By Franklin N. Kwenah in Gbarnga
The Special Presidential Task Force (SPTF) set up by President George Weah has retrieved over 18 government vehicles and a generator in less than a week of operations in Bong County.
The task force confiscated government vehicles from former officials who were still in possession of them, as well as other vehicles that were believed to have been secretly placed in homes, garages, farms and bushes at different locations in the County. Some of the cars were repainted, and tires and engines removed.
According to Liberia Motorcyclists Transport Union President, Sam Baryougah Elliot, who is also the head of the task force, their action to seize the vehicles were part of efforts geared toward the implementation of the President’s mandate.
Since the appointment of Mr. Elliot to head the task force chapter on March 17, vehicles confiscated included Toyota Hilux Pickup trucks, Toyota Land Cruiser Pickups, and Jeeps, Nissan Pickups 2016 model, among others.
Some of the vehicles still bear the names of Bong County Technical College, ministries of Agriculture, Health, and Justice or a jeep with a prescription “Phebe Hospital and School of Nursing.”
This vehicle, with the inscription “Phebe Hospital and School of Nursing,” is believed to be the van that was used by a one-time medical director of the hospital and former Health Minister, Dr. Walter Gwenigale. The vehicle was never marked by the General Services Agency (GSA) to be used by Phebe Hospital and School of Nursing. However, Dr. Gwenigale is believed to have used the van while serving as Minister of Health under former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
In an interview with this reporter, Mr. Elliot promised to ensure that the mandate from the president is fulfilled.
He said his team will move to all the districts in the County in order to retrieve all government properties that have been hidden in the County by past officials and return them to the General Services Agency.
“This is my work and I will do it without intimidation from any other person. I was trusted in the County with this job; I did not know anything about my appointment to this position; now that it has happened, I must work,” he indicated.
Some citizens who have been on various radio talk shows in Bong County have hailed Mr. Elliot and his team and have termed the act by those former officials, who were bent on hiding government vehicles, as unacceptable.
According to them, it is disheartening that an ex-official is not able to buy his/ her own car. Rather, s/he chooses to run away with a government car.
They called on the government to go after any of those former government officials who are still in possession of government vehicles and property and do not want to turn them over to the GSA.