A group of concerned Liberians has told the Legislature thatnLiberians are dissatisfied with the direction in which the country’s emerging economy, especially the oil and gas sector, is headed, and thatnwant an immediate halt, .
The “Concerned Liberian Citizens,” presenting their petition statement to lawmakers Tuesday, July 22, on Capitol Hill, demanded that sale of the remaining oil blocks in the country be halted.
“We, a cross section of concerned Liberian citizens, cognizant of the poor and abusive management of our natural resources, particularly our last extractive frontier, the oil and gas sector, and realizing our conscious duty and responsibility to defend and safeguard our future, and children’s future, do hereby assemble invoking Article 17 of our Constitution to petition our National Legislature not to ratify the planned sale of oil blocks 6,7,16 and 17, and any future sale of any oil blocks until at such time when the ongoing reform process is completed, ensuring significant Liberian participation,” the petitioners asserted.
They expressed disappointment in the leadership of the state for the appalling manner in which they are handling concession agreements, and declared, “We also hereby assure you, and swear to our sacred commitment to Country and People that we shall continue to champion this cause not only in the oil and gas sector, but in the natural resource sector in general.”
Representative Gabriel Nyenka received the citizen’s position statement and expressed the House of Representatives’ commitment to addressing their concerns.
In reaction to the petitioners, President Pro-Tempore of the Senate Gbehzohngar M. Findley failed to state whether the oil blocks in question are up for grabs or not, but shifted blame on Benoni Urey as being behind the protest.
Pro-Temp Findley said he believed the protest was not the work of the Concerned Liberians but that of the “scratch card dealer and farmer”, Benoni Urey.
“People who want to be leaders do not support such act,” Findley told Urey.
He warned Benoni Urey of the consequences of putting the people against their government, noting; “that’s not the right path to take, my brother.”
“It does not make sense to use the people for your selfish aims,” the Grand Bassa County lawmaker stated.
Mr. Urey’s associates have since debunked the Pro-Temp’s assertion.