By Lincoln G. Peters
Presidential hopeful Mr. Simeon Freeman over the weekend locked down and demonstrated numerical strength in his hometown, Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.
Tens of thousands of women and youths embraced the Movement for Progressive Change (MPC) standard bearer when he visited the city on Saturday, 29 July 2023.
His visit was in appreciation of the people and to launch a five-million Liberian dollars women empowerment loan for marketers.
The opposition politician launched the loan to beef up the capacity of struggling business women and single mothers in the county.
Ninety-eight registered susu clubs were given the five million Liberian dollars women empowerment loan for onward distribution to their members for six months without interest.
After the six months, the money will be given to other members for investment and productivity.
Mr. Freeman and his entourage were escorted by jubilant women groups on the principal streets of Buchanan and taken to the fairground for the indoor program.
During the parade, the locals sang in the Bassa vernacular a series of songs.
Some of their songs interpreted suggested that “Simeon Freeman will beat them [his opponents] and shame will catch them.”
“Take it, Freeman, take it. For one Freeman business, the whole country worries. Freeman is talk and do. He’s our son and it’s he we want,” they continued.
Addressing his supporters in the Bassa dialect, Mr. Freeman expressed excitement and happiness over the huge turnout.
He stated that he is concerned about the plight of women in Liberia, especially single and struggling business women.
According to Mr. Freeman, he went to give back to his county through loans because he envisioned a government of inclusive contribution where all Liberians will be able to independently provide for themselves.
“I appreciate you being here today and the love and commitment shown [to] me. We are here to launch our five Million Liberian dollars Women Empowerment Loan,” said Mr. Freeman.
“This is intended to help my mothers, sisters and struggling single parents. Today, you will receive three million of the five and the last two will be given to you.”
Mr. Freeman said his vision is to run a government where all can contribute instead of few just enjoying.
The MPC standard bearer disclosed that it’s frustrating that Liberia, after 176 years of independence, is still importing rice and several other agricultural commodities from other countries.
Mr. Freeman believes that if the country prioritizes investment in the agriculture sector, it can be food-sufficient and reduce food insecurity.
He argued that the country has fertilized soil and abundance of land.
“Who says Liberia can’t feed itself? Is there any nightmare that [prevents] us from doing so? The answer from my angle is a big no.”
“We have the land, and we can grow what we eat in this country. My plan is for us to grow what we [eat] in order to stop the importation of goods that we can produce,” Freeman continued.
Speaking on behalf of the women’s group and the various susu clubs, Mrs. Mamie Janjay expressed appreciation and congratulations to Mr. Freeman for the kind gesture.
According to her, women in Grand Bassa County are suffering, especially those that are doing business.
He stated that they are finding life difficult due to the high exchange rate, prices and tariffs.
“We tell you thank you for coming to our rescue. We as business people are suffering and dying,” Janjay said.
“We don’t have means to save because our businesses are gradually breaking down due to the exchange rate,” she complained.
Janjay promised that they will stand with Mr. Freeman and support him because he is their son.
“With the plan and vision you have for Grand Bassa and your county, we will stand with you until you get it,” she concluded.