districts.Over 400 men from Yookudi armed with cutlasses and other deadly instruments Tuesday marched on the farm and vandalized the entire area, setting two buildings ablaze, which left more than 25 workers of farm homeless.

The attackers also damaged the only pump and a solar panel, before making away with other valuables, including a chain saw and bags of fertilizers.The tension grew as a result of an alleged order from the Harper Magisterial Court upon the request of Dr. James Elliott for a survey of the land by county surveyor Mr. Jerry Washington, which the people of Yookudiresisted.

When contacted, the clan chief of Pedebo Township, Ben Klah Davis,claims the land belongs to the people of Pedebo and they gave it to one Bush, who turned it over to the late Senator Manston before Dr. Elliott acquired the area, but did say how.

Chief Davis continues that according to their forefathers only they and the people of Wartenek, another town along the sea coast near the banks of the Cavalla River have boundary with the land in question and not Yookudipeople, as they are claiming.

He explains that the land was sold long time to Mr. Joe Bush, who was on his way to America and he sold it to the late Senator Manston.Chief Davis reveals that prior to Manston purchasing the land, he went to the people of Pedebo to confirm whether Joe Bush was the legitimate owner in order to avoid future embarrassment.

He says the late ex-senator, who purchased the land, presented all relevant documents to them and they accepted him so he started farming there, but prior to his death, he turned the area over to Dr. James Elliott.

“I don’t know where they are coming from, claiming that they own the land, so I am calling on the government to probe into this to bring an everlasting end to this long dispute”, Chief Davis concludes.

The chief administrator of the farm, Mr. Jefferson Elliott, told this paper they were held hostage by the attackers before vandalizing the property,including dutting down the palm trees.

He allege that Senator H. Dan Morias, and a staff from his office, Mr. Tatu Clark, and a representative hopeful of Harper District Josephine Allison, all of whom are Nyemowe people, are the ones politicizing the land issue with the aim of dividing the people of Maryland County, particularly the Kudemowe and the Nyemowe in Harper District in a bid to solicit votes.

But when contacted via mobile phone, SenatorMoriasdismisses the allegation, saying it is far from the truth.Morias says as Senator of the county, he could in no way support conflict among his people,lamenting that he regrets the destruction of the farm and properties. The Maryland Senator described the claim made by the farm administrator as “high level of stupidity.”

Meanwhile, report reaching this paper says several persons have been arrested in connection with the arson attack and are currently in police custody.

By George K. Momo, Maryland-Editing by Jonathan Browne

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