Heavy ERU deployment at Cocopa


Armed officers of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) of the Liberia National Police have deployed in the Cocopa Rubber Plantation along the Ganta-Saclepea highway in electoral district#8, Nimba County, as over 500 former employees of the plantation threatened to protest this Thursday, 19 July in demand of salaries and benefits, totaling about US$1 million.

The head for the former workers union, George Kruah explains to the New Dawn Nimba County Correspondent that Thursday’s demonstration will be the last on the plantation. “We either live or die that day”, he vows.

According to him, they had engaged both the management of the rubber plantation, including county administration headed by Superintendent Dorr Cooper and the Government of Liberia, but the authorities do not seem to care about their plight.

The former employees demanding benefits worked with the plantation during the 1990s. They have vowed not to leave the plantation this Thursday until their demand is addressed.

Mr. Kruah says they have resolved that they either get paid or police shoot at them, as they would not leave the premises, saying, “We have engaged them but they are fooling us.’’

This paper gathers that former Cocopa employees threatening to stage this protect are expected to come from all parts of Liberia, not only Nimba County.Some of the aggrieved former employees are no longer alive, but their children are among those making demands.

During the administration of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the Government of Liberia reportedly provided over US$2 Million to the Cocopa Management headed by former Managing Director for the Forestry Development Authority, Harrison Karnwea, during which time the plantation was renamed Nimba Rubber Incorporated.

The New Dawn Nimba County Correspondent, who visited the plantation, says there is heavy presence of armed ERU officers, creating fear among residents of communities near the plantation.

Some panic-stricken residents are said to be packing and leaving due to what many say may turn bloody on Thursday, as the aggrieved former employees have vowed not to give in despite the presence of armed state security.This impending protest at Cocopa would bring to five, such demonstrations at the plantation, since 2006, most of which had ended in violence.

By Thomas Domah/Nimba--Editing by Jonathan Browne

Weah plans to shock critics

President George Manneh Weah says his government is focused on its responsibility of giving to citizens what they need, disclosing that he has a good news which when presented to the public, those doubting his government will not have time to criticize again.

Dedicating the King Gray Market at the ELWA Community in Paynesville Friday, 13 July, Mr. Weah said his government is working to change and make Liberia a better place to live, but expressed concern that this is a country where politics wants to supersede good governance.

“There is a good news in the making for Liberians; when that good news is presented to the public, those who are doubting the performance of [my] government will not have the time to criticize the workings of the government again,” he is quoted to have said later in New Kru Town on Bushrod Island in an Executive Mansion release.

“We are working to change and make Liberia a better place to live,” President Weah said, adding: “This is the country where politics want to supersede good governance. But we won’t let that happen.”

Launching a Coastal Defense Project on Friday, 13 July to prevent continued sea erosion in the Borough of New Kru Town, President Weah assured Liberians that he will not let them down.

New Kru Town, a densely populated slum community on Bushrod Island has suffered years of sea erosions which has damaged properties, and past efforts to stop further erosions there have not brought the situation under control.

But Mr. Weah says his government is committed to working with international partners especially the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in helping the people of New Kru Town to prevent the problems of sea erosion.

“Just right there is the D. Tweh High School. That school has made and continues to make numerous contributions in impacting and building the capacity of Liberians, many of whom are making significant and positive contributions to the Liberian society,” he said of a public school in New Kru Town.

He says government and its partners will do their best to save the school and the community. President Weah assures that his government must do its best to succeed because its vision and major concern are to help lift Liberians out of poverty.

According to him, the people’s vision and needs are the concerns of his government, but not to compromise their interest, adding that government is working on its Pro-Poor Agenda to benefit Liberians.

“Our life is not to boast, but as a government our responsibility is to perform, give to you what you need and not to give you those things that you do not need,” President Weah concludes. --Press release

MFDP trains comptrollers in Grand Bassa

The Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) over the weekend held a three - day training for comptrollers from various ministries across the country in Grand Bassa County.

Speaking at the opening of the training, the Comptroller and Accountant General of the Ministry of Finance Kanga A. Kowo says the training was about financial reporting under International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS).

He says in 2009 the Public Management Act was passed as part of government’s initiative, adding that when he became comptroller, he saw that financial reporting is very critical.

According to him, whenever public resources have been used, it is incumbent on government to give account on expenditures.Mr, Kowo notes that for the past time, there have been challenge for comptrollers and accountants in terms of building their capacities.

But he says it is very important for government to build the capacity for accountants and comptrollers across the country.He expresses hope that after the training, the performances of comptrollers and accountants will be enhanced.

By Bridgett Milton--Edited by Winston W. Parley

Teahjay, Sloh, others join CDC

The headquarters of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change was like the home of the Prodigal son mentioned in the Holy Bible on Friday, 13 July when a former executive of the CDC, Sinoe County Senator J. Milton Teahjay returned to the party he quitted nearly 10 years ago.

Senator Teahjay, along with his kinsmen, Sinoe County Representatives Jay Nagbe Sloh and Cryton Duncan, officially declared their respective membership for the CDC.

Addressing a news conference Friday at the party headquarters in Congo Town outside Monrovia, Teahjay said despite being an executive member of the former ruling Unity Party all these years, his heart has been with the CDC, and that’s why he’s being supporting President George Manneh Weah’s road connectivity project.
He took out time and reflected on contributions made by a falling architect of the CDC, the late Gabriel Bacchus Matthews, dubbed here as the founding father of multiparty democracy in Liberia, who he said, helped the party to capture state power.

According to him, the late Bacchus Matthews, also founding father of the Progressive Alliance of Liberia or PAL dedicated his time, expertise and resources to the formulation of the CDC, adding that he (Baccus) is a happy man in his grave as the CDC enjoys the will of the Liberian people.Teahjay notes that his decision in making a comeback to the CDC is something that always happens in politics and that he feels at home.

For his part, Representative Jay Nagbe Sloh declares himself as member of the CDC and nobody can stop him from being a member, noting that the CDC has become so attractive since the 2017 elections, and soon lawmakers and other influential people would come over to the now ruling party that was once in opposition for a more than a decade.

He adds that President Weah’s plans foor thee country are very impressive, and many Liberians including him and many of his colleagues lawmakers are considering following suit.

“I know people say I’m gravy seeker and what wrong with it? But I won election before coming here, but what wrong with Nagbe seeking gravy from Weah? That’s a brotherly thing,” he argues.

He promises that his coming to the CDC will not be a liability; instead, he will use his money, expertise and will be an aggressive member that would pull other lawmakers to the ruling party and make it great.

In response, CDC national Chairman Mulbah Morlu expresses delight and thanks the new members for taking the decision, assuring them that they enjoy all rights and opportunities like all other partisans of the Coalition.

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

LCC constitutes Economic Policy Committee

The Liberia Council of Churches (LCC) announces the constitution of a 12-member Ecumenical Economic Policy Committee (EEPC) headed by veteran Economist and ex-minister of planning and economic affairs, Dr. Togba Nah Tipoteh, to study the current state of the economy.

A statement issued here by the LCC on Sunday, 15 July says the committee comprised of renowned Liberian economists, corporate and business entrepreneurs will study the current financial situation and economic crisis in the country and recommend appropriate measures to government for remedy.

“This action comes as an intervention based on the inflation on the prices of basic commodities on the Liberian market and the uncontrollable daily downfall of the Liberian dollar to the United States dollars, which is creating difficulty to the shrinking economy and as a consequence, misery to the ordinary people”, the statement signed by the LCC President, Bishop Dr. Kortu K. Brown, reads.

The Council of Churches says it reached the decision Sunday after its 2nd Quarter Executive Council meeting attended by 40 Churches and Christian Institution Leaders.

The release notes that in reaching this resolution, the LCC reflected on the global spread of credible data including that Liberia has the worst record in the world, 62 percent, according to UNICEF 2017 report, of school-age children not in school, the second poorest country in Africa, and the fourth poorest nation in the world, quoting World Bank, IMF and African Development Bank 2017 reports, respectively.

“Church members and other Liberians continue to raise alarm, demanding that the Liberia Council of Churches and other religious entities demonstrate relevance by taking action now to help stem the tide of the societal malaise and become proactive, by taking action in collaboration with other national stakeholders, to prevent the reoccurrence of the malaise, with its violence-oriented dismal impact on the living conditions of the poor masses”, the statement observes.

The statement continues that the EEPC, as an expert committee, will provide professional guidance on matters of economic importance to the nation and its people.

Its terms of reference shall include, among others, determine the nature and source of the principal problems facing the poor of Liberia make recommendations for attending to the problems as determined by the EEPC and present its first report to the LCC by end of July, 2018.

“The report will form the basis for the LCC recommendations to the Government of Liberia and relevant partners.”

At the same time the Liberia Council of Churches has also set up a special committee chaired by Rev. Dr. Olu Q. Menjay, President of the Liberia Baptist Missionary and Education Convention (LBMEC) and 2nd Vice President of the LCC to develop an operational framework for an ecumenical committee that will review the current status of recommendations and implementation of the TRC process by the Government of Liberia and subsequently adopt a position to advance peace and reconciliation in Liberia.

“The Council is seriously concern about the need to consolidate peace and stability and address questions of reconciliation and justice in the country”, the statement concludes.


Weah submits US$227m financing agreement

President George Manneh Weah has submitted a US$227 Million Dollars financing agreement to the House of Representation for its ratification.In a communication last week, President Weah said he submitted the instrument to the House for ratification of additional financing agreement for the West African Power Pool (WAPP) interconnection project for Cote d’Ivoire - Liberia- Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Addressing the leadership of the House through Speaker Bhofal Chambers, President Weah said the original International Development Assistance (IDA) loan for the implementation of the regional project is US$147 million, negotiated in March 2012.

President Weah notes that the amount of the project increased between the period 2012 and 2016 due to the Ebola epidemic in the Mano River Basin and other economic factors.

President Weah narrates that the amount of the additional financing allotted to Liberia is US$45.3 Million.According to him, this agreement was signed on December 11, 2017 and it comprises a grant of US$22.6 million and loan of US$22.7 million.

According to the communication, the maximum commitment charge rate is one half of one percent (3/4 of 1%) per annum on the withdraw credit balance with payment dates of February 15 and August 15 in each year.

President tells the lawmakers that the objective of the project is to support government’s efforts in providing and reducing cost of electricity that will be efficient and reliable for Liberians in both rural and urban areas.

“Honorable Speaker this project when ratified will provide a range of opportunity for Liberia, and Liberia will be able to use the transmission line to transport electricity to other countries and other concessionaires within the power line range,” he says.

President Weah notes that it amounts to revenue generation for the benefit of Liberians, describing the project as significant to the economic recovery programs here.He says he trusts that the Legislature will ratify this agreement in a timely manner.

By Lewis S. Teh -Edited by Winston W. Parley

Weah dedicates King Gray Market

President George Manneh Weah has dedicated the newly renovated King Gray Market in the ELWA Community in Paynesville. During the dedication of the market on Friday, 13 July, President Weah assured Liberians that he is committed to working and changing the country for the better in spite of biting public criticisms of his government over the state of the economy and other national issues.

According to the Executive Mansion, President Weah says his government is not deterred by the ugly state of politics, noting that he is doing everything humanly possible to make Liberia a place for all Liberians to live and enjoy.

“...We are working to change and make Liberia a better place to live,” he says, and thanks marketers for their patience in awaiting the refurbished and standardized market.
“I want to thank you for your patience because I know when people want something, there are others that will be in the group to criticize for nothing. But you kept the hope alive and today you have a refurbished market,” President Weah notes.

He acknowledges the struggle the marketers of the King Gray Market have gone through and promises to deliver “good projects” for the betterment of all Liberians.

President Weah says his intention is to renovate markets all around the country, and announces that the Du-port Road Market will be his next target.

“Someone will ask why he is fixing markets. Well, market is part of our society and it has to be conducive,” he states.
He says he hopes to do his best within three years, while urging citizens to discuss issues rather than getting in the streets.

Mr. Weah encourages citizens to address their qualms in a peaceful and orderly manner to the rightful authorities. “We have six years here. Our government, if you noticed has started already. All of the things we said we were going to do in the six years when given the opportunity, we are doing them. I want you to be patient. We are hoping that our performance will allow you give us another six years,” he adds.

The dedication of the newly refurbished King Gray Market brings to two the number of markets President Weah has renovated and dedicated since he assumed office in January this year, according to the Executive Mansion. A little over a month ago, President Weah dedicated the Rehab Market, which he personally helped to renovate, the Mansion’s release concludes.


President Weah Congratulates France

President George Manneh Weah has sent a congratulatory message to the Government and People of France on the occasion commemorating the 229th National Day of France — Bastille Day of France.

In his message to French President Emmanuel Macron, President Weah stated “On behalf of the Government and People of Liberia and in my own name, I am delighted to extend warmest felicitation and sincere best wishes to you, and through you, to the Government and People of France.

Mr. Weah assured France of Liberia’s unwavering commitment to upholding both countries shared values including, the respect for human dignity and equal rights for all mankind, regardless of race, color and religion, among others.

He said “As we join you and the people of France in celebrating this very special occasion, we reflect on the principle of freedom, dignity, equality and civil liberties, which were the prime functions of the birth of France.”

The Liberian leader than wished for President Macron continued good health and wisdom in leading his people, and for the people of France, renewed happiness and sustained prosperity.


Lawmakers clash over Ja’neh’s impeachment

Serious tension erupted in the chambers of the House of Representatives on Thursday, 12 July when Montserrado County Rep. Acarous Moses Gray and Bomi County Rep. Edwin Melvin Snowe clashed over an impeachment bill being worked out by Rep. Gray and some lawmakers against Associate Justice Kabineh M. Ja’neh.

It all started following the reading of the draft agenda of the House Thursday when Rep. Snowe accused Rep. Gray of attempting to intimidate the Judiciary Branch of Government with cheap impeachment proceedings.

Rep. Snowe who appeared to be very annoyed by the action of his colleague, intimated that such bill has no basis but only intended to scare Associate Justices from performing their statutory duties.

The Bomi lawmaker warns Rep. Gray to stop that form of intimidation or it would create bad image of the Liberian Legislature. Rep. Snowe then expresses disappointment in Rep. Gray for bringing himself low, saying Justice Ja’neh has violated no law as claimed by Rep. Gray.

He insists that Rep. Gray’s action is meaningless and only intended to put fear in the members of the Judiciary. Adding his voice to the argument, Nimba County Rep. Samuel Kogar, a kinsman to Justice Ja’neh, terms the pending impeachment action as ‘nonsense.’

Rep. Kogar says the impeachment plot has no weight to be placed on a draft agenda of the House. But in response, the mastermind of the impeachment plot against Justice Ja’neh, Montserrado County District #8 Rep. Acarous Moses Gray says Justice Ja’neh reportedly violated laws of the land.

He argues that the only penalty for allegedly violating the laws here is to remove Justice Ja’neh from the bench so that he does not “contaminate” other justices.

Rep. Gray adds that there is nothing that will stop him and his colleagues from launching the impeachment proceedings against Justice Ja’neh. According to Gray, Rep. Snowe is creating scene because he has invested interest in the Supreme Court.

Rep. Snowe’s wife is a member of the Supreme Court Bench. Earlier on Friday, 6 July Rep. Gray told a news conference that Justice Ja’neh would face the House of Representatives for his impeachment within a couple of days.

Article 71 of the Liberian Constitution says the Chief Justice and Associates Justices of the Supreme Court and the judges of subordinate courts of record shall hold office during good behavior.

But it says they may be removed upon impeachment and conviction by the Legislature based on proved misconduct, gross breach of duty, inability to perform the functions of their office, or conviction in a court of law for treason, bribery or other infamous crimes.

Rep. Gray is yet to say why he wants Justice Ja’neh impeached, claiming he would state the reason in the pending bill of impeachment. Justice Ja’neh and two of his colleagues on the Supreme Court Bench were last threatened with impeachment by some Senators following the Court’s decision during the 2017 political season on the Code of Conduct.

It nearly put the two branches of government into a political turmoil, but a successful intervention by UN peacekeeping mission UNMIL prevented such situation here.

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

1,901 pass UL Entrance exam

The University of Liberia releases results of its May 2018 Entrance and Placement Exam administered to 10,837 candidates with a total of 1,901 candidates making a successful pass in both Mathematics and English after meeting the university’s passing threshold.

A release issued here Thursday, 12 July says based on the results, the UL Faculty Senate on Monday, July 9, approved three categories: Regular Pass, Provisional Pass and Unsuccessful categories to determine admission and non-admission to the University of Liberia.

To be in the Regular Pass category, candidates must have scored at least 50 percent in Mathematics and at least 70 percent in English, respectively or scored at least 50 percent in Mathematics and at least 50 percent in English.

The release says a total of 1,021 candidates met this threshold and are now qualified for admissions to the University of Liberia. Regular Pass candidates may register for up to 18 credit-hours during their first semester in a college at the University.

To qualify for the Provisional Pass category, candidates must have obtained an average score of at least 50 percent when their Mathematics and English scores are combined. A total of 756 candidates met this threshold and are also qualified for provisional admissions at the University of Liberia.

Those passing provisionally, are restricted to register for no more than 12 credit-hours during their first semester in a college at the University of Liberia, and those credit hours must include Freshman Mathematics (101) and Freshman English (101).

Results of the David A. Straz-Sinje Technical and Vocational College in Grand Cape Mount County show that 29 candidates obtained regular pass and 42 candidates obtained provisional pass, respectively. Similarly, results from the College of General Studies show 19 candidates obtained regular pass, and 34 candidates obtained provisional pass.

Both the regular and provisional scores combined for all undergraduate colleges, including Straz-Sinje and the College of General Studies reach the total of 1,901 successful candidates qualified for admission from the May 2018 UL Entrance and Placement Examination.

This year’s results differ from last year’s in a number of ways. For instance, in 2017, only 466 candidates or 6 percent candidates successfully passed out of a total of 7, 735 registered candidates, compared to this year’s 1,021 candidates or 9 percent out of a total of 10, 837 registered candidates.

The results also show that 1,021 candidates obtained a regular pass in 2018, compared to 2017. Last year, 1,195 candidates out of a total of 7,735 obtained provisional pass, but this number dropped to 756 out of 10,837 in 2018.

A total of 8,649 candidates were unsuccessful on this first entrance exam. Unsuccessful candidates are those who earned an average score of less than 50 percent after their Mathematics and English scores were combined.

Top Performers
Meanwhile, the UL Administration reveals that three students — Pauline Erica Dolo, St. Philip Ecumenical High School; Flomo G. Nyainfelea, Laine Refugee School; and Tina Shinning Karwee, Calvary Temple Schoo l— each scored the highest in Mathematics of 90 percent.

Three other students — Alexander J. Tokpa, Williams V.S. Tubman High School and James Duwuo Kollie, VionJama Multilateral High School respectively scored the highest in English of 88 percent with Abraham H. Sheriff, James Doe Young AGM School, coming third, each with scores of 86 percent.

In both Math and English, two candidates scored the highest average of 80 percent. They are Flomo G. Nyainfelea of Laine Refugee School and Abraham H. Sheriff of James Doe Young AGM School, respectively.

The Chairman of this year’s Testing Committee, Counselor T. Negbalee Warner, Dean of the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law, commends all members of the Committee for their individual and collective support, saying, “This report reflects the committee’s consensus and can be adequately defended by the University of Liberia.”

Second Exam/Aptitude Test
At the same time the Administration of the University of Liberia will administer a second entrance and placement exam for all undergraduate colleges and aptitude test for graduate programs and professional schools.

Registration for the exam and aptitude test has commenced and will end on Thursday, August 18, 2018 with exam for the undergraduate division to be administered on Saturday, August 18, 2018, the UL release concludes.


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