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‘My purpose not yet complete’

President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf says her drive for development in Belle Yalla, once a government maximum prison for political prisoners inGbarpolu County, Norther Liberia is not yet complete after opening a road there, telling citizens of the county that she wants to make sure that Belle Yalla is “a symbol of moving from difficulty to prosperity; of moving from suppression to freedom.”

“And so my purpose in Belle Yalla I told them is not yet complete; I can’t do it on this trip because it is late and the rains are coming so I may not be able to do it before the rains. But next dry season, Belle Yalla will see me again,” President Sirleaf said on Friday night in Bokomu District, Gbarpolu, 22 April.

The President had traveled to the county to break grounds for some 40km motor road to connect Morlakwelleh Town of Bokomu District to Palakwelleh Town in Guo-Nwolaila District respectively. Madam Sirleaf said what she saw when she opened the road in Belle Yalla – the happiness of the people to see vehicles for the first time is a joy to her heart; but added that it was not just to go to Belle Yalla; rather, she said it was to make sure that area was a symbol of moving from difficulty to prosperity; of moving from suppression to freedom.

Concerning the new road project for Bokomu and Guo-Nwolaila Districts, Mrs. Sirleaf said it was one place where her government wants to get from prison, as she spoke in the context of ensuring that the people there will have access to road to reach to their places.

“So I open it with the best and hope that we can all work together to make sure that this road gets started,” she told Gbarpolu County officials, particularly the lawmakers. The President said she was glad to have returned to Bokomu, as she reflected over her interaction with citizens along the road during her journey to Gbarpolu, saying she saw so many people including uniformed students in the towns that she could not pass by without stopping to say hello.

Having drove through Gboma Hill that stands between Gbopolu City and Bokomu District of Gbarpolu, President Sirleaf described it as a tough hill, and said the Ministry of Public Works will see what can be done on the hill.

Sen. President Pro-Tempore Amah Jallah said, Gbarpolu Caucus has been giving President Sirleaf hard time for the road, adding that he was happy that she has reasoned with them to put road in the district which will bring freedom to the people.

“Madam President, we can just say thank you; God bless you. As I said in the hall, tonight, you’re acting again in the public interest and this really impresses me and we can just say God bless you and thank you. We’re going to stand by you in making sure this project succeeds,” he said.

Earlier during a brief indoor program held in Bokomu, Pro-temp Jallah, who hails from the county, said the roads to Belle Yalla and Waysuah were manifestations of the actions President Sirleaf has taken to secure the interest of the people of Liberia.

Chiefs in Bokomu District also expressed happiness for the road project, saying road is the priority for them. The chiefs recalled that in 2010, President Sirleaf ensured that roads entered Bokomu and Belle Districts, and the “only district that still lies at the bottom isGuo-Nwolaila District.”

“Today, when we see you here to come and break grounds for the Guo-Nwolaila District, we are more than happy. We say welcome Madam President,” they concluded.

By Winston W. Parley-Editing by Jonathan Browne

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