The Minister of National Defense, Brownie J. Samukai, on New Year’s Day promised to pay this year’s West African Examination Council (WAEC) fees for 31 senior high school students in Twah River District, Nimba County Electoral District #4.
Although the amount he pledged was not disclosed, the Minister advised the district’s school administrators to work in collaboration with his office in Monrovia to speedily submit the students’ names and the amount required for their WAEC fees.
During the event where Samukai pledged WAEC fees, he also presented packages of assorted gift items to more than 1,500 school-going children in Garplay and Behplay towns respectively.
The Minister further transported all 18 of Twah River District’s pre-service teachers pursuing training at Zorzor Rural Teacher Training Institute (ZRTTI) in Lofa County, who had been grounded in Garplay, the district’s headquarters, due to financial problems. The Minister furthermore provided an initial undisclosed ‘seed corn’ funding for the construction of a playground for children in Garplay.
In a related development, Minister Samukai called on residents of the district to return to agricultural activities as a means of restoring their economic dignity.
“I recalled that Karnplay was famous for its boom in trade through the production of cash crops such as cocoa and coffee as well as rice through which our parents worked hard and raised their standards of living,” Samukai told a packed crowd at the occasion.
The Minister observed that through agricultural activities, whether it involves animal husbandry, fishery, vegetable production or tree crop farming, “there is always dividend to be reaped from tilling the soil.”
Minister Samukai therefore charged the hundreds of residents who converged in Garplay to enter the New Year with renewed vigor, realizing that the soil is capable of providing the needed funding to support their children in schools and “ensuring that we have surplus food to help the country break away from perpetual imports of the country’s staple diet.”
He spoke on New Year’s Day in Garplay, Nimba County, where he celebrated the festivities, on the invitation of citizens of the Twah River Administrative District through their Statutory Superintendent, Daniel Bartuah Bartuah. The occasion, which was attended by Nimba County Electoral
District #5 Representative, Samuel G. Kogar, and a proxy from the office of the county’s Electoral District #4 Representative, Garrison Yealue, was characterized by traditional dances interspersed with songs from a public address (PA) system.
During an indoor sitting earlier, the elders and chiefs expressed gratitude through Minister Samukai to the Unity Party (UP)-led government for the enabling environment that ushered the celebration of the festive season void of external and or internal security threats. The chairman of the council of chiefs, traditionally welcomed Minister Samukai and entourage with kola nuts and a white hen signifying purity of their intent to have him (Samukai) celebrate with them. They later gowned Minister Samukai for his ‘enviable services’ to the entire Gbeleh Geh District.
Through the chairman of the council of chiefs, reflecting the collective petition of over 70 thousand residents of Twah River Administrative District, the residents appealed to Minister Samukai to ensure that a Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) Company installs a tower in their district so as to ease the cellular communication problem being faced by them. In response, Minister Samukai made it clear that he was not the final arbiter in such matters but promised to do all in his reach to take the communication problem to a higher level for prompt action.
Meanwhile, Minister Samukai, while in route to Garplay, distributed New Year’s gifts to over 500 children in Lolea Town, where Unity Party’s Chief Scribe, Wilmot Paye met him upon his arrival.