Grand Kru County District #2 Representative Cllr. J Fonati Koffa has blamed the bad roads from Grand Kru to Grand Bassa as one of the causes of the tragic motor accidents which have been claiming lives, including Sunday’s tragedy, in which at least three persons lost their lives. One of the vehicles involved in the accident in Waka Town (Compound #2 Junction), near Buchanan, Grand Bassa County was Rep. Koffa’s.
The vehicle of the Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE) was also involved in the accident. The LACE team was returning from dedicating over 90 of the Presidential Pro-Poor Housing Units constructed by Building Construction Company (BCC) and Mobel. However, the dedication was not attended by Grand Kru County Legislative Caucus owing to misinformation of the differed schedule that caused Senator Peter Coleman to leave the county earlier.
About a month ago, at least two lives were also lost in an accident involving a vehicle belonging to Grand Kru County Senator, Albert Chie. Cllr. Koffa told reporters on Monday on the grounds of the Capitol Building that the potholes which led to road accidents in the Southeastern corridor, perhaps, was as a result of the exhaustion of the driver after long hours of driving that caused him to unintentionally drive off the road.
“I take that road all the time and trust me, by that time you hit the Buchanan pavement, you are so exhausted because your body has been shaking between 12 to 14 hours, and you are so tired. So, the road condition is number one,” Rep. Koffa said.
According to the Grand Kru County lawmaker, however acknowledged “God’s traveling mercy” because their constant travels on the bad roads are inevitable, due to the extensive development projects they are undertaking in their districts and counties respectively. “And the number two reason is that we are at God’s mercy because statistically, Senator Albert Chie and l who are doing extensive development work in Grand Kru are going to send development teams there, and Moses Wesseh that l know is ready to jump from the bed wanting to know what his next mission, is going to be and to go back there,” said Koffa.
He added: “So, we will continue to send teams there, and we will continue to go there, so we only hope for God’s mercy that when we are on these trips, He will give us his traveling mercy, and if He doesn’t, that His will and we will continue to pray.” In desperation, Rep. Koffa frowned on the failure of the US$500 million loan which was aimed at constructing the roads in the Southeast but acknowledged that amid the failure, Southeastern lawmakers including President George M. Weah are doing their best to maintain the roads.
“We have been trying our best to make sure we get this US$500 million loan to improve the Southeast road, we are a small underdeveloped country, our budget is about US$500m, and no lawmaker will vote to send the entire US$500m to the Southeast to build roads, so we have been trying our best, although little bit unsuccessful. The President has been working along with the finance team to see how to find loans; you all know some of the stories behind loans; they don’t dish out as we wish they would; however, that doesn’t mean we will stop. We will continue to do our best to see how we can get finance to do the Southeastern corridor and that will be a major project.”
In a poignant tone, Cllr. Koffa confirmed the death of at least three persons, two of whom were part of his development team. Eulogizing, Cllr. Koffa said: “Unfortunately, there were three fatalities… Joyce Judah was a volunteer from Monrovia, one of those persons, who saw what we were doing in Grand Kru County and decided that she wanted to be part of that mission and that vision. This was her second trip to work on the school projects going on there.”
“Tina Toe has been in Norkia, Sasstown. She was traveling with a very young child. She was a staunch member of the JFK Team and was a staunch member of our campaign in 2017 and one of our coordinators in Norkia, Sasstown, Grand Kru County.” He added: “Lawrence Nimene who also died, although he wasn’t an immediate member of our team, was a catechist of Christ the King; he was on the faculty of St. Paul in Sasstown and he was the coordinator of our scholarship in St. Paul in Sasstown. Originally, I met Lawrence when he was the station manager of the Voice of Sasstown in 2009; we have been very good friends, and he always called me when I am in Grand Kru County.”
Concerning the survivors, Rep. Koffa said the late Tina’s baby is the most critical. “We ask for prayers for the child. [The child] sustained critical brain injuries; Dr. Doe and other surgeons are still attending, [and] we are hoping for a full recovery,” Cllr. Koffa indicated.
He said, Moses Wesseh, his Director of Operations, sustained a broken thigh, minor brain and chest injuries. “If you know Wesseh, he is one of those persons who is a goal-getter; he is managing and overseeing the projects in Grand Kru — our school projects. And Mr. E. Blamo Sieh, the administrator for the Sasstown Hospital, sustained minor injuries and has been discharged. Moses’ driver, Kpateh Blamo, is at the JFK for minor injuries, and the other two persons who were accommodated by the team are also still at the hospital, I spoke with them, and they will be out soon.”
He further said the Chief Engineer of Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE), Emmanuel Kollie didn’t sustain any injuries. Meanwhile, Rep. Koffa consoled and assured the deceased family members of his full support to the burial of fallen relatives and their subsequent families.