Nimba Lawmakers, Why Be So Ungrateful?

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On September 2, 2017, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf expressed frustration over Nimba lawmakers’ absence in Sanniquellie at the ceremony marking the dedication of a modern judicial complex that contains courts, the home of the county’s resident judge, and offices of other functionaries of the Judicial Branch of government.

The complex is among many development projects from which Nimba has benefited in the two successive terms of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. These include the modern 100-bed Jackson F. Doe Memorial Hospital in Tappita; trans-border electricity from neighboring Ivory Coast passing through Nimba to south-eastern Liberia; and the well-paved Red Light-Ganta Highway. It is also evident to the people of Nimba and to all Liberians that since iron ore exploitation began in Nimba in 1963, the Sirleaf administration has, for the first time, made annually available social development fund to the tune of US$1.5 million to Nimba from the proceeds of this mineral. It is from this amount that the county has been able to purchase road building equipment worth US$4.6 million.

In spite of all that this Government has done, using resources that should benefit all Liberians, Nimba lawmakers, including some of their people, have continued to discredit this government. This is exactly what the lawmakers did at the dedication last week of the 8th Judicial Circuit Court complex. Adding to the frustration, Nimba Senator and hero Prince Y. Johnson defended this act of ingratitude by accusing the President on things that he does not know about, which also may benefit only him personally. According to him, President Sirleaf refused to give him a subsidy to run his private school. Senator Johnson went further to accuse the President of allegedly mismanaging US$40 million he says was meant to pave the road from Ganta to the mining town of Yekepa. ArcelorMittal, however, has clarified to this newspaper that it could not and did not provide the money because of the drop of price of iron ore. Some lawmakers gave different excuses, ranging from campaigning to personal issues, while others have not explained their absence from the judicial dedication.

How justifiable are excuses provided by Prince Johnson and his kinsmen to cause sitting lawmakers to stay away from the dedicatory ceremony of a major development project from which their county will benefit? Was it not even better for Prince Johnson to attend the dedication and raise his concerns there? The ingratitude demonstrated by Nimba lawmakers seems to be entrenched among people of the county as sometimes manifested by their decision making in elections. Despite all that have been done, Nimbaians without balanced judgment claim Prince Johnson as the only man in the political sphere of Liberia to develop them. This mindset arising from tribal divide leads them always to vote him for the presidency, despite the fact that his human rights record cannot convince other Liberians and the international community that he is presidential material. The matter is further exacerbated by the news that Gios have resolved to vote for only Gios, a classic example of tribalism.

Our reporter who covered the event quoted some local residents saying on a local radio that Nimba has resources from which government earns money and therefore the infrastructure erected in the county is not a favor but a right. These naïve perceptions keep those people from understanding the Liberian Constitution that gives all natural resources on and in the ground of this country to the government. Prince Johnson in 2009 ordered a slash in the county development funds, allowing each lawmaker to seize US$1,000 to facilitate his trip to Nimba “to oversee development projects.” That is an oversight responsibility taken care of by the budgetary allocation to all lawmakers of gasoline slips and vehicles. Was this money taken in line with the rules and regulations guiding the county-social development fund?

Each Senator has received the amount of US$300,000 in this term of the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Administration to implement Legislative Support Projects (LSP). Can Senator Johnson or any other Senator show any project they have implemented in Nimba with theirs? How can a man of this tainted record accuse others of not doing what he has not done? We want to state clearly that Nimba lawmakers were in serious error to abandon the dedication of the judicial complex on these grounds. Regardless of political difference with the President, they must realize that the very project dedicated on September 2 is directly benefiting their county, confirming why they should show appreciation.

The President remains the head of government and deserves respect from all officials, including citizens. Why will she visit your county and all of you stay away for selfish reasons? There is one principle about life that the Lord Jesus taught his followers: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” As you seek reelection while Senator Johnson eyes the presidency, remember: The respect you give others today will follow you, and anything you allow to take complete control of you decides your fate.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Seriously, I couldn’t believe Observer wants to go so personal with Nimba and its ppl. Politics is about interest and if voting for PYJ is Nimba ppl interest what wrongs with that. Only PYJ had questionable human rights records. How’s about Ellen sirleaf,the president of Liberia. Oops! She’s only the blue collar rebel so it doesn’t count.

  2. Thank you Casey.

    Daily observer wants to be the spokesperson for EJS. Have they forgotten that this president is highly political. She personally leaves things undone to the eleventh hour to play plain politics. Sorry, the Observer have not realized this-they must be sleeping. She has proffered lot of bills to protect her after she has left office including giving term to the police director that she could not have done as sitting president.

    The Madam is disingenuous to say the least. When her strategy is to play politics that is divergent to that of the lawmakers, of course, she will be pay back. So stop talking about people being ungrateful.

    Why haven’t you call the president an ingrate for abandoning Sinoe, Grand Kru, Grand Gedeh? Is it not politics because Nimba has the vote or else they could have been abandoned like the southeastern counties?

    I think you are being cowered by this president who after organizing the destruction of this country was given power, but has in return given so little. She can’t even fix the Executive mansion for which millions of dollars was budgeted for and allotted.

    Don’t defend the indefensible – this is a highly political season and the battle has not been settled.

  3. “In spite of all that this Government has done, using resources that should benefit all Liberians, Nimba lawmakers, including some of their people, have continued to discredit this government.” The mining company is in Nimba County, not in all counties in Liberia, Daily Observer!

    Apart from that, there has been nothing but extortion and not exploitation as you sadly falsely noted, Daily Observer. Be realistic!

  4. It’s unfortunate that Daily Observer has become mouth-piece of the Sirleaf’s Government against professional ethics of journalism-staying neutral and reporting only facts as a media entity. No wonder why Doe shut this paper down during his era. Nimbains will make sure that Daily Observer pays for her dirty deeds against the people of Nimba County. Nimba County is the second most productive and populated political subdivision in the Nation and therefore, deserves more than its share of national developments. As I write, the Sirleaf’s Government owned Nimba County 4m in development funds. Development in any nation should be based on numerical numbers, not politically driven. Besides, Nimba County is the single highest contributor to the Liberian National economic besides Montsurado County and therefore, deserves every penny invested by this government. Frankly speaking, that building does not require a presidential opening and Madam Sirleaf had no business to be there. On the issue of roads, Liberians deserve modern four lane paved roads to all county capitals and energy connectivity in all parts of the Nation to increase economic activities and this should not be politicized. If this President is concern about the health of Liberians, why is her office budget ten times larger than those provided to the Jackson F. Doe Memorial Hospital? We are sicked and tired of exploitation of the Liberian people by few so-called elites. This massive looting and mortgaging of our resources by Ellen and her cronies must end this October 2017 and she and her cronies must be held accountable. That’s how I see it.

    • The author of this alleged report demonstrates an amateurish journalistic framework and the bias dimension in Liberia by some purported writers whose profession I will allude to as yellow journalism, a type of journalism that presents little or no legitimate well-researched news and instead uses eye-catching headlines just to sell his newspapers. Pure exaggerations of news events, scandal-mongering or sensationalism. What’s an incredible open attack on Senator PYJ? The topic of his calligraphy is far different from the in-depth structure and is a complete revelation of the author, amazingly identifying himself as a potential enemy of PYJ and the entire Gio people of Nimba County.

      This so-called journalist needs to improve his writing style, more especially how to unify paragraphs. I wonder he’s informed about coherence in writing. All I read from his script is multiple of incoherent issues and not from his main topic——-Nimba Lawmakers, why be so ungrateful?

      Look at some of the crazy things the uninformed writer wrote in his communication. Our reporter who covered the event quoted some residents saying on the local radio that Nimba has resources from which government earns money and therefore the infrastructure erected in the county is not a favor but a right. These naïve perceptions keep those people from understanding the Liberian Constitution that gives all-natural resources on and on the ground of this country to the government.

      The essayist has demonstrated to people in general that his origination about national and local governments operation is for sure consummately gullible. This is where the pitfall of many Liberians originated. Everything is the president. There is where we get screwed up by the president all the time. Nimba people know the so-called constitution better than you and your contemporaries at Daily Observer.

      Uncle Joe

  5. I AM NOT SURE IF THE WEBMASTER/WRITER IS AWARE THAT NIMBA COUNTY ALONE PROVIDED 49% OF LIBERIA GDP FOR MANY,MANY YEARS UP TILL THE ELLEN JOHNSON ADMINISTRATION DEVELOPMENT IN NIMBA COUNTYBUT GOT NOTHING IN RETURN. NO GOOD ROADS,CLEAN H2O,DEPENDABLE ELECTRICITY,GOOD SCHOOLS,CLINICS/HOSPITALS. HOW FAIR WAS THAT TO THE PEOPLE OF NIMBA COUNTY,SUCKING UP THEIR RESOURCES,AND FEEDING THE ENTIRE COUNTRY? WHATEVER YOU CONSIDERED DEVELOPMENT IN NIMBA IS A DROP IN THE BUCKET. STAY TUNE.

  6. The journalist wants to run the ongoing presidential campain for the candidate of SIRLEAF addressing himself to the Nimbaians.But knowing that his mission is dommed to failure he stand behand his daily observer hut to insult the people of the County.”Gios have resolved to vote for only Gios” Gios will vote
    only for their interest.

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