Economic Hardship, Fears of Ebola Dampen ‘26’ Celebration in Nimba

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1. A group of Christian gather for prayer at one the main intersections in Ganta_web.jpg

Since Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf became President of Liberia, this gone 167th Independence Day celebration has been considered as the poorest in terms of involvement of ordinary citizens in the celebration in Nimba County.

There was no county-level activity held across Nimba County in commemoration of the occasion by the local government in Nimba.

The day began in Ganta with a parade by a group of Christians who later surrounded the main square of Ganta with a powerful prayer against the deadly Ebola virus.

Groups of children turned out at every corner of Ganta for the celebration, but their numbers were not as high as compared to last year’s celebration.

Patronage at night clubs and other entertainment centers, especially during the night hours, was also poor, something many blamed on economic hardship and the fear of Ebola.

Fatu Kehzey, proprietress of F2 Business Center in Ganta, said, ”People are not buying this season as compared to last year. Everybody complaining about hardship in line with the coming opening of school. People are not coming to the club to buy”.

The streets of Ganta are usually jammed packed during such  occasions as July 26, Christmas and New Year Day, and police officers have to be deployed everywhere to maintain law and order. This year, no police presence was observed.

“I think, the poor observance this day is due to the news of Ebola virus,” said Emmanuel Freeman, a radio announcer.

Victoria Var: “Since I started selling this morning I have not received any good customer yet. People are not buying.”

“We give thanks be to God that we have lived to see this day, but things are not easy as compared to years back, because people are not buying.  The street is poor and we don’t really know the actual know the problem, whether money or the Ebola,” said Lovett, a raosted fish seller.

At an Old Timers game between Nimba and Gbarpolu, organized by Senator Armah Jallah, Nimba was defeated 1-0.

Senator Jallah told reporters that the game was an acquaintance game to bring the citizens of Nimba and Gbarpolu together, because Gbarpulu has huge numbers of Nimbaians.  But critics says Senator Jallah is eyeing the presidency come the  2017 general election.

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