Journalists throughout Liberia will be going to the poll this week-end, to elect new corps of officers that will handle the affairs of the Press union of Liberia, for the next three years. For a week now, the candidates for the various positions have been campaigning, trying to convince the voters. The campaign was a bitter critics-studded one. This is the noise in the market.
In a taxi heading to Duala, I am listening to a radio talk show that is hosting the two presidential candidates. As the debate between the two candidates gets a rise in temperature, the occupants of the taxi get involved.
“Yes, let him say what the outcome of the 100 thousand’s project is. They are the ones always finding “Jiga” in other people’s toes; let them tell us the color of the “Jiga” in their own toes.” A lady, who is sitting in the front seat of taxi, says. “Nonsense, every day, they are the ones, who are putting their months on what does not concern them. They must tell us what is happening.” She added.
“My sister, you are right. First, tell me your name and secondly, what the debate is about? What money are they talking about? Any one, my name is Anthony Ballah.” The man sitting next to me says.
“My name is Grace Blah, and these journalists are talking about one hundred thousand the president gave to journalists in this country to build a decent building that will serve them as headquarter, but until now, they have done nothing, and they have not said where the money is.” Grace says.
“Do you mean that they took the entire money and just decided not to undertake the project? This is criminal.” Anthony Ballah asks. “No, it is not that way my brother.” Grace says, “Let me explain this thing to you in detail. The money was made available by the president when George Barpeen was there as president. He made sure the President herself, deposit the money in an account. The money was then transferred to the company that won the bid. The man had started building the structure, when new elections were held and George Barpeen decided not to run. The new guy, who won the elections, Peter Quaqua, decided to halt the project. He has been there for two years now without saying anything. Now that elections are in the corner, he is talking rubbish on the air.”
“Don’t you think that this Peter boy did this because he did not want for the credit of building the headquarters to go to George Barpeen? I don’t see any good reason why he will stop such a good project that will benefit the entire body of journalists in this country.” Anthony says.
“My brother, you are a very smart man. Not only he does not want the credit to be given to his predecessor, but also he is selfish, himself, to have blocked a project that was benefiting all of his colleagues. What annoys me in this thing is that he thinks other people have mud in place of their brain when he says that his predecessor was trying to indebt the PUL of 750 thousand. The President of this country says she will make sure the structure is built, and you little rot are making noise about debt. Nonsense, it is.”
At that juncture, I decided to get down. I went in the market of Duala to see a girl friend who sells DK. I met the same debate there. “Look Siatta, they have one group there called LMC, that the real criminals there. Millions of dollars that the white people gave the journalists here, they are eating it. They have formed a small group of people who are enjoying that money that is being sent for all journalists in this country.” Aminata Kamara, market seller, says.