Newly appointed presidential candidate of the erstwhile National Patriotic Party (NPP) in the upcoming presidential and legislative elections, Hananiah Zoe, told residents on the disputed Peace Island in Congo Town that the party knows the solution to the many problems facing Liberia.
Rev. Zoe assured the residents of the party’s commitment to handle the situation if given the power at the upcoming polls.
He made the remarks over the weekend on the Island at an acquaintance program held in his honor by the Zoe Movement for Presidency.
The brief ceremony was witnessed by hundreds of residents, including chiefs, youth, women and the community’s opinion leaders.
Rev. Zoe told the residents that 2017 will be a year of change that will positively impact the living conditions of the people of Liberia, including children whose parents cannot afford to enroll them in school.
“During the NPP regime, prices of rice and other basic commodities were not escalated like it is today. This is why we have come again to say give us the opportunity to change things for the betterment of the country. When I look at Liberian children today, I feel bad, because their situation is not improving,” Rev, Zoe declared to a round of applause from his audience, many of them his kinsmen from Nimba County.
He continued: “God will use the NPP to take the country to another level, where the government will provide more opportunities for the young people, because we have not been doing anything to improve the lives of ordinary Liberians for the past eleven years. Rather it is our neighboring countries that are making progress on all fronts.”
Zoe attributed the country’s inactive development programs to the bad road networks, which he said continues to get worse every year.
He told the gathering of Peace Islanders that Liberians are now weary of bogus and directionless politics that has little or no bearing on their welfare; adding that they are also tired of failed promises.
Paul Gbayeaty, Chairman of the Peace Island Community, pledged the residents’ commitment to work with Zoe’s Movement come 2017. He then called on Rev. Zoe to help provide some of the community’s needs such as safe drinking water and health posts.
Mr. Gbayeaty said the Islanders will resort to drinking from the Du River due to lack of safe drinking water in the community, which he said has over 30,000 inhabitants.
“We have sent a clear message out there to all politicians and political parties that we will not participate in any elections if no one comes to help us with life’s necessities. We don’t have clinics and safe drinking water here and want to see your handiwork in order to vote for you,” Gbayeaty said.
He added: “When you are coming to Peace Island the next time, please work with us to ensure that some of our problems are addressed.”
According to Gbayeaty, due to the lack of clinics in the area, pregnant women and other sick persons are often transported from the community at night to seek better medical attention at some of the distant health facilities; a situation he described as appalling and unacceptable for a community with such a large population.
It may be recalled that in 2005, Rev. Hananiah Zoe, a son of Nimba County, was the co-founder and standard bearer of the former Liberian Education and Development (LEAD) Party. Zoe was not in the country at the time of voter registration, therefore his name was forbidden by the National Elections Commission (NEC) to be placed on the ballots.
Rev. Zoe, who has previously advocated for perpetrators of the Liberian civil war to be prosecuted for their role during the country’s 14- year civil unrest, says Liberia is in desperate need of a reconciler who will improve the lives of those languishing at the bottom of the economic ladder. “Where the nation is now, Liberia needs to move to the next level,” he said.
He reentered politics in 2011; this time, on the ticket of the Liberia Empowerment and Democratic (LEAD) Party, who was among some the parties that obtained the least percentage of votes, according to the NEC.