The President Pro Temp of the Liberian Senate is calling for the relocation of the Monrovia Central Prison, rebuilding a bigger, better and spacious one to conform to international standards and to satisfy international law on prison facilities.
Pro Temp Armah Zolu Jallah lamented that the situation at the prison reflects a shortfall of government’s obligation to improve the prison’s environment and enhance the healthcare of inmates.
The Gbarpolu County lawmaker recently initiated discussions with Acting Justice Minister Wheatonia Dixon-Barnes, and Assistant Minister for Rehabilitation Hilary Siakor-Sirleaf on the relocation of the Monrovia Central Prison.
The Central Prison was originally constructed to hold 400 prisoners, but this number has nearly tripled. The Pro Temp promised to discuss the issue with President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and other authorities.
Speaking on the current impasse at the University of Liberia that has resulted to a hike in tuition, the Gbarpolu lawmaker regretted the delay in resumption of classes and the inability of thousands of students to continue their studies.
Jallah told the Daniel Woart-led interim leadership of the Students Union that this matter has claimed the concern of the Senate which is now awaiting the decision of the House of Representatives, which he said, is currently debating the matter.
He cautioned the students to remain calm and law abiding and refrain from acts of violence that would undermine the process and jeopardize the security of the country.
Student leader Woart informed Senator Jallah that since the hike in tuition was made public the university has been a hub of hooliganism, a situation he said is further frustrating the student population and helping to prolong their stay at the university.
Woart has meanwhile called on Pro Temp Jallah to intervene in the matter so that the government will redirect the hike through national budgetary appropriations and relieve the suffering students from the economic hardship.
Meanwhile, Senator Jallah, who chairs his county’s Legislative Caucus, recently made a passionate call on the European Union Mission in Liberia, when he met with Ambassador Tiina Intelmann at his Capitol Building office, to conduct studies and assist with the development of hydropower plants in four locations in the county for the electrification of Gbarpolu.
“The electrification of Gbarpolu, which is mineral rich, will attract investors and also boost business activities in the county thereby creating a huge rise in its economy,” Jallah told Ambassador Intelmann.
He named Mavo River in Bopolu City, Maher River at Sawmill (between Bomi & Gbarpolu), Lofa River at Vaye Town, and Gungbeta Fall (between Zelekai & Gungbeta), Bokomu District, as potential areas for development of hydropower plants.
In response, the EU Head of Mission congratulated the Senate leader for his good intention for his county and pledged the support and cooperation of the EU Mission. She further promised that as soon as studies are carried out on the project, work will commence.
In another development, the head f the National Muslim Youth of Liberia, Sualiho J. Massalay, has reminded Pro Temp Jallah that implementing proposition #24 of the Constitution Review Committee to Christianize Liberia, will undermine the peaceful coexistence that religious groupings have enjoyed over the years, and called on the Senate not to allow this proposition to pass into law.
Jallah assured the Muslim youth leader that his collaboration with his colleagues will continue to ensure that all parties will be satisfied “and that we all continue on a peaceful course.”