Grand Gedeh County Superintendent Peter Solo says there is considerable calm along the Liberian – Ivorian border, thanking President Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf for the deployment and patrol of vigilant joint – security operatives including the Armed Forces of Liberia or AFL and armed police.
During a dinner at Zwedru City Hall following President Sirleaf’s arrival on the fourth leg of her farewell tour in the southeast, Sup. Solo recalled that the greatest security challenge in the post conflict country has been to keep Ivoirians and illegal migrants “from our farmlands” in Grand Gedeh County.
But a day after the dinner on Saturday, 15 April, President Sirleaf urged authorities of Grand Gedeh and River Gee Counties including Legislative Caucuses, superintendents, chiefs and elders to continue dialoguing on matters concerning internal security, having reflected on the boundary issue that had just been settled.
After cutting ribbon on the same day to a signboard erected on the boundary between River Gee and Grand Gedeh Counties, Mrs. Sirleaf expressed satisfaction over citizens’ agreement to see the conflict settled and reunite.
President Sirleaf says during her visit in Grand Gedeh, she had the opportunity to assess development projects, some of which are undertaken by government, while others supported through the county’s legislative caucus.
Before returning from the southeast on Monday morning, 17 April, Mrs. Sirleaf held town hall meeting with citizens of River Gee County in the commercial city of Karnweaken where she had spent Saturday night.
She has commended the county authorities and the local government for the level of development, and particularly noted that the level of progress in the county showed that the Legislature and the Executive had the same mind in terms of development.
Locals have praised and gowned the president at some events for leading the country peacefully for over 11 years and taking up time to appreciate them while approaching the end of her second and final term.
River Gee County Sup. Mr. Phillip Nyenuh says by signing the resolution to the settlement of the boundary issue, the people of River Gee and Grand Gedeh Counties are saying no more will they fuss on boundary matter.
Carter Center Chief of Party Mr. Pewee Flomoku pledged his organization’s readiness to always work with locals to settle conflict. Earlier reporting to President Sirleaf on state of Grand Gedeh County, Sup. Peter Solo touched on security, health, infrastructure, education and other key areas of development that are being undertaking by government.
Sup. Solo had reported that Ivoirians and illegal migrants have carried out illegal planting of crops on farmlands in Grand Gedeh, despite joint security patrols. Though he says there is considerable calm in the county, Sup. Solo maintains that illegal migrants “are still” occupying farmlands in Grand Gedeh.
He says Grand Gedeans are pleading with President Sirleaf to find an amicable solution to the security issue. On other development matters, Sup. Peter Solo has assured President Sirleaf that all government projects in seven of the county’s eight districts are intact and will be concluded within the 150 days’ timetable leading to the expiry of the administration.
He has given President Sirleaf credit for ensuring that services provided for citizens in Monrovia are also being provided for those in Grand Gedeh County through the opening of a County Service Center there. He says Grand Gedeh is currently constructing a modern community college, following President Sirleaf’s authorization a couple of years ago.
In a detailed statistical report, he says the county has a population of over 150,000, with 50 percent of the population residing in the county capital Zwedru.
Mr. Solo says Grand Gedeh has 114 public schools competing against 60private schools, adding that over 23,000 students are enrolled in public schools, compared to over 15,000 students that are enrolled in private schools. He says the county has one referral hospital, two health centers, 21clinics, 24 health facilities and over 570 health workers.
By Winston W. Parley-Edited by Othello B. Garblah