— As President Weah officially begins county tour
Citizens of Sanoyea, the home of vice President and Salala districts, Bong County, who were privileged to have been chosen as one of the very first people to be visited by President George M. Weah on his maiden County Tour have craved for meaningful development.
Despite its claim to fame for having produced a Vice President of Liberia and political leader of a major political party, the National Patriotic Party (NPP), the District of Sanoyea, like other compatriots in several areas across the country, say they are yet to feel the total impact of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC)-government developmentally.
The citizens made the call on Friday February 12, 2021 at kickoff of the President’s County Tour, named and styled, “Citizens Engagement,” when residents called his administration to prioritize road connectivity, loans for market women, infrastructure and education as a way of addressing some of the challenges facing them.
Reading various petitions of both Sanoyea and Salala, the residents said lack of farm to market road and storage facilities continue to pose serious threat to farming activities, a major means of survival, and therefore called on President Weah to give complete attention to their plights.
Milton Varney, Commissioner of Sanoyea, who read the citizens’ petition, said the people of Sanoyea were delighted to have the President and his entourage to interact the citizenry and assist in improving their conditions.
“During your campaign visit to Sanoyea, you promised to reciprocate our efforts in bringing you to power. We from this district historically love you and therefore, we will continue to dance on the music of love, peace, reconciliation and total development,” Mr. Varney said.
Mr. Varney said road rehabilitation is cardinal as all of the feeder roads constructed by SCADP in the 1980s are all dilapidated and unsafe to traffic and commuters nowadays, thereby making it very difficult for industrial farmers to bring their goods to daily or weekly market.
“We are of the conviction that you will not like to see your citizens die from hunger, while enough food stuff remain in the farm. If the road is paved, it will encourage farmers to produce more foods,” Mr. Varney said.
Mr. Varney referenced several roads including Sanoyea to St. Paul River; Yanikole to Wannie Town; Salayea to Gai; Mamukoley Town to St. Paul River; Mamukoley Town to Tanashua; and many other roads that are deplorable and seriously hindering livelihoods.
Mr. Varney, through their petition called on President Weah to provide a vehicle for officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP), which will help to address the issue of crimes, stressing that “the police are finding it difficult to commute in various towns and villages to deal with crimes.”
They also called on the President to build a regional health center that will cater to the health needs of everyone in the district and beyond, as well as the inclusion of public schools teachers on payroll.
Sanoyea District is a home of many prominent Liberian sons and daughters, including 2011 Nobel Peace laureate, Leymah Roberta Gbowe; former Minister of Health, Walter Gwenigale, among others.
Vivian Tengbeh, a classroom teacher of the Salala School System, reading the citizens’ petition, called on the President to build a market hall, provide loans to women, pavement of feeder roads and also build a vocational training center.
Ms. Tengbeh said if those things are done, it will bring total transformation to the entire district and the residents.
Responding to the various petitions, President George M. Weah said he was delighted to be in Bong, Salala and Sanoyea as residents helped in making him President of Liberia.
According to him, the county tour is intended to appreciate citizens for the confidence reposed in him and also listen to suggestions for total development, which can be included in the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD).
President Weah told the people of Salala that they have given him a six-year mandate and, in the first three years, he has proven to them the kind of person they voted for.
He said it is important to get the views of the people (citizens) and go back to the drawing board to make sure that everything is put in the right place for them.
According to him, the coronavirus did all to stop his government from having the county tour but God has control of the situation and was pleased to be with them.
President Weah said he is doing all what was promised during the campaign in 2017, developing the country, which is government is fully engaged in doing now.
“We told you about build road, making sure that every hut is removed and replaced with a new house which is currently taking place across the country. In three years of our six years, you can see what is happening, you did not make mistake for making me your president,” President Weah said.
He called on the residents of the district to work with their legislature to ensure that whatever they yearn for can be achieved, while praising the working relationship since his election.
“We are here also to regain your confidence and tell you that the work you give us, we are doing it and doing it well. Again, those you did not give your vote to will never be happy because their job is to criticize me,” President Weah said.
President Weah said he is serious of developing Liberia to ensure that it has a new face, especially in Bong County, stating development is manifesting little by little and the people of Bong County will be proud.
Meanwhile, President Weah is accompanied by several government officials, including First Lady Clar M. Weah, Liberia’s Foreign Minister Maxwell Dee Kaymayah, Minister of Justice Frank Musah Dean, Minister of Finance and Development Planning Samuel Tweah, Commerce and Industry Minister Marwine Diggs, Gender Minister Williametta Saydee-Tarr, Transport Minister Samuel Wlue and others.