Pres. Weah Touched By Lofaians’ Reassurance Of Confidence In His Gov’t
FESEBU, June 4 (LINA) – President George Weah, in continuation of his ‘Thank You’ County Tour, arrived in Lofa County on Thursday, greeted by jubilant crowds in Salayea and Zorzor cities before retiring in Fesebu, home to the Zorzor Rural Training Institute on the first night, where he inaugurated solar-powered street lights. The President and entourage continue the journey to other parts of the northern county over the weekend and conclude the visit next Monday. Officials and chiefs and elders traditionally ushered in President Weah from the St. Paul River Bridge bordering Bong and Lofa counties amidst ecstasy from cultural, political, and youth groupings who would be seen dancing and singing at different points.
At the town hall meeting in Salayea, President Weah lauded the people of Lofa County for “welcoming us and making our trip successful. Thank you for the confidence reposed in our team. We planned this trip right after the elections but it was disrupted by COVID-19 which pushed it to today.” Relating their plight to the President, the people of Salayea called on his government to construct an improved health center, the vocational training center for the youth, farm-to-market roads, and decent market buildings to bring social relief to them – requests Mr. Weah said will be addressed in the soonest possible time.
Zorzor has registered its need for electricity, and its businesswomen say they want a modern market. “In three years you can see that you’re on your way to transformation. You said you want a market. Find a land so that we can build a market that represents you; we’ll continue to work for your progress,” the President told the people of Zorzor. Citizens and various social groupings poured gifts on President Weah and his vice president in acknowledgment of the tremendous work their government has accomplished thus far. He assured his people that all their requests are in line with the dictates of the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development national framework, stating further that Monrovia alone is not Liberia; thus, “this is why we will improve rural Liberia. With good roads, agriculture can be better.”
The Executive is contemplating on providing US$2 million to rural women across Liberia to promote agribusiness, a figure the President hopes the Legislature can infuse into the National Budget annually to help reduce poverty among rural dwellers – especially women, who are notably the backbones of families. Also, the President said that Lofa dubbed the “Bread Basket of Liberia,” can seek to access some money from the US$16 million agriculture-support funding that the government has secured from its partners in recent months after the Gbarnga Agriculture Fair which happened on the first leg of the presidential county tour. “We know your history,” he told Lofaians. “You are strong and resilient people. You’re working hard; so, the government needs to support you so that you can do more.”
The President then recounted the ‘good work’ his government has already achieved in the areas of health, education, and infrastructure, unveiling his government’s plan to take “mobile clinics” to smaller towns and villages for people to have access to medical assistance. Lofa County is home to President Weah’s major rival, ex-vice president Joseph Boakai of the former ruling establishment, the Unity Party. It was the only, out of 15 counties, that was won by Mr. Boakai even though Weah’s Coalition for Democratic Change garnered significant votes. But Mr. Weah is certain the narrative in 2017 will be different given his government’s strides to improve the country and the lives of people from all the counties.
Our team strong: “Don’t worry about what people say about Lofa County. I am a son of Lofa. You will know,” he said, announcing that the government will take people from huts into homes by constructing 100 housings at a location that will be collectively designated by the county’s leaders. In the separate ceremonies—in Salayea and Zorzor—the Liberian leader indicated that it was amazing for the people of Lofa to have given him one of their “clever” daughters to serve as his vice president, personifying Madam Jewel Howard Taylor as the “midfielder” who features him, the “striker,” with the ball and he scores the goal. “So she’s working for you,” he added.
The president recalled that in the lead-up to the 2017 ballot, Madam Taylor was the only woman in the midst of several men shortlisted for the role of vice president—and, as a feminist-in-chief, he chose her to be his running mate and now she is the reason to employ and have confidence in more women. “We have more women to employ. It’s important to do so,” he added. The chiefs and elders in Salayea had earlier expressed their satisfaction to see the President and his deputy visiting the county at the same time and same places, implying that the move is indicative of progressive leadership and harmony.