President George Weah has hailed residents of Fendell whose structures were demolished for exercising high level of patience and understanding in the face of the ugly ordeal brought upon them, an Executive Mansion release said.
According to the release, President Weah said he was thrilled by the peaceful deportment of the locals, pledging to work with them to find an amicable solution to the problem.
He made the statement Monday, January 21, 2019 in Fendell, rural Montserrado County at a forum organized by the Liberia Media Development Initiative (LMDI) to bring the Fendell demolition victims in a meeting with the President.
Reportedly, about 3,000 homes were bulldozed and ravaged nearly three years ago on orders of the University of Liberia (UL) authority and government, leaving thousands of locals displaced and in dehumanizing conditions.
Weah emphasized the importance of dialogue in solving problems, stressing, “through dialogue, we find the right solutions, and the best ways out of any complicated situation.”
“I came here to listen; I listened to all of you, and how you feel about the situation,” the President said, adding, “damages were done, and the land is still in dispute. But I am happy that the land is not wasted. If I am not making a mistake, I think the land is being used by the UL.”
He said further, “though you are feeling devastated, you continue to exercise patience. You did not resort to demonstration or violence. And I thank you for that.”
The President promised that his government would consider discussing further on the matter towards making the appropriate decision.
Weah observed, without casting blame on anyone, that mistakes might have been made in the past regarding the Fendell land saga, but that his government would now cease upon the moment to fashion an acceptable solution as in his words, “government is continuity.”
President Weah expressed regrets that homes were demolished over ownership rights between the Fendell locals and the UL, and by extension the government.
Also speaking, according to the release, the Fendell demolition victims extolled President Weah for taking time of his busy schedule to meet with them, and for showing interest in addressing their nightmare.
The Fendell victims likened President Weah to ‘Biblical Moses,” who had come to wipe their tears as Moses did when he delivered the children of Israel from the cruelty of the Pharaohs of Egypt.
The forum organized by LMDI was held in the Fendell Community and attended by Minister of State and Presidential Affairs, Montserrado County District #1 Representative, Lawrence Morris, Montserrado County Superintendent Florence Brandy, and other officials of government.