Politics

Garraway community gets US$45,000 nurses’ quarter

Grand Kru County Senator Peter Coleman has dedicated a three-bedroom modern nurses quarter in Garraway community, Grand Kru. The project was funded by the Foundation for the Empowerment of Rural Dwellers or FERD.


FERD is a non-governmental, non-for-profit, non-religious and non-political organization organized by Liberian professionals several years ago with the aim of improving lives rural dwellers, particularly in the southeastern region.  According to Senator Coleman, the facility is in fulfillment of his campaign promises to the citizens of Garraway.

The Grand Kru County legislative caucus chairperson said he remains committed to improving the living conditions of health workers within the county. Speaking in an interview with this paper in Grand Kru County recently, Senator Coleman, a former Minister of Health, disclosed that as part of his ongoing legislative projects, he is currently erecting a modern teacher’s quarter in Dweken,Women Center in Nemyan, and a clinic in Doeswen, among others.

Dr. Coleman said he was gratified to turn over a building to be used by health workers assigned in Garraway community. He said this will encourage health workers there to have love for their assigned area and fully execute their duties.

He added that turn out by citizens of the community was a plus for him and described their presence as an expression of love and appreciation to him for his work over the years.

Making separate remarks at the ceremony held in Down Beach Garraway, the speaker of the tribal authority JosaihSindway said, women, youth, elders, traditional council and other eminent citizens of the district are very happy for the gesture by the senator and also expressed their happiness and congratulated Senator Coleman for living up to his campaign promise.

They however described the Senator's initiative as first of its kind in the history of their town to see a sitting lawmaker in the county identify with their community with such great initiative, and pledged their support to him for the next senatorial election in Liberia.

For his part, the County Health Officer Dr. Augustine Nyankun Fannieh expressed gladness over the project.  He said health workers will be glad to stay in the district because of the facility, which according to him, is lacking at several health facilities in the county.  Dr. Fannieh thanked Senator Coleman for the development, but appealed to him to extend to other parts of Grans Kru.

By George K. Momo from Grand Kru-Editing by Jonathan Browne

20-year-old man commits suicide

A man believed to be in his early 20s has reportedly committed suicide in electoral district#8, Nimba County. No reason has been provided for the victim allegedly taking his own life, but eyewitness told the New Dawn correspondent in Nimba that prior to the act, the late DariousDolo left the town while his parents were not around him and used single barrel gun to terminate his life.


The deceased’s body was found in the storeroom of his parents’ residence in Lao Tiayee Town, district#8. When this paper visited the town, residents narrated that the late Darious initially used rope to take his life, but did not succeed and then took single barrel gun and executed his suicide mission.

Meanwhile, the dead body of 22-year-old Big-Darlah Dealah has been discovered near the St. John River in District One, Ganta, Nimba County. The late Dealah hailed from District One, but had gone to Ganta to speak to his family.

He allegedly followed some children to Jacob Town community in Ganta to wash clothes in the St. John River, but subsequently joined friends to swim in the river, but unfortunately, he drowned. This paper gathered that kids usually go to swim in the St. John River, especially during weekends.

By Franklin Doloquee, Nimba-Editing by Jonathan Browne

Dominion Fish extols Agriculture Minister

The Manager of Dominion Fish Liberia Inc., a local NGO operating in R2 community on the Robert field Highway outside Monrovia, has extolled the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Moses Zinnah, for working with local farmers.


Dominion Fish is one of many local formers’ groups engaged in fish production, empowerment of less fortunate and venerable women in the country. Farm Manager Ms Hannah Myers said government’s support to local farmers would enhance their financial capacity to generate sufficient foreign exchange that could fast track the country’s economy.

She says Minister Zinnah recent comment indicates that the government is committed to improving the agriculture sector and economic growth here.  According to the Dominion Fish official, such move by the government will improve technical skills and knowledge of farmers in producing high quality products that can attract foreign partnership and economic betterment.

Ms. Myers observed that with government support, small and medium-scale farmers would be able to train less fortunate and destitute women, who lack professional skills to meaningfully contribute to their survivor.

The Dominion Fish Manager says technical, financial and material assistance to local agriculture organizations would empower women and reduce dependency syndrome particularly on their male counterparts in the home. She emphasizes that the time has come to tap the talents of Liberian farmers to enable them cope with changing realities and modern methodology.

By Emmanuel Mondaye-Editing by Jonathan Browne

WFP Regional Director Meets Top UNMIL Officials

WFP's Regional Director for Central and West Africa, Mr Abdou Dieng, on a four-day visit to Liberia, Monday held bilateral discussions with two senior officials of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).


Dieng met with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG), FaridZarif, and Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General (DSRSG)/UN Resident Coordinator in Liberia, Yacoub El Hillo, at UN HQ in Monrovia. Dieng lauded UNMIL for their collaboration with WFP and support to the country, adding “We are pleased to see the tremendous progress the country has made to overcome the effects of the civil war and the Ebola Virus Disease to an acceptable level and faster than expected”.

During the meeting, discussions centered on the ongoing UNMIL drawdown and the capacity of the UN agencies in Liberia to continue to collectively support the Government and people of Liberia after the drawdown of UNMIL.
They also discussed WFP’s expertise in areas of food security, nutrition and livelihoods support for resilience building for vulnerable populations. WFP’s technical support to the government on the ongoing Zero Hunger Strategic Review that is intended to assist the country achieve zero hunger status by 2030 in line with Sustainable Development Goal Two (SDG 2) was also deliberated.

The three senior officials then touched on the challenges faced in mobilizing resources for WFP’s various activities such as school feeding and home-grown school feeding which link smallholder farmers with markets to support education, and the role the government can play in addressing these resource mobilization issues. They also discussed the supply chain services – land/air/sea transport, telecommunications and warehousing - that WFP may provide to UN agencies, the donor community and government after the UNMIL drawdown.

Meanwhile, Regional Director Dieng is expected to meet with President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, other senior government officials as well as development partners in Monrovia on Tuesday.

 

3 died in Bong accident

An accident involving a motorcycle and a 4Runner Jeep along the Gbarnga-Melekie highway in Bong County has left at least three persons instantly dead.


The incident, according to report occurred at about 5P.M. at the Gbarnga Car Wash on Saturday when the jeep enroute from Monrovia developed flat tires, which left the driver confused and ran into the motorcyclist heading from Gbarnga.

The New Dawn correspondent, who visited the scene minutes after the accident, saw the jeep plunged into a nearby river, while operator of the motorcycle along with a female passenger died instantly.

The jeep driver was pronounced dead subsequently upon arrival at a local hospital. Rescuers from nearby community were in vigorous search of passengers onboard the vehicle in the river, many of whom reportedly sustained major injuries.

The injured victims include a soldier of the Armed Forces of Liberia and a teenage girl, who was onboard the motorcycle.

By Papa Morris from Bong-Editing by Jonathan Browne

Weah against dollarized crowd

The standard bearer of the Coalition for Democratic Change or CDC is calling on partisans, sympathizers and followers of the Coalition to reject money allegedly offered to them to attend rallies called by other political parties, including the governing Unity Party.


The Coalition is a marriage of Weah’s own Congress for Democratic Change, ex-ruling National Patriotic Party (NPP) of former President Charles Ghankay Taylor, and the Liberian People Democratic Party (LPDP) of criminally indicted former speaker Alex J. Tyler.

Senator George Manneh Weah told his partisans over the weekend during a musical jamboree organized by the youth wing of the CDC, that smaller parties, including the ruling UP are reportedly using cash inducements to buy crowd from his Coalition to show public strength, warning all Coalition members to stay clear of such maneuvering.

“They gave you US$20 to rent you and the intent is to mislead the public that they have the numbers, forgetting that the crowd is ‘dollarized’. From today, I call on you to stay away from their activities because their intent is to mislead the public that they have the numbers. I know this is hard to do, looking at the high economic constraints you are faced with on a daily basis, but the love for the Coalition is above every one of us. You should take the Coalition as your property, eat, drink and dream the Coalition. Use the Coalition emblem on your cars, motorbikes, doors, and computers and anywhere you think the emblem can be displayed. With this, they will know that it is time for the commoners to take power,” Weah said.

According to him, the Coalition is not taking the 2017 elections lightly, on grounds that it is time for the CDC to take state power through democratic means. He stressed that to long the Liberian people have suffered and the only hope for their redemption is through a CDC-led government with him sitting at the Executive Mansion and Bong County Senator Jewel Howard Taylor coordinating with him to change the state of affairs.

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

 

We’re not fussing”

President Ellen Johnson - Sirleafsays she has no issue with Grand Gedeans, clarifying that the absence of Sen. Alphonson Gaye during her visit in the county did not mean that they were fussing.


She told the people of slained President Samuel K. Doe home county that her long absence from the county has been as a result of different obligations that have most times prompted her travels around the region and globally.

“I want to make it clear so nobody can carry it wrong. You heard Hon. [Morias] Willie say that Sen. [Alphonson] Gaye is in the United States. That my senator, that my partisan, we’re not fussing. That why he not here, he’s in the United States”, she said Friday, 14 April at the dedication of the Grand Gedeh County Service Center.

Mrs. Sirleaf has also cited the strong rains experienced last year as another factor that caused difficulties in getting the things needed to promote development, but suggested that traveling through the road to the county is not an impediment for her.

After settling a longstanding boundary dispute between Grand Gedeh and River Gee Counties through the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Cater Center roughly three weeks back, Mrs. Sirleaf on Saturday, 15 April gave certificates to the superintendents of the two counties, specifying their border lines.

Her visit to Grand Gedeh and River Gee Counties is the fourth leg of her farewell tour to the 15 counties, which coincides with a peace message to the two counties that have differed on a boundary issue for years.

She thanked everyone for their contributions to the peace and stability of the country and promoting development. Mrs. Sirleaf says if the citizens had not done their part …, “today we will not be proud to stand here like [Sen.] ComanyWesseh says ... April 14 has now transgressed from a day of destruction and confusion to a day of peace and friendship”.

At some events, Mrs. Sirleaf was gowned by young people and market women for empowering them and ruling the country peacefully. On the request of Grand Gedeh citizens and county leaders for Mrs. Sirleaf to grant another executive clemency for the remaining convicted Grand Gedeans held for mercenary activities committed in neighboring Ivory Coast, she says she will consult with the county legislative caucus and the superintendent to see how that can be handled.

While interacting with citizens in Zwedru, Mrs. Sirleaf turned on the water system in the city on Saturday, 14 April, cut ribbon to the Grand Gedeh County Service Center, a market center and a recreation center in the city square.

Mrs. Sirleaf further broke grounds at Combat Gate for the construction of a 130 kilometers road connecting River Gee and Sinoe Counties. The estimated US$1.3m project funded from tax credit with Euro Logging Company Liberia, which operates in the region, is expected to run for 18 months.

The Liberia Electricity Corporation or LEC says the president would turn on power before departing the county. Afterwards, the president held multiple town hall meetings with citizens and cut ribbons to several other projects, including the Putu Central High School, market structures and local administrative office areas, among others.
She also visited and interacted with students and administrators at the Midwifery Training Program in Grand Gedeh County.

Mrs. Sirleaf thanked all the leaders of Grand Gedeh for the development that she sees in the county, saying some of it has to with business places which create jobs for the people, enable the city to have more vibrancy and make the economy stronger.

Mrs. Sirleaf says what she sees in Zwedru tells her that Zwedru City is cleaner than Monrovia, and thanked Sup. Peter Solo and the city mayor for the work done.

She urged others to go back to their counties to undertake similar development projects, having noted that her administration will not be able to finish all the construction but has already put in place the procedure and the financing so that the next administration will be able to build upon them.

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

Fighting counterfeit drugs or mere lip service?

House Speaker James Emmanuel Nuquay recently decried high level of fake medicines importation within the sub-region, including Liberia, saying it is unacceptable and intolerable.


He raised the concern last week in Monrovia during the just-ended conference of ECOWAS parliamentary committees on health and social services, trade, customs and free movement to discuss policy on combating counterfeit and expired medical products that have become a silent killer in member countries.

The fact is, sub-standard or fake drugs have taken over the market in Liberia, and these products are being sold in the public glare, causing more harm than good to vulnerable citizens and residents.

The Liberia Pharmaceutical Board and the Dentist and Medical Board, among other regulatory bodies here seem to be toothless bulldogs and clawless eagles that merely bark, but can’t bite or fly but cannot come down to grab a squirrel.

In other words, by the inaction or seeming lack of will of regulatory bodies, these harmfully fake drugs are becoming a booming trade in the subregion, transported or smuggled thru porous borders.

During the opening session of the regional conference, Speaker Nuquay pointed out that Nigeria accounts for 60 percent of the value of illicit medicines in the sub-region, followed by Guinea, 60 percent; Ivory Coast, 30 percent; Sierra Leone, 30 percent, and Liberia, 15 percent, respectively.
Health authorities in the country are suggesting that the number could increase to as high as 60 percent, if nothing were done to curb the proliferation of counterfeit drugs across countries of the subregion.

According to Speaker Nuquay, at least 250 deaths and 340 cases of chronic illnesses occur each year as a result of counterfeit medicines and illegal drugs in West Africa, noting that unscrupulous individuals and businesses take advantage of porous borders, security fragility and weakness of regulatory mechanisms to ply their trade.
We believe agencies that are responsible to enforce regulation are turning blind eyes either because they might be profiting from the trade or lack the capacity to enforce laws on the book, which is sad for an already impoverished and illiterate population such as ours in Liberia.

Nuquay called on member countries to send a clear and strong message that ECOWAS does not condone these kinds of unwholesome practices by naming and shaming those who take unrestrained pleasure in bringing illegal medical products to countries, their collaborators and government officials, who negate or renege on their duties and responsibilities in ensuring full compliance with the relevant laws and policies on counterfeit medicines and expired products.

As the Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, MoustaphaCisse Lo said, the matter is a global phenomenon that has to be attacked at the source by deploying important financial and human means and establishing adequate legal arsenal in order to sanction all those involved in the manufacturing process, importation and sale of counterfeit medicines. This is where we think Liberian authorities should take heed and begin to apply laws on the book by being very rigid on the sale of fake drugs to the public to save innocent lives.

Liberty Party damned

A former official of the opposition Liberty Party or LP, who is currently a registered member of the Alternative National Congress or ANC says the LP lacks developmental mind, has no good character to gain voters’ trust and means no business for the Liberian people.


Mr. Morris K. Togbah, former chairman of the LP from Lofa County made the claims over the weekend in Bong Mines, Bong County after town hall meetings with ex-ambassador Jeremiah C. Sulunteh of the ANC.

Mr. Togbah, who is aspiring for a representative seat in Bong County Electoral District #7, explains: I have been member of the Liberty Party. In Lofa County, I served as County Chairman of the Liberty Party and then this 2017 election; I decided having sober reflection, sober reflection to see who really means business for the Liberian people, who got that very good character that the Liberian people can trust, who got that developmental mind to rescue our people from this kind of deeper pit of poverty; it is from this background after reflecting and doing lots of consultation, I am now a registered member of the Alternative National Congress, the ANC”.

According to him, the LP lacks dream and the reality of today’s politics cannot be shouldered by the party, adding that he saw figures then that he could work with but they have now left the party, naming ex-senator Franklin Siakor as one of them.

Mr. Siakor was vice standard to Liberty Party standard bearer Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine during the 2011 elections.  The former LP county chair said political party is not just about the name, but people who can be trusted, adding that besides the counts mentioned against the LP, the party does not also appreciate people, disclosing that despite all of the works he did for the LP, his efforts were not recognized.

He further explains that while in the Liberty Party, he did not see the party’s platform being implemented and saw no spirit of cohesion and recognition of partisans’ efforts.
Togba claims he investigated key players in the party without calling names, but noticed that they are just up for rhetoric. On the other hand, he described the ANC as the best political party in Liberia for now because it has big dream for the Liberian people.

By Ramsey N. Singbeh, Jr. in Margibi-Editing by Jonathan Browne

 

PYJ condemns ritualistic killings

Nimba County Senator Prince Y. Johnson, has strongly condemned ritualistic killings in Liberia, particularly Maryland County, southeastern region. Senator Johnson said it is ungodly for people to take the lives of others for ritual purposes.


Addressing cross section of Marylanders in New Kru town, Harper City during a recent tour of the southeastern region, Senator PYJ, standard bearer of the newly formed Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MDR) said, there is a need for government to ensure free movement of citizens without fear of being killed by ‘heart men’ or men who kill people and extract their body parts to be used for ritualistic purposes.

Maryland County has a history of such practices dating back to many decades, but became very prevalent between the 60s and 70s. Senator Johnson, a former rebel general, called on the Ministry of Justice to probe such killings to alleviate fear among citizens in the county, especially during electioneering period when the act is frequent.

He is suggesting a need to reintroduce death penalty to serve as deterrence for would-be perpetrators, and warns that if nothing were done to curb the practice, it has the propensity to scare away investors.

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

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