I’ll not bow

The political leader of the Movement for Economic Empowerment or MOVEE, Dr. J. Mills Jones says he will not bow to any pressure coming from “failed politicians” under the disguise of Code of Conduct.

Speaking at his party headquarters on Wednesday, 29 March in Congo Town, Dr. Jones argued that calls and cheap politics were being spewed against him by old- age politicians, who he claims, have failed the Liberian people over the years.

The former Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia or CBL says despite the cheap propaganda being marketed by haters, nothing can stop him from  articipating in the electoral process this year.

Weeks after his party made public reactions against the Code of Conduct that is seen here as a major obstacle that could narrow his chances of participating in the presidential race this October, Dr. Jones insists that nothing could stop his appearance on the ballot paper to contest the presidency.

The Code of Conduct, which Dr. Jones is defying, has been endorsed by the Supreme Court as legal instrument. Depending on which job a presidential appointee holds, the Code of Conduct dictates that appointees, including ministers and their deputies, superintendents and officials appointed by President, must resign two years or three years for tenure jobs, before seeking elected positions.

Dr. Jones held onto his lucrative job for two terms as CBL Governor while the bell rung here over a potential setback that observers thought could encounter aspirants’ political quest.

Jones, in a somehow angry mood, pointed out that the falsehood being spread by his opponents as it relates to the ‘misinterpretation’ of the Code of Conduct shows their weaknesses, saying the statements are reckless and irresponsible.

He added that there were some politicians who arrived on the Liberian political scene that want to gain relevance at the expense and the name of Code of Conduct, saying “Johnny just come lawmakers and politicians want to make me a second class citizen in my country."

The MOVEE strongman noted that his presence in the pending representatives and presidential elections has posed serious threat to the interest of people he called failed politicians.

According to him, failed politicians reportedly battling with misrepresentation of the fact are people who do not want to see Liberians move forward economically.

Instead, Dr. Jones says such politicians dream to use the masses to change their lives. The National Code of Conduct which surfaced from the Executive Branch in which Dr. Jones served for two terms as Central Bank Executive Governor before he retired, has strict instructions that “all officials appointed by the president” shall not engage in political activities or quit their appointed jobs two or three years prior to public elections.

By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Editing by Winston W. Parley

MOE retires 275 employees

The Ministry of Education or MOE has retired 275 employees following prolonged services to the Ministry, and the government at large. The retirees served the Ministry in various capacities for over 40 years.

Civil Service Agency’s regulation requires each civil servant to serve for 25 years or attain the age 60 to qualify for retirement. Speaking at the Ministry in Sinkor, Monrovia on Wednesday, 29 March during the honoring program, Assistant Minister for Basic Education and Secretariat, Felicia Sackey Doe Sumah told the retirees not to look down on themselves as the ceremony was meant to recognize their contributions towards transformation of the educational sector.

“This must be a happy moment for every one of you, for serving your country this number of years without being dismissed for wrong doing, I think it is a pride, but in the case where you’ve been asked to retire because of your involvement in certain unscrupulous things is what is shameful”, she remarked.

Madam Sumah encouraged the honorees that retirement should not mean an end to their lives, but a transition from one stage of life to another, saying “your leaving this Ministry is in recognition of the process that says once you served for certain length of time, it is against that mandate that you are being retired.

She said Liberia needs good road models whom the next generation would emulate, saying the young people of this country are looking up to you for guidance, and the decision you will take after this retirement process is what our future generation will look at.”

The Deputy Director General of the Civil Service Agency or CSA Mrs. Wannie Clarke Reeves expressed gratitude to the retirees for serving the country diligently in various positions, and assured them that the CSA will work to ensure they receive lump sum retirement packages.

“The CSA would like to recognize the immense contribution of the retirees to the development of our country over the past years; you have served the Ministry of Education with hard work, and commitment to the institution” Madam Reeves pointed out that the Government of Liberia appreciates and commends the retirees for the many sacrifices and contributions they made throughout their careers in service.

“As a mark of appreciation of your service, you will a well-deserved sump sum package commensurate with your tenure. This is due to the courtesy of the President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. In addition to your lump sum package you will also receive a monthly pension benefit as well. You will a social security benefit from the National Social Security Corporation upon reaching the age of 60”, the deputy CSA boss explained.

By Lewis S. Teh-Editing by Jonathan Browne


GVL sponsors surgical outreach in Gd./Kru

Golden Veroleum Liberia has sponsored week-long free surgical operations in Grand Kru County, southeast Liberia, targeting more than 120 citizens with various health problems.

According to a press release, the exercise was conducted by the Liberia Surgical Outreach Program (LISOP) at the Rally Town Hospital in Grand Cess, Grand Kru County.

During the operations, individuals with various illness, including hernia, hydroceles, goiters, uterus, and fibroids were treated. The program, which exceeded its target of 100 persons, included pre and post-surgical treatment, feeding of patients and transportation of targeted beneficiaries to and from their respective villages and towns by Golden Veroleum Liberia.

Beneficiaries in separate remarks expressed heartfelt gratitude to LISOP for the free surgeries and lauded GVL for the sponsorship, noting that if not for LISOP and GVL, they wouldn’t have been relieved of their illnesses.

“This program shows that GVL cares not just for its employees but its project communities as well. The company social programs continue to impact the lives of us the poor people. We cannot allow anything to make the company to leave.” said spokesman Guffred N. Dweh, on behalf of the patients.

Grand Kru County Superintendent Madam Elizabeth Dempster, thanked GVL for its continuous support to LISOP in conducting free surgeries in the county. She noted that the program has significantly brought medical reliefs to hundreds of citizens and residents in Grand Kru County, and reaffirmed the county leadership’s support.

“We want to thank LISOP and GVL for conducting these free surgeries for our people. This has restored the lost hopes of many of our citizens”, said Superintendent Dempster.

LISOP Lead Surgeon and Chairman of the Board, Senator Dr. Peter Coleman said, GVL’s sponsorship of the surgical intervention does not only show its commitment to corporate social responsibility, but care of improving the livelihood of citizens of the county.

Dr. Coleman said LISOP, a local None-Governmental Organization (NGO) was established in 2000 by a group of professional health workers, including surgeons, anesthetics and nurses for the purpose of providing free surgical services to rural dwellers, who cannot afford to foot bills for such medical services.

Mr. Darius Doe, GVLs community communicator in Grand Kru, said, “LISOP is the kind of partner we appreciate working with. The team is highly qualified, professional and committed, bringing top surgical skills to Grand Kru regularly.”

He added, “GVL sends employees and family members in need of urgent medical care even to Monrovia using one of the company ambulances. But bringing some of Liberia’s best surgeons, specialists and nurses to the County makes high quality care available to all citizens.” Press Release

CARI ends 2-day workshop on research review

A two-day research review workshop has ended at the Central Agriculture Research Institute or CARI in Suakoko, Bong County, Central Liberia. Organized by the CARI Management, it was attended by several institutions, national and international NGOs, stakeholders and the Minister of Agriculture Dr. Moses Zinnah.

Giving an overview of the program, the Deputy Director General for Research at the CARI, Dr. Dunstan Spencer said, the forum is intended to train scientists and researchers assigned at the institute.

Dr. Spencer said the workshop is also meant to afford researchers and scientists opportunities to begin the process of presenting their research results, including challenges to stakeholders.

He challenged participants of the training to extend their research works beyond lessons from the workshop and to conduct new studies that have the propensity to make Liberia self-reliant.

Earlier, Agriculture Minister Dr. Zinnah commended the Management of CARI for the initiative and pledged government’s continual support to the institute.

Dr. Zinnah also promised to commission CARI into the special presidential Taskforce on Agriculture that was set up by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in 2015.

By Papa Morris from Bong-Editing by Jonathan Browne

Official rejects petition for representative seat

Johnsonville Township Commissioner Mr. Melvin C. Bettie has rejected a petition by citizens, asking him to run for a representative seat in October.

Commissioner Bettie told a local radio station in Monrovia recently that he does not need to be a representative to work for his people in his township, and has instead suggested that developmental initiative was the most important thing for the township.

The local government official says that leadership meeting is held every last Saturday in a month with his people so that they can strategize on the development of the township.

He has expressed observation that nowadays everybody wants to be in the House. But he says he believes that as a commissioner, he can work with his people so that the township can be more developed.

Commissioner Bettie says he provides refreshment for the local leaders in his township whenever they go for meeting, saying “I do not need to be representative before I work in the interest of my people”.

He said during the registration process there was a campaign launched in his township to encourage people to be part of the process and everybody turned out. He concluded that through his instrumentality, part of the township is now benefitting from the Liberia Electricity Cooperation or LEC and he is still on the back of LEC to continue the electrification process of his people.

By Ethel A. Tweh-Editing by Winston W. Parley

Ellen opens conference on emergence of Africa

President Ellen Johnson - Sirleaf has opened the Second Edition of an international conference on the emergence of Africa in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, stressing that Africa is rising.

President Sirleaf who chairs regional body ECOWAS says the future of the African Continent’s growth and prosperity is certain, saying the continent is on the move and its future is certain.

An Executive Mansion release issued on Wednesday, 29 March says President Sirleaf made the statement on Tuesday, 28 March in the Ivorian Capital Abidjan when she opened the 2017 Second Edition of International Conference on the Emergence of Africa or ICEA.

The Conference on the Emergence of Africa was organized by Côte d’Ivoire and the United Nations Development Program or UNDP, in partnership with the World Bank and the African Development Bank or AfDB and brought together over 400 personalities and representatives of governments, international development institutions, research and academic centers, the private sector, and civil society organizations.

She said since the global decline of prices of basic commodities and the effect of Ebola, Liberia still continues to face the challenges of transforming growth. But she said Africa’s future was certain because Africans were taking hold of their own future. “We are so pleased that many of us are still finding the way in the rest of Africa, from Ethiopia to Kenya, Uganda, Somalia, Tanzania, East Africa, North Africa, Central Africa and West Africa, - we are now transforming our future, and the future is very great,” she noted.

Mrs. Sirleaf recounted the success and challenges of African countries at Sofitel Hotel where the conference took place under the theme: "The Implementation of Plans for Emergence in Africa."

The Liberian leader attributed the future of Africa to its people’s resolve to shape their own destiny, while at the same time emphasizing the need for countries to ensure value addition to their exports, divergences and modernization among other things to keep their economy animated.

She maintained that Africans must take ownership of their destiny and as well take stock of their achievements and embrace it. Mrs. Sirleaf has stressed that “we” have confidence in Africa’s future and the processes.

She said the the three-day meeting was an opportunity to assess countries’ progress in formulating programs and policies relating to the emergence of Africa. She challenged participants to assess issues of climate change, adaptation, and new technology among other things that are critical to achieving emergence.

She then congratulated Ivorian President AlassaneOuattara for the warm reception and hospitality accorded her and delegation since their arrival in Abidjan and thanked him for organizing the conference.

Special remarks were also delivered by Presidents Alpha Conde of Guinea, MackySall of Senegal, AlassaneOuattara of Côte d’Ivoire, Helen Clark of UNDP and AfDB President Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina.

The conference seeks to address various issues relating to the governance of public institutions and the inclusive and sustainable structural transformation of Africa. President Sirleaf and delegation returned home late Tuesday evening.


Government goes for two days retreat

Government has announced a two - day mandatory retreat beginning today, 30 March on President Ellen Johnson - Sirleaf’s farm in Julijuah, Bomi County.

Deputy and assistant ministers, heads of State- Owned Enterprises, Commissions and local government officials are mandated to be at the Cabinet retreat which is being held under the theme “Strong in the last mile”.

The two-day retreat will primarily focus on the President’s priorities for the next 298 days, the transition plan for ministries, agencies, and commissions, and telling the administration’s success story, and Executive Mansion release says.

The Executive Mansion release further says the two-day retreat will also provide an opportunity for participants to strategize on issues that are related to the administration’s legacy and develop a strategic roadmap for closing the circle of the administration.

At the end, the retreat is expected to establish a time-bound strategic road map that will drive the administration’s 298 days, approve the transition plan for ministries agencies and Commissions.

It is also anticipated that the retreat would have approved the execution plan for the President’s 150-Day Plan for priority projects; aligned ministries, agencies and commissions’ activities with the approved strategic road map.

A framework is expected to be adopted for telling the success story of the administration, and inspire ministries, agencies and commissions to collectively reach the finish line strong.

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, Cabinet Members, Deputy and Assistant Ministers, Board Chairs of SOEs, Heads and deputy heads of State Owned Enterprises and Commissions, County Superintendents, Special Guests, the President’s Delivery Unit, and the Technical Support Team are all expected to form part of the retreat. - Press release

Presidency not for promises

The publisher of Flash Point newspaper, Mr. David Kortee says the 2017 presidential election will not be about promises, but demands “footprints, fingerprints, and records”.

Mr. Kortee, a former legislator who declares himself “Friend of the President”, has cautioned that people must be voted on the basis of what they have done and not on the basis of what they have promised to do.

He told a local radio station on Wednesday, 29 March that he joined supporters of Dr. Jones’ presidential bid as a result of the former Central Bank Governor’s “footprints, fingerprints, and records”.

Mr. Kortee has described as “very wicked, selfish, and discriminatory”, the Code of Conduct which is seen here as serious obstacle to Dr. Jones’ chances of footing in the presidential race.

But Mr. Kortee says he thinks his candidate will not be disqualified from contesting the presidential election, vowing he would come up with 150 reasons why Dr. Jones should be elected president.

He said he has followed Dr. Jones for the past ten years when he served as Central Bank Governor, praising the ex-governor for having performed to the expectations of Liberians.

Mr. Kortee believes that Dr. Jones can do better when elected president, judging from his work at the Central Bank. he cited the renovation of the Central Bank, giving loans given out to Liberians, and establishment of banks around the country as some of Dr. Jones’ footprint.

Prior to Dr. Jones’ tenure at the Central Bank, Mr. Kortee argued that the bank was known for only cashing checks. But after the administration of Dr. Jones, Mr. Kortee says the bank is now serving the Liberian people. Mr. Kortee claims that 99 percent of people in political parties are there for favor or self interest.

By Samuel P. Kamara-Editing by Winston W. Parley

Bridge lauds Ellen for support to PSL

Bridge International Academies says President Sirleaf’s support to Partnership Schools for Liberia lays the basis for sustainable learning gains at the bedrock of the country’s educational system.

After less than five months as an operator, Bridge says it has seen dramatic improvements in the education sector.  “As a partner of the Government of Liberia, we are proud to be included in a positive initiative to radically improve learning outcomes in the country. Since September, Bridge has been studying and measuring the growth and improvements of our students. Bridge students are doing better in numeracy and literacy than their peers in nearby schools.

There are incredible opportunities for growth under this partnership and we expect to continue our initiative in Liberia, which is to support our teachers and communities- ensuring the children of Liberia receive the education that they truly deserve,” a statement from Bridge Country Director, Marcus Wleh reads.

According to a press release, the Partnership Schools for Liberia has 94 schools and some 27,000 students. To date, Bridge has nearly 9,000 children attending its schools. “We want to congratulate the 258+ committed teachers whose professional development remains a key part of our program in Liberia. School Management, Strong Parent-Teacher Associations, and innovative learning systems alongside the Liberian Curriculum have been a success factor for our instructional program delivery at 25 primary schools in 8 counties.

As a parent, I take the education of my children, our Liberian children very seriously. Parent views matter and they keep a keen eye on us to ensure we deliver. Bridge will continue to work alongside the government towards addressing issues of overage school dropout, gender parity and inclusive education.”


Louisiana Commissioner challenges colleagues

Louisiana Township Commissioner Mr. Solomon Myler has challenged his colleagues to be creative and not depend on central government for everything.

He made the assertion Tuesday, 28 March when he took reporters on a guided tour of ongoing work at the township’s first ever constructed town hall since the foundation of Louisiana.

Commissioner Myler told reporters that the modern town hall consisting of several compartments including bathrooms, offices and storage facilities, was made possible through persistent hard work and creativity by his administration.

Due to its size, Commissioner Myler indicated that the town hall has the capacity to accommodate over one thousand persons. He says he lobbied with concessions operating in the township through Memorandum of Understanding orMoU to support government development initiatives.

The local official said some modern restrooms have been completed with the installation of commode, doors and tars. He says when the town hall is completed, citizens of Louisiana would have a place to meet and discuss matters relevant to the growth and development of the area.

Louisiana shares common boundary with the Township of Caldwell which is yet to experience the sweeping developmental changes that have overwhelmed some townships.

In a related development, Commissioner Myler has confirmed that a modern primary school for the children of the township would be constructed by partnering Concession Company under anMoU.

He says the site to be used for the construction of the school has been clear by the company in readiness for the project. He used the medium to thank citizens and companies for their meaningful contributions that he says are witnessing the current development transformation of the township.

By Emmanuel Mondaye-Editing by Winston W. Parley

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