Some Students at the Bong County Technical College (BCTC) early Wednesday morning, 14 October, stormed the grounds of the Gbarnga Administration building, the seat of local authorities, calling on Liberia’s President George Manneh Weah to with immediate effect dismiss BCTC president Dr. Roland Massaquoi.
Dr. Massaquoi was appointed by President Weah in 2018 as president of the college, having served as acting president of the college during former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s administration.
The BCTC students chanted slogans during their protest and displayed placards bearing the inscriptions: “Dr. Massaquoi and his surrogates must go.”They accuse Dr. Massaquoi’s administration of doing nothing to improve the college’s facility and its academic morals.
Hezekiah Jorkeah, the Chairman of the aggrieved students says since Dr. Massaquoi took over as president of the college, things have fallen apart, accusing the leadership of alleged corruption.“What did we do to deserve this punishment from President Weah? Why did he give us Dr. Massaquoi as president?” Jorkeah laments.
Mr. Jorkeah says they are not only calling for the dismissal of Dr. Massaquoi, but his entire administration.
He later gave the government a one-week ultimatum to address their concerns. According to him, if the government doesn’t adhere to their concern in the space of one week, they will stage a massive protest in Monrovia.
Bong County Superintendent Esther Yamah Walker accepts the students’ petition and promises to reach it to President Weah. Madam Walker tells the students to remain calm as she plans a meeting with Dr. Massaquoi in finding remedy to the situation.
“I want to say thank you for being peaceful in your protest, but I will engage Dr. Massaquoi and after our board meeting, we will tell you what’s next,” she adds.
The Bong County Technical College was established by the 52nd Legislature with the primary goal of training students in the areas of Computer Engineering, Mining Engineering, Civil Engineering, Agriculture Technology, Education Technology and Nursing. About seven years now since the college’s activities started, it is yet to put up graduates.
By Joseph Titus Yekeryan in Bong–Edited by Winston W. Parley