We’re not sleeping
President Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf has told citizens in Bong County that her government is not sleeping in terms of doing more work before she turns over the garble of authority to whoever her successor may be after the October presidential election.
“You heard what the elder said. He said we got how many more months? Four months, five months, so we’re not sleeping oh. Those four months and those five months, we’ll do some more things…” Mrs. Sirleaf said Wednesday, 21 June in Belefanai, Zota District during continuation of a nation – wide farewell tour.
In the farewell tour, the president has maintained a message of appreciation to all citizens in counties where she has visited for Liberians’ contribution to the more than 13 years of uninterrupted peace through their exercise of patience, support to government, as they go about their normal activities.
“Our time not finish yet oh, small there yet. And the small one that’s there we can still do plenty. And so we tell everybody don’t go to sleep. We still got that last mile. We still got another school to build, another road to build, another clinic to build, another job to create”, Mrs. Sirleaf said during town hall meetings at Belefanai, Palala and Manwainsue.
She told locals that she would ensure that works on Belefanai Road in Zota District is done before handling the garble of authority over to her successor.Mrs. Sirleaf recalls that in 1955 and before 1955 when government wanted to do projects in the counties, they would sit in Monrovia and decide that they would build one hospital here or build one school there.
But in 2006 after being inaugurated first female president here, Mrs. Sirleaf says her government changed the style of governance by introducing the County Development Fund which allows the people to have their own funds and decide the projects they want.
Besides the County Development Fund, she says, today there are also Legislative Projects which she notes have added to the developments that come from the center.
To sustain development in the country, Mrs. Sirleaf says peace is the number one ingredient that Liberia needs, and it is what the country has had now for more than 13 years without any break.
“So that peace we leave in everybody’s hands to make sure that you keep it because with that the development you see today will be even more tomorrow, because the next person who will come will have to take it from where I leave it and they have to carry it forward”, she notes in simple English tune.
Specifically addressing the people of Bong County in central Liberia, Mrs. Sirleaf says people look to them because of their numbers and to also follow their example.
She suggests that what happens in Bong County will be very important for the country because the county sits right in the center of Liberia and those going to other places like Lofa and Nimba would pass through Bong.
She expressed appreciation for the level of farming activities taking place in Bong, having made stops along the way, interacting with marketeers and buying goods brought fresh from farms.
She says what really comes to her heart during the farewell tour in Bong County is the women who are now heading local government positions, unlike before when women were scarcely seen in the corners at town hall meetings.
“When I went to Zota, all the main people were women”, she says and also acknowledged that “the men are now liberalized”, meaning the men have seen why they and the women must work together to move the country forward.
She says Zota District scores a point in terms of women in leadership because they have gone way ahead by having women superintendents, commissioners, mayors and chiefs.
“And that each one must be able to take that role in accordance with their energy, and their industry and their commitment. If they can do it, let them move ahead. And that’s what you’ve done in Gbah, that’s what you’ve done in Zota today. You allowed the women”, she says.
Earlier at the town hall meeting in Belefanai, Bong County Superintendent Selena Polson Mappy made a comprehensive report of projects undertaken during Mrs. Sirleaf’s administration through a power point presentation.Madam Mappy’s presentation touched on several projects that have been completed and dedicated during the tour; the projects she named includes others that were already dedicated previously as well those under construction.
They include commissioners’ residences, administrative buildings, high schools, community clinics, town halls, women’s multipurpose centers, the controversial Bong County Technical College, bridges, roads and resource centers. The projects are found in different places including Botota, Gbecohn, Quoipa, Nya Koi Bee, Mano Wainasue, Lelekpayea, Gbarnsu, Gbarnga, and Joquelleh District, among others.
Reps. Prince Moye, and Tokpa Mulbah have both expressed gratitude to the president for the level of development, while citizens also expressed appreciation for the harmonious working relationship and asked Mrs. Sirleaf to remember them even when she leaves power.
By Winston W. Parley-Edited by Othello B. Garblah