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Around The Country: Updates From Five Counties – December 1, 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.


Gbarpolu County: Four Candidates Attend First Senatorial Debate


Four out of nine senatorial candidates attended the townhall debate funded by USAID | Photo By: Henry B. Gboluma, Jr.


The Center for Media Studies and Peacebuilding with support from USAID and Internews in Liberia, on November 28, 2020 hosted the first senatorial debate in the Bopolu City Hall with four out of nine candidates in attendance.

The Collaborating Political Parties candidate, Sam Kamara Zinnah, former county superintendent Allen M. Gbowee of the Movement for Progressive Change, Liberia Transformation Party’s J. Kerkula Benda, Sr. and Paul Koulboi Kennedy of the Liberian National Union  outlined their respective plans for the county if elected to the Senate.

The candidates also addressed concerns about the pending referendum, the ailing economy, gender-based violence with emphasis on rape, the use of the county and social development funds, amongst other trending issues.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic , the event was witnessed by a little over hundred people including superintendent J. Keyah Saah and the National Elections Commission Magistrate Enerst McCay.


Bong County: Final Senatorial Debate Sees Six Candidates Pitch Platforms 


The major frontrunners including incumbent Senator Yallah (first from right) attended the debate in Gbarnga on Sunday | Photo By: Emmanuel Mafelah


The Liberia Media Development (LMD) program and partner Liberia Media for Democratic Initiatives (LMDI) with support from USAID through Internews Liberia on November 29 held its final senatorial debate in Gbarnga.

Six of the eight candidates attended the debate. Dorothy K. Toomann, Independent candidate, Dr. Mogana Flomo, Independent candidate, incumbent Senator Henry W. Yallah of the Coalition for Democratic Change, Mohammed Kermue Nasser, Independent Candidate, Prince K. Moye of the Collaborating Political Parties and Menepakai Domue, Independent Candidate were present to outline their respective plans for the people of Bong County.

Two independent candidates, Adam Bill Conneh and Cllr. Benedict Sagbeh were absent due to individual excuses.

Addressing the audience during the well-attended debate, Dr. Mogana Flomo and Mr Nasser stated that their priorities are “tackling mass hunger, mass poverty, poor health care, the weak education system, and the huge unemployment rate of youth”, amongst others.

The only female candidate, Madam Toomann promised to unite the county legislative caucus, lead a team to reconcile the caucus and be the voice of women in the Liberian senate when she is elected.

For the CPP candidate, Prince K. Moye, who described himself as the single best choice for the senatorial seat”, stressed that “reconciliation, holistic developments, Agriculture, women and youth empowerment” will be high on his agenda when he is elected.

For his part, the incumbent Sen. Yallah said he wants to be re-elected to complete the many development projects he started and is aiming for the establishment of a new county, the Bong Range County.

Also speaking were Independent Candidate, Menepakai Domue, who said that he will rally his colleagues at the Liberian senate to get former Liberia President Charles G. Taylor release from a United Kingdom prison, where he is severing 50 year sentence for war crimes in Sierra Leone.


Grand Gedeh County: Religious Group Cautions against ‘Tearing Down’ of Political Posters


Rev. Zulu is afraid that the tearing down of candidates poster is a recipe for election violence | Photo By: Ben T.C Brooks


The County Christian Council has called for peace and unity among senatorial candidates while carrying out their respective political campaigns in the county.

The group, through its president, said while candidates might be contesting on different political views, “only Grand Gedeh County is the common denominator”.

Speaking on a local radio in the county at the weekend, the Council’s president, Rev. T. Jelleh Winner Zulu warned against the tearing down of candidate’s fliers and banners that are posted on buildings the along major streets of Zwedru and communities, something he said is a recipe for electoral violence.

Rev. Zulu cautioned people in such habit to desist in order to avoid “uncontrollable tension”, while also urging politicians to avoid making hate speech and insults against opponents.


Bomi County: Former Footballers Lead Violence-Free Election Campaign


Former footballer Jonathan Arma Baxter holds a banner carrying a message about violent-free election in Tubmanburg | Photo By: Tarweh Surkula / Radio Bomi


As the saying goes that sport crosses all boundaries and serves as a condiut for bringing people together from all backgrounds, some former footballers have started a violence-free election campaign in Bomi County.

The former players started encouraging citizens to “say no to election violence” during a parade that was had throughout the major streets of Tubmanburg City. The campaign begun on early Monday, November 30.

The campaign lead, Jonathan Arma Baxter, said: “We are doing this as an early warming. Reminding everyone that violence before, during and after this midterm senatorial election and referendum is not good.”

Added another former footballer of the county, John Fayiah: “We are just playing our parts making sure that we can sustained peace.”


Maryland County: Tubman University Graduates 264 Persons in Various Disciplines


264 Persons graduated with various degrees during the seventh graduation convocation of the Tubman University in Harper City| Photo By: Moses Geply


Tubman University has graduated 264 persons in various field of studies during its seventh graduation and convocation ceremony held in Harper City on November 28.  The event was postponed from May 31 to November 28 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The graduates were conferred bachelor’s degrees in Nursing (37 persons), Public Health (25 persons), Early Child Hood Development (8), Secondary Education (29), Agriculture and food science (6), General Agriculture (45), and civil engineer (16).

Among others are Banking and Finance (4), Business Administration (10), Public Administration (8), Economics (2) Electrical Engineering (4), Computer Science (6), Biology (12), Environmental Science

“It means a lot that we were able to do it and reach this far in our educational journal,” said Student Meshach Sieh Elliot as he stood with his family at the jam parked G-Stand on the TU campus, where graduation ceremony was being held.

“It feels amazing to have achieved this credential in my life,” added Ambrose B. Weah, who graduated with magna cum laude. “I just can’t wait to be confirmed as a bachelor’s degree holder”.

Later, the Commencement speaker, Dr. Laurence Komla Bropleh, a Liberian diplomat and educator, applauded the graduates for upholding the “standard of quality education” in the southeastern region of the country.

“Let me tell you especially  the graduates, today as you will be receiving degrees in different disciplines, discovering who you are beyond this ceremony is to begin where you are for the growth and development of Liberia,” said Dr. Bropleh.

Meanwhile, Dr. Elliot Wleh Wilson, President of the Tubman University, disclosed that the university is facing serious constraints including the concern about the harmonization of staff salaries.

Despite the challenges, Dr. Wilson said his administration begun a farm as a to means of sourcing support for the University.


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.

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