-As Weah expresses dismay
Fish Town, River Gee County-The southeastern Liberian county, River Gee has erupted into a political fury as President George Weah, who is currently on a nationwide tour in the area expressed dismay over the level of underdevelopment in the county.
Mr. Weah did not hold back his frustration during a Town Hall meeting in Fish Town, the administrative city of River Gee on Monday when he revealed to local officials and citizens that he nearly ran out of a mare palaver hut called Presidential Palace meant for his accommodation.
“I nearly ran out of that place. How can you refer to that structure as a Presidential Palace? It is a shame and disrespect to the office of the President,” Weah roared.
“Why if I were to invite some of my friends to come along with me? Do you think they were going to take us seriously?” the President went on. He immediately directed that the structure be broken down to give way for the construction of a modern one.
“Break down that thing! Break down that thing! I am emphasizing it because I mean it. When I come back to this county, I don’t want to see it,” he stressed.
The particular structure in question was constructed during the administration of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
Like many of the counties in the southeastern part of Liberia, River Gee is one of the least developed and backward counties.
It probably shares similar status with Rive Cess, also in the South East, and Gbarpolu in the North West. But Weah, a native from the southeast, has vowed to change the narrative.
River Gee was created as a county in 2000 alone with Gbarpolu under the regime of exiled former President Charles Taylor. Fish Town, is its administrative capital. The area of the county is measure at 5,113 square kilometers (1,974 sq mi).
According to the 2008 Census, the county has a population of 66,789, making it the third-least populous county in Liberia. It is bordered by Sinoe County to the west, Grand Gedeh County to the north, and Grand Kru and Maryland counties to the south. The eastern part of River Gee borders Ivory Coast along the Cavalla River.
The county with its youthful population lacks basic social services including electricity, running water, internet, and financial institutions for money transfer services.
But as if the poor infrastructure provided for the president was not enough, many of the county’s senior officials decided to boycott the president’s visit-among them were the two Senators-Conmany Wessreh and Weah’s longtime rival, soccer star turned politician Jonathan Boy Charles Sogbie.
Their absence from the county during the President’s visit has generated mixed views from citizens both home and abroad with some supporting their actions while others condemning them.
In a social media post by Sen. Wesseh’s chief of office staff, Anderson Chea, he wrote that the plan to stay away from the president’s visit was triggered by the fact that some partisans of the ruling party were using the various community radio stations in the southeast to preach divisive politics.
He noted that by their actions, the partisans and supporters of the president try to show disrespect to well-meaning sons and daughters and opposition government officials as if it was election time.
But another citizen from the county described the actions of their leaders as a complete insult to the county and its inhabitants.
“The absence of these two senators; Cominay B. Wesseh and Boycharles Sogbie from the president’s visit to our county is/was a big shame, disrespect, disgrace, non-Patriotism shown to our county by them. Our county is beyond opposition or ruling position. We must unite when it comes to the good of the county,” the writer wrote in the River Gee leadership forum on social media.
“Take it or not their attitude was unacceptable and this page recommends that the traditional leaders and elders of RiverGee summon them and fine them with immediate effect!!!” the poster noted. By Othello B. Garblah