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Gibraltar: A rebirth of the Tuzon scenario?

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President George Manneh Weah is dangerously treading a path that could eventually become politically divisive for him like one of his predecessors had suffered.

No one knows whether he has enough space in his stomach to swallow all, but President Weah’s recent pronouncement to re-roof all houses or homes in Gibraltar community, inside Clara Town is surely going to open a can of worms that he would have to deal with.

The Executive Mansion in Moinrovia describes Gibraltar as a neighborhood adjoining Clara Town on Bushrod Island and a historic community, because President Weah lived there as a youth and began his electrifying football career that spanned over several years from the densely congested slum community.

But the neighborhood is within a bigger slum community, which is Clara Town that should equally enjoy the blessing of hosting and nurturing a son that would eventually become Liberia’s 24th democratically elected President.

However, as it seems, only a portion of Clara Town, in this case Gibraltar, stands to benefit the President’s re-roofing plan for the impeding rainy season, while residents of the rest of Clara Town would have to enduare leaking roofs, floods and other unbearable conditions that are uaully associated with this period.

One of President George Weah’s predecessors, slain President Samuel Kanyon Doe went this same route before in the mid 80s when he took development to half of his native, Tuzon in Grand Gedeh County and left the other half of the town out.

Interestingly, the government-run newspaper at the Ministry of Information in Monrovia, New LIBERIA, reported the next day with appropriate photographs on its frontpage under the caption: “2 Faces of Tuzon”, highlighting the development by President Doe in one neighborhood of the town, while the other side of Tuzon was abandoned even up to now.

Regrettably, the editor for the New LIBERIA at the time, the late Tom Kamara, was immediately fired for the publication, which in all sincerity, only reminded President Doe of what he has done thru his selfish action that divided an entire town and a group of people who once lived together and loved one another.

That single mistake by slain President Doe brought a big wedge between the once loving people of Tuzon and inflated a deep wound in that town that did not heal up to the Liberian Civil War that began on December 24, 1989.

We don’t want a repeat of such divisive leadership style by current President George Manneh Weah. We think that re-roofing one community in Clara Town and leaving other communities out is counter-productive to the President’s much heralded Pro-Poor Agenda. And the President should rethink his pronouncement by extending the exercise to the entire Clara Town as part of his government’s 100-Day Deliverables or he should embark on a different development strategy for the people there.

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