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Rep. Cole claims glory for VP Taylor’s project?

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Reports reaching this paper suggest that Bong County Representative Marvin Cole may be taking undue glory for a library project in the county which is reported to actually belong to Vice President Jewel Howard – Taylor. In recent time Representative Cole made several public comments, claiming that he owns the library project, and not Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor.

But an investigation conducted by our correspondent, it is unearthed that in 2019, Vice President Taylor made a special appeal to the Bong County Legislative Caucus and the local county administration seeking financial support for the construction of a public library in Bong County, which will be replicated in other counties.

After a series of consultations, our investigation gathers that an amount of US$75,000 was later allotted for the project during the county council sitting. But Representative Cole has been demanding the county administration to give him the money for the library on grounds that the vice president has allegedly mandated him to proceed with the project.

But a communication from the Office of the Vice President to the Project Management Committee (PMC) Chair of Bong County Stephen Mulbah dated 18 August 2020 clearly indicates that the vice president has at no time authorized Rep. Cole to proceed with the library project in Bong.

Copies of the communication which were also sent to Superintendent Esther Walker and the Bong Legislative Caucus asked the PMC to put hold on all processes leading to the library project until Vice President Taylor returns to the country.VP Howard-Taylor is currently seeking medication in Ghana after being tested positive for coronavirus.

Our correspondent further gathers that after several failed attempts by Rep. Cole to arm-twist the county administration to release the US$75,000 to him, the lawmaker has complained Bong County Superintendent Esther Walker to the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs Nathaniel McGill to compel her and the PMC to release the money to Rep. Cole.

Our source furthers that after some conversations with Superintendent Walker, Minister McGill allegedly instructed that the funds allocated for the vice president’s library project in Bong be given to Rep. Cole with immediate effect.

But reports reaching this paper indicate that Bong County Project Management Committee Chairman Stephen Mulbah has refused to sign the cheque to release the money to Rep. Cole because such an act is a violation of the Budget Law.

Mr. Mulbah has not spoken to the media on the issue but Bong County Superintendent Esther Walker has told newsmen that she doesn’t have the energy to speak to the issue.

Several Bong County citizens have also termed Representative Cole’s action as dubious and they are calling on the county administration and the legislative caucus not to release the money to him.

The citizens say since the allocation was made to help the vice president in constructing a public library for the county, the county administration should ensure all the rightful procedures are followed and that the amount be disbursed to a creditable contractor to do the project.

They urge Minister Nathaniel McGill to respect the laws governing the usage of the County Development Funds and should desist from acts that would undermine transparency and accountability.

By Joseph Titus Yekeryan in Bong County–Edited by Winston W. Parley

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