Connect with us

Around the Country

Around The Country: Updates From Five Counties – November 12, 2020

Stay informed with happenings in your county, follow LocalVoicesLiberia every week day for the latest update on the Special Senatorial elections, COVID-19 and other important developments.

 


Bomi County: Calm in Tubmanburg After Pre-Election Violence


The incident on Monday sparked fear of more electoral violence as the country prepares for senatorial elections across the country | Photo by: Local Voices Liberia


Calm has returned to the city of Tubmanburg after a riot on Monday evening at the district headquarters of Senjeh District Representative Edwin Melvin Snowe. The incident instilled fear in many people, with series of condemnation coming from several people of the county.

Obediah Varney, the Mayor of the city of Tubmanburg who is a strong supporter of Alex Tyler — a candidate in the pending senatorial election, has been blamed by many for allegedly masterminding the Monday incident that caused many to be injured with seven persons now in critical condition.

The confusion erupted when supporters of Honorable Snowe, also a senatorial candidate, gathered before his office in Tubmanburg to celebrate his arrival to the county, after had attended the Ecowas delocalized meeting out of the country.

Eyewitnesses said stone throwing began when verbal altercation ensued between supporters of Snow and Tyler – two frontrunners in the election. Both sides have accused each other of instigating the violence.

But Jenneh Kamara, an eyewitness, said: “I saw the city mayor Obediah Varney telling Fasu to waste water on Snowe’s supporters so I took the bucket of water from him and slapped his back. Moments later, I saw Obediah taking rock to chunk Snowe people across the road.”

Ma Satta, whose daughter was severely injured aby the incident nd is being treated as the Liberia Government Hospital, described the incident as “very bad”.

Meanwhile, the police have arrested several persons while several injured persons are being treated at the hospital.


Nimba County: Differing Views on Conduct of Constitution Referendum


Superintendent (pictured right ) has openly shown support for the conduct of the Constitution Referendum in December, saying it is “essential to development” | Phot By: Joseph Solo in Sanniquellie, Nimba County


A heated debate ensued between Nimba County Electoral District #2 Rep. Prince O.S Tokpah and the county’s superintendent Nelson Korquoi over the rationale of the Constitutional Referendum with the Superintendent describing the process as “essential to the development of Liberia” while the lawmaker alleges that the election commission has not done much to educate the public about the propositions.

On Monday, the two officials participated in a community media forum on the referendum held in Sanniquellie city by the Liberia Media Development Initiatives with funding from USAID.

Said Rep. Tokpah: “This shows that the NEC is not prepared to conduct the referendum. It is an amendment to the Liberian constitution that we are discussing here, a decision that will have a lasting impact on generations to come. We are therefore insisting that the NEC postpones the National Referendum to 2022, immediately before the 2023 General and Presidential Elections until proper and robust awareness and education be carried on by the NEC”.

The lawmaker also slammed President George M. Weah for campaigning in favor the propositions, adding that the president’s action “neutralizes the purpose of the constitutional amendment”.

But Superintendent Korquoi disagrees: “The three prepositions of the pending referendum are key components that have the potential to foster the development drive of our country. If you give citizenship right to other natural born Liberians from other countries, this will give rise to direct investment opportunities for our country and sustain our ‘already struggling economy’ in generations to come”.

He insinuated that the reduction in the tenure of elected officials would be necessary, adding that “there are other competent Liberians who want to serve their country. Giving certain people long tenure in offices was not helping the country”.

Changing of election day from October in the rainy season to November in the dry season would be necessary considering the road conditions in rural Liberia, he said.

“The voting day in the rainy season has not always been good for us as a people. We have challenges with road connectivity,” he said.

Meanwhile, Representative Tokpah has vowed to campaign against the conduct of the referendum.

“We are part of the government as legislators, but we are not consulted on some of these issues. Therefore, we will not keep quiet but tell our people to vote no to all the prepositions if the NEC fails to listen to us and carry on with the Referendum,” he stressed.


Bong County: Senatorial Candidate Emphasizes Violent-free Election


Nasser, a candidate in the pending election, says “politicians need to inform their supporters about the consequences of electoral violence” | Photo By: Emmanuel Mafelah


A Bong County senatorial candidate, Mohammad A. Nasser, has called on supporters of politicians to be aware that “Bong matters most” as they continue campaigning.

Mr. Nasser said for the county to move forward, “politicians need to inform their supporters about the consequences of electoral violence”.

“Because this election is very much critical, we as contestants need to advice our people to remain peaceful and violent free because Bong County is all that we have,” he told his supporters in Gbarnga.

“My people, let’s be peaceful in this electoral process; election can come and go but we will still be here. On election day come out to vote, whether I win or not. What I want is a peaceful Bong County after December 8.”

Nasser believes that the conduct of a peaceful election will tell the international community and the world that Liberian politicians are matured and that the country and its people are ready to hold together.

He then called on the National Elections Commission (NEC) to be fair, transparent, and impartial, stating that anything short of that will carry the country and its people backward.


Gbarpolu County: CBL, Partners Launch Financial Empowerment Package


Participants pose for a group photo in Bopolu City, Gbarpolu County following the launch of the project | Photo By: Henry B. Gboluma, Jr.


The Technical Assistance and Supervision Unit (TASU) in collaboration with the Central Bank of Liberia have launched a win-win shares mobilization project in the county.

TASU is composed of technicians from the Ministry of Agriculture, Central Bank of Liberia, Ministry of Commence and the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning.

They jointly put the project for rural financial institution across the country, according to the TASU team lead, Madam Olive Cisco.

Providing overview about the Rural Community Finance Project on November 10, in Bopolu City, the TASU field boss said their mission was to empower the MC2 Bank to help its shareholders and customers.

“Under this project, a man that will buy two shares will be offer one share free.” Madam Cisco said, adding that “women, physically challenged people and youth who will buy a share, will also be offered one share free as well”.

She disclosed that the local bank has 106 shareholders. Of this number, there are 16 female shareholders, 78 male shareholders and 12 institutions with share in the MC2 Bank.

While launching the project, the Manager of the MC2 Bank, Mr. Sumolu Kanneh said the project will involve giving loans to people who own shares.

“With the support of the World Bank, we will be offering loan to motorcyclists, farmers and businesspeople who are shareholders in the bank,” he said, while urging people to take advantage of the promotional period.

About 100 residents of Bopolu City, who participated in the event, promised to take advantage of the program to enhance their businesses and source of income.


Grand Gedeh County: Empowering Communities to Prevent COVID-19


50 pieces of the locally made hand washing kiosk will be installed at various locations in the county | Photo By: Ben T.C. Brooks


German NGO, Welthungerhilfe, has begun installing over 50 locally made hand washing stations in the county. Mr. Cornelius Doe, Wash Sector Coordinator of the project, said the installation is part of the NGO’s plan to help save lives.

He said the stations will be installed at local government buildings, market grounds, private and public schools, churches, mosques, parking lot, banks, and other major areas where people usually gather.

He stressed that although the county currently has no new confirmed case of Covid-19, there is still need to take advantage of the public hand washing facilities to prevention another outbreak.

“This is election time also people are coming from all over this county and even outside where some of the cases of the virus are still reported and are coming within our county and we don’t know them, so be careful to always know who you are interacting with,” he said.

“Also, wear your nose mask, observe social distancing, and do frequent hand washing and avoid campaign rallies — all these measures can help save thousand lives.”

 


This content sharing initiative is supported by Internews under the Liberia Media Development program, with funding from USAID-Liberia. However, these contents are gathered and published independently by Local Voices Liberia, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the funder.


 

Local Voices Liberia is a network of dedicated Liberian journalists based in the 15 counties working to lift the development concerns and progress of rural communities.

More in Around the Country