Sluggish Progress on 26th Projects in Sinoe

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It would be a terrible embarrassment if special projects for the July 26th celebrations in Greenville, Sinoe County, are not completed in time for dedication because of internal wrangling among county officials over prioritizing self -interests at the expense of the county.

A comprehensive tour by our reporter has found that the five major 26th projects in the county are progressing too slowly owing to what could be attributed to “politics, corruption or protocol.”

Traditionally, special projects being undertaken for such a major occasion as the national Independence Day celebration are dedicated by the President on the eve of the celebration.

The whole point of farming out the celebrations to various leeward counties away from the capital, Monrovia, is a deliberate attempt by government to decentralize infrastructure and other developments and provide basic services that the 26th celebration brings to the hosting county. These developments include improved or new roads, hospitals, guest residences, government office buildings, sports facilities and parade fields and electricity.

With barely a month before July 26th, our reporter found the situation in Sinoe County, host of this year’s celebrations, in a state of uncertainty due to unresolved trivial issues among county officials, which have led to a persistent ‘blame game,” and the formation of one bloc against another.

Our reporter has gathered that last Tuesday, June 16, Sinoe County Superintendent Thomas Quioh broke silence after more than one month, allegedly accusing Senator J. Milton Teahjay of stirring up confusion and being the chief architect behind Quioh’s removal as Superintendent. This has caused the July 26th projects to stall.

Superintendent Quioh claimed that Sen. Teahjay instructed the chairman of the Project Management Committee (PMC), Klahn Gbolo Jabbah, to halt the July 26th projects because President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf had appointed him (Jabbah) as Superintendent.

Quioh also accused County Inspector Swen Geor, former Representative aspirant Mike Nakleen and Hilary Quetoh, Coordinator of the Federation of Liberian Youth (FLY) in Sinoe County of joining Sen. Teahjay to undermine Superintendent Quioh’s administration.

These people—Swen Geor, Mike Nakleen and Hilary Quetoh—were allegedly the instigators behind the youths who held placards demanding his removal during the visit of President Sirleaf to Greenville
last month.

But in a telephone interview with this newspaper, Sen. Teahjay, in an uneasy tone, described Quioh’s allegation as “rubbish” and an old trick from the likes of Quioh. Teahjay told the Voice of Sinoe that he would not give credence to Quioh’s accusation but would address the issue adequately when Quioh is removed from office.

Superintendent Quioh also accused Development Superintendent H. Sneh Johnson and the PMC Chairman Jabbah of fighting over the procurement of building materials, which has also delayed the 26th projects.

According to the Voice of Sinoe, the Development Superintendent admitted being suspicious of PMC chairman Jabbah, whose ambition to become superintendent is obvious and this has contributed to the delay in completing the projects.

Mr. Jabbah could not be contacted, but a source close to him refuted the claim.

Meanwhile, during the tour by our reporter, it was discovered that the July 26th projects are only 51% completed.

The tour came across two 175KVA capacity generators that had been procured but are still under wraps awaiting money for the transformers, wires and other items needed to make them operational.

The generators are at the Sinoe County Power Station (Rural Electrification – LEC).

Electricians say the generators should be connected two weeks prior to the celebration for trial and set-up before they can be officially commissioned for usage.

The Superintendent’s Lodge, which contains over 10 rooms, is about 65% completed, although the Special and Technical Assistant to Development Superintendent, Sneh Johnson, insists that the Lodge is 75% completed. Mr. Lawrence S. Doe and Abraham Pantoe took the Daily Observer reporter on a guided tour.

The Lodge lacks floor tiles for eight rooms and the hall way. Bathroom materials for all the rooms, doors, window screens and glass panes for other rooms, designed barriers for the front entrance are yet to be installed and the lodge painted.

The Superintendent’s house is 50% completed. There are no doors, ceiling and completed floors. But the chief mason at the site, Mohammed Sesay, said if all the materials are bought within two weeks, the house could be completed before July 20.

However, our reporter reckons that this may be impossible if the internal wrangling is unsolved by this weekend.

The Youth Center is 55% completed. There are no doors and ceiling but almost half of the house is tiled.

The children’s playground, an old, abandoned facility, is 40% completed. Only the iron rods for the fencing are installed while almost all the pieces of the children’s playground equipment, including the basketball court, have not yet been purchased.

Another major overlooked project is landscaping in front of the Superintendent’s Lodge and Residence. It is to be expected that any aspects of the special projects unfinished by the 26th will remain unfinished perhaps until the next 26th rolls around in Harper again in 15 years.

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