Four of Nimba County’s senatorial aspirants who took part in the 28th November 2014 debate in Ganta are said to have given more priority to education as the only means of eradicating unemployment and violence among the youth.
Deliberating on their respective platforms to the audience, the four senatorial candidates, including Cllr Yarmie Quiqui Gbeisay of the Congress for Democratic Change, Mrs. Edith Gongruo Weh of Liberty Party, Dr. Joseph Korto of National Coalition Party and Mr. Peter Weato of Alternative National Congress, told the audience of their desire to develop the youth through education.
The issue of educating the youth for self sustainability and employment remains cardinal among their priorities as senator if any of them is successful in unseating Senator Johnson.
When the moderator asked, looking at the backwardness of the education, electricity, water and infrastructural systems of Liberia, what they would do if elected?
Cllr. Gbeisay replied, “I will pass a law that will prioritize education based on entrepreneurship for self employment because the government is unable to employ everybody.”
“Education takes us from backwardness and so training the youth with skills will be my target,” said Edith Weh.
The former Education Minister, Dr. Joseph Korto, stressed that as an educator, he will make sure that all public high schools in Nimba have computer labs to prepare the students for today’s job market, in which computer skills remain the key priority.
The political crisis in Nimba is said to be deepening with the youth being divided among the politicians who are finding their ways to the senate come December this year.
Beside education, the issue of the distribution of the budgetary allotment made by the government in county development funds was also among the questions the organizer asked.
But in the response to this question, the views were varied. Dr. Korto said he would want the distribution of the county funds to be done on the basis of population; while Edith wanted the funds to be given to all Nimba.
For Mr. Weato, he said, he would travel all over Nimba to ascertain all the shortcomings and then allot funds according to the needs. Cllr. Gbeisay said he believes in equity; therefore when he becomes senator of Nimba, he will advocate the reduction of budget in terms of salary, so everybody can get something to carry.
There was some resentment among the audience over the failure of the moderator to allow the aspirants to cross examine one another so the public could know their ability in representing the people.
After four minutes each of self introduction and declaring their platforms, the moderators asked three questions, giving each aspirant two minutes to respond. Five persons were selected from among the audience to ask a question to any candidate of their choice, but there was no room for the candidates to critique one another about their past performances either in government or the private sector.
Two of the candidates, Senator Prince Johnson and ex-AFL General John Tiah, were not present at the debate and no reason was given for their absence. But Senator Johnson’s late arrival in Ganta after the debate overshadowed the entire political activity in the county.