— Says President Weah as he breaks ground for US$15.5M referral hospital
The first county tour by President George Manneh Weah since he took the helm of national leadership has brought him to the realization that Liberia needs development, having for the first time seen the deplorable and impoverished living conditions of the vast majority of people in the country, especially in the southeast.
Even though, during the campaign period during the 2017 elections, he and his campaigners went throughout the country promising to bring “Change” to them, his statement about the need for development in the country suggests that he is now reminded to set his sights far beyond Monrovia, seeing what rural Liberians endure on a daily basis, in terms of poor infrastructure, and sub-par economic and social development.
President Weah, making the statement during his citizens’ engagement forum on Saturday, February 21, 2021 in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County, assured citizens that he will not rest until Liberia is developed. The President’s assurance also comes mid-way through his 6-year term — after exhausting three years of his presidency in Monrovia and out-of-country travels.
“It’s important to light every city and the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) led government will do her best, and we are working with Senator Zoe Pennue to electrify your city and everything promised will be achieved together,” President Weah told the residents of Zwedru.
Although other counties except Lofa gave the President votes that got him victory with 62% during the runoff election between him and former Vice President Joseph Boakai, Grand Gedeh has been supportive of his leadership to the point that people from there had demonstrated it by violently chasing out from their county opposition politicians Alexander B. Cummings and a staunch critic of President Weah, Montserrado County District #10 Representative Yekeh Kolubah,.
“I will make sure that the confidence reposed will not be wasted. We will do the best things for you and our country. You are special to us and I know we are also special to you,” President Weah said.
The President told citizens that the Government of Liberia in collaboration with partners has set aside millions of United States Dollars to support Liberian farmers and businesses as a means of improving these sectors.
“If I will not achieve anything in my Presidency, I can assure you of building this road from Zwedru to Tappita because the road from Ganta to Tappita is being worked on already. We want you to work with your lawmakers now because development starts from them,” President Weah said.
President Weah’s entrance from Toe Town, the first major town from Nimba County, to Zleh, Ziah Town, Tuzon and Zwedru, witnessed hundreds of Liberians who lined up at major corridors to welcome him.
Commenting on the attack on Mr. Cummings and Rep. Kolubah saga, President Weah urged the citizens not to allow anyone to take away their kindness, respect and love for each other.
“Let’s us not chase people out of our city whether during campaign time or not. If you don’t want to listen to them, you can stay home, but do not allow anyone to take away your good image,” President Weah said.
He told the audience that there are some in the country who do not respect elders because of their orientation, and urging the Grand Gedeans not to allow themselves to be put on record as those from the villages are noted for disrespecting others.
On the issue of the presence of Burkinabes in Liberia, President Weah urged citizens of Grand Gedeh to work with citizens of other countries, stating that Liberia respects international protocols.
He said the ECOWAS protocols, which Liberia accedes to, allow free movement of citizens from one country to the other.
President Weah also announced plans to work with the national Legislature to place a loan scheme program for local farmers in the national budget.
Earlier, shortly after he arrived in Grand Gedeh, President Weah broke ground for a 160-bedroom referral hospital to be funded by the Governments of Liberia and Germany through the German Development Bank (KFW) and Implemented by Welthungergilfe (WHH) Liberia.
The $15.5 million project is in support of the government’s development agenda, the PAPD. The hospital is expected to will occupy an area of 8,513.84 square meters and benefit around 160,000 persons. Construction works are expected to last about 48 months.
During the groundbreaking held on Saturday, President Weah expressed gratitude to the German Government through its Ambassador, Hubert J. Jäger, indicating that the project is an outcome of the peace that exists in the county.
“We appreciate the partnership between us. Hope you will work tirelessly for the project to be completed,” President Weah said. He also dedicated the newly constructed annex of the Grand Gedeh County Community College (GGCC).
In a related development, President Weah has dedicated the 7th Judicial Circuit Court Complex on the outskirts of Zwedru, Grand Gedeh. The Court Complex project began under the former administration and was completed in 2018, the year he was inaugurated.