President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has reportedly cancelled celebrations for the 169th Independence of Liberia following consultation with the legislative caucuses of Grand Gedeh, Maryland and River Gee Counties –officially announced to have jointly hosted this year’s Independence Day celebration in southeast Liberia.
Speaking to the Legislative Press Pool at the Capitol Building in Monrovia on Friday, Maryland County Senator Gblee-bo Brown, said the President’s decision is predicated on prevailing economic situation facing the country.
Senator Brown said another factor responsible for the cancellation is the bad road connections between those selected counties and Monrovia. According to him, President Johnson Sirleaf said budgetary constraints being faced by the government this fiscal year is seriously affecting every project planned by her administration.
He then expressed disappointment about the change of plan on grounds that many of the projects earmarked by the administration of the county may not be completed due to the cancellation. The Senator however prays that the local authorities in close contact with the legislative caucus should consider completing some of those projects already earmarked for the Independence celebration.
It has been a policy of the Unity Party-led administration to rotate the Independence Day celebration across the country as a strategy to take development directly to the people. In the wake of global economic challenges, including falling steel and oil prices, Liberia is being highly hit as major companies here are involved in massive layoffs and closure.
The steel company, Arcelor Mittal sacked 167 employees last week as first batch of a total of 400 employees to go while the Putu Iron Ore Mining Company in Grand Gedeh County has reportedly shutdown and left.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Edited by Jonathan Browne