President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has instructed Sinoe County Superintendent Romeo Quaiah and the relevant county authorities to release three imprisoned citizens just before her return to Monrovia on Tuesday, July 28, following Liberia’s 168th Independence Day celebrations in Sinoe and Grand Kru Counties, southeast Liberia.
President Sirleaf granted clemency to convicts Amos Tarpeh and David Tarpeh for arson, as well as Babygirl Togba for assault. The decision by the President after they had serve jail sentences for some time following their conviction by the court.
Other detainees also granted presidential amnesty had already served three years; their cases do not relate to the recent conflict between GVL and other citizens in Sinoe, she said.
President Sirleaf, in a message through Sinoe County Superintendent Romeo Quaih, admonished the convicts to become good and law-abiding citizens as they come out of prison to ensure they do not go against the law anymore.
In another development, President Sirleaf told reporters, following consultation with Malaysian oil palm concession company Golden Veroleum that the company has agreed to rehire employees who were laid-off, while government remained committed to speeding up the right kind of security arrangements to protect the company and citizens at large.
“And so, on the basis of that, GVL has now agreed to our request to start rehiring of people. And the first 50 of those will be reemployed today,” she told reporters at her Greenville Presidential Palace shortly before returning to Monday on Tuesday, July 28.
She made it clear that those being reemployed were those laid-off not because they did something to her knowledge, but the company’s insecurity as expressed by the management. According to her, the process of adding to the number of those being rehired will continue as both the government and GVL work to implement the security arrangements.
She thanked GVL, the local authorities and others who participated in the arrangements.
At the climax of this year’s Independence Day celebrations held in Sinoe and Grand Kru Counties, President Sirleaf announced that Liberia’s 169th Independence Celebration will be co-hosted by Grand Gedeh, River Gee and Maryland Counties in July 2016.
Eleven of Liberia’s fifteen counties have already hosted or co-hosted the nation’s Independence Day celebrations under the current administration in an attempt to reach out to the locals in the counties to enhance development.
She has asked the three counties earmarked projects as a way of preparing early for the hosting of next year’s celebrations on July 26, urging them not to wait until June 2016 before hastily struggling with projects.
She admonished officials of the three counties to emulate the work done by their colleagues in Sinoe and Grand Kru. She praised Sinoe and Grand Kru officials for the construction and dedication of modern hotels and guest houses to host visitors attending the ceremonies in the counties.
River Cees will host the final Independence Day celebrations in July 2017 before President Sirleaf’s term expires, and the Liberian leader hopes the county would transform by the time the Holiday celebration is taken to that county.
On her way from Sinoe, the President dedicated a public school built at the cost of US$40m in Tarjourwon District, Sinoe. The home of the facility is built alongside the administrative quarter, with separate bath rooms for boys and girls.
Liberia’s Education Minister George Werner said the school’s laboratory will be equipped when all is done. According to him, close to US$80 million is needed to built schools across the country to de-congest schools.
– By Winston W. Parley