On April 29, students from Nimba County at the University of Liberia (UL) yawned in disappointment when most of their special invited guests did not show up to help raise much needed funds for them.
The students are in desperate need of a minimum of US$11,000 to pay their fees because the UL Student Union (ULSU) that usually provides financial aid to disadvantaged students including those from Nimba County is not in the position to do so.
The ULSU financial aid scheme was halted when the UL administration realized that the student group had not met up with its financial obligations for the past two semesters. Delinquent students, whose tuition fees could not be settled by ULSU, are now compelled to pay the amount owed the university including fees for this semester.
“We have more than 2000 students from that county whose fees have not been paid, but need to be in school. We want you, the county authority, and other well-meaning Nimbaians to allow the future of this county to enroll, as many of them are yet to settle their financial obligations with the university,” Nimba University Student Association (NUSA) Education Chairperson, D. Sheraton Menubay, said.
In spite of the appeal, it was frustrating to the huge number of Nimba students that converged at the fundraising program that most of their lawmakers, aspirants, and other invitees did not show up.
Those who showed up were the county’s district #9 Representative Matinokay Tingban, the County Development Superintendent, Mapherson David, and Wuo Dolo, a prominent Nimbaian.
In his keynote address, Mapherson David blamed the low attendance on poor planning on the part of the student leadership.
“Your mind is set at getting big names instead of those who have been in the struggle and will respond to your call, failing to know that those with big names will always disappoint you or only make pledges that cannot be fulfilled,” he added.
Mr. David informed the students that the county’s coffer where allotments are made to support the students is currently empty. Nevertheless, he said the county administration is going to explore other avenues to possibly help the students when the administration has access to finance. He meanwhile presented L$5,000 as his initial contribution to the fundraising project. He then advised the students to eschew laziness and learn to work hard for what they want.
Mr. Dolo, who works at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, contributed US$25 with the advice that students should desist from violence and be serious with their academic activities.
Meanwhile, Representative Tingban informed the students that he is aware of their plights; and therefore, has a scholarship program in Montserrado (Monrovia) and Nimba counties for the students.
He contributed L$50,000 to the fund drive – L$10,000 presented on the spot with the balance L$40,000 to be collected anytime this week.
NUSA president Andrew Z. Freeman expressed gratitude to the students for the turnout, and his disappointment with his county’s lawmakers and other kinsmen who promised to attend the fundraiser.
He said although they received responses from most of the people they invited, they, however, did not receive any representative or word from them, except for district #8 aspirant V. Doolakeh Taryor, who sent a representative. Taryor’s representative gave L$3,000 as his contribution to the students.