Opposition Montserrado County Senator Abraham Darius Dillon claims that the coronavirus stimulus package has been used by the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) regime to run a campaign in Montserrado County given the ruling party’s vow to do everything to reclaim the county. Mr. Dillon is seeking re-election in the county against the ruling party’s candidate and sitting Representative Thomas Fallah.
Dillon on Wednesday, 7 October expressed disappointment in the report of the Steering Committee of the Food Distribution Program which was chaired by former Commerce Minister Prof. Wilson K. Tarpeh.
According to Dillon, the reason Montserrado County dominated the report of the distribution is all political, adding that they were using the people’s money to run campaigns.
During the distribution of the stimulus package food, Dillon argues that the steering committee called on a few members of the Legislative Caucus and members of the ruling party, instead of Montserrado County Legislative Caucus.
Appearing before the plenary of the Liberian Senate on Wednesday, 7 October, Prof. Tarpeh who is now transferred as Executive Director of the Environmental Agency (EPA) said the process is still ongoing.
But he notes that it is stalled because of the rainy season and bad road condition in the country which have denied the team the opportunity to reach other counties, except Montserrado.
He says further that the rainy season is about to end and the team will reach out to the other counties including those in the southeast, noting that they are working on their challenges to resume the distribution.
Additionally Pro. Tarpeh notes that he is not happy with the level of performance, noting that the process has been slow. According to him, the World Food Program was contacted by them to aid in the food distribution for which it was given US$9 million.
For his part, Grand Cape Mount County Senator Cllr. Varney Sherman expresses disappointment in the steering committee, saying all of the obstacles that the chairman named were things that they knew they would take.
Smerman notes that the committee is aware that it would rain at a certain time, adding that his county that is not far from Montserrado County did not see a single bag of rice or a gallon of oil. Cllr. Sherman continues that the nearby counties with good roads like Bomi and Grand Bassa didn’t even receive anything, but the distribution was limited to Montserrado County only.
“We gave you US$25 million dollars, the World Bank gave you US$5 million dollars, but our people couldn’t benefit from the food that was meant for everyone in the country. You didn’t treat our people well,” Se. Sherman tells Prof. Tarpeh.
Speaking on the matter, Lofa County Senator Stephen Zargo says he discussed with Prof. Tarpeh the need to empower local farmers so that the money can remain in the country. “We should be empowering our local farmers so the money can remain right here instead of importing everything,” he says.
Grand Kru County Senator Peter Coleman suggests that since the team has used up to US$14 million for the food, the remaining money should be redirected to different sectors of the country. According to him, the time the people the needed the food is now over, saying the money can be used in the health direction.
By Ethel A. Tweh–Edited by Winston W. Parley