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Tension brews in Gbarnga over demolition

Residents of Gbarnga City in Bong County are upset over demolition of several makeshift structures by City Mayor Marvin Cole. The demolition exercise, which started over the weekend, has left many persons homeless and several businesses displaced.

Many of those affected criticize the Gbarnga City Corporation especially, Mayor Marvin Cole, who took office just two months ago. Some of the victims told this paper they were given just three weeks notice, while others said they were absolutely not informed about the exercise, but only saw bulldozer at their houses, breaking down their structures.

Many of the victims threatened to take Mayor Cole to court on grounds that his action is unlawful. According to them, they welcome development in the city, but should have been duly notified and given chance to resettle. One resident whose belongings were with her outside, narrated that she was in the Gbarnga Central Market while her structure was being demolished, and was only informed by neighbors.

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Mayor Cole has promised to move on the main commercial street, Gbarnga Broad Street to carry on more demolition. Some residents, who fear they could become the next victims, have threatened to resist the Mayor and the entire Gbarnga City Corporation, if he attempts to touch their structures.

Prior to his appointment, City Mayor Cole has been a very unpopular man in Bong County for his constant attack and insult on members of the county leadership. Series of allegations were also against him for allegedly exploiting girls, who were benefiting from the Madam Suakoko Land Grant Scholars that he headed while serving in the office of Senator Jewel Howard Taylor. Editing by Jonathan Browne


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