Author’s note: The following excerpt should have been published after the previous two, but because of personal setbacks I was unable to get the writing done until today; I have slightly changed the title.It was a little after one o’clock in the morning that the small boy, having read a number of tales from Arabian Nights, closed the book and looked up at Gbassy, still with a smile.Gbassy grinned back at him. ‘You read very well. Your parents should be proud of you. My oldest son, he’s eighteen, and he can’t read.’The boy shrugged his shoulders. ‘Not everybody likes to read. Maybe he will join the army. Do you know Mr Jabateh, the carpenter who lives across the road?’‘Yes.’‘His son Mulbah is eighteen years old too, and he’s joined the army.’‘Only yanna boys are joining the army these days.’‘What do you mean it’s only yanna boys? I’ve seen the soldiers. They have guns and look cute in their uniforms.’‘They are nothing but thieves and yanna boys, those soldiers. The government has been taking them off the streets in truckloads just to get killed for nothing, because many of them are not even taught to take cover and still less how to aim their rifles properly.’‘Are the rebels thieves and yanna boys too?’‘Nobody knows yet. But I hear some of the rebels are as young as you are.’‘But I’m only nine! How would boys like me be able to carry a gun?’‘Myself, I don’t know.’‘Who gave them the guns? Who sent them to fight?’‘The big, big people here in our country, but most of them are living in America now. There’s a man called Charles Taylor who’s leading the rebels. He used to work for the government.’‘So this is the man who’s sending those small boys to fight?’‘He and the other big people in America.’‘What do they send those small boys to fight for?’‘They want to rule the country.’‘So those small boys will die for nothing?’‘Yes.’‘Can’t somebody do something?’‘Do something like what?’‘They could take the guns from the small boys.’Gbassy laughed, his teeth as brown as if stained by kola nut. ‘It wouldn’t be so easy.’‘Why?’‘Because most of the boys will shoot you before they give you their guns. I hear they have been given opium to smoke and have even been made to eat human heart.’Saye shuddered. ‘Are they cannibals?’‘Their leaders want to make them as bad as they can and so they give them drugs and force them to eat human beings. That way they get them to kill people and show no conscience. Besides, when war starts it takes a long time to end. One thing leads to another thing and soon what started the war is forgotten. Some people will want to get rich out of the war and so will want it to go on forever.’‘What will happen when the rebels reach Monrovia?’‘There will be a lot of looting and killing and maybe even worse than what government soldiers are doing now.’‘But would we be able to watch TV? Do you remember Balawala Malawala? They haven’t shown it for two weeks now.’‘You mean the TV miniseries?’‘Yes.’‘Perhaps when the rebels reach Monrovia there will be no more TV.’‘Are you joking?’‘I’m telling you the truth, my friend. And perhaps there will be not only no TV but also no electricity or running water.’‘What about school?’‘School? There will be no school.’The boy fell silent.‘Things are going to get bad,’ Gbassy added quietly.‘And so what are we going to do all day?’‘Stay home hungry and dreaming about food, when we are not running away from the rebels and government soldiers who would try to kill us.’‘Would things get as bad as that?’‘Yes and maybe worse.’The boy bowed his head and fell silent again. Seated cross-legged on the blankets, Gbassy watched him and wondered what he was thinking.Then the boy looked up at Gbassy and said suddenly: ‘You said government soldiers are trying to kill you.’The sudden shift of subject caught Gbassy like a sledgehammer between the eyes. He almost fell over backwards. For a moment he did not know what to say. Then he scratched his head, slapped a mosquito that had bitten him, said, ‘Yes,’ and looked at the boy, as if wondering what other secret weapon he had in his armoury.‘Why would the soldiers want to kill you?’‘I don’t know,’ the man said. ‘They are trying to kill everybody because, like I told you before, when war starts one thing leads to another thing. And then the soldiers come to get me, you and your parents and anybody they would like to come for.’‘But I still don’t understand what started this war in the first place.’‘I don’t know,’ the man said. ‘And you, don’t you want to sleep now?’The boy sighed heavily and took his place on the blankets. Exhausted, just a few moments later he was fast asleep. But it was a while before Gbassy could sleep himself, for his head was crowded with thoughts.Towards four in the morning he got up, went to the door, opened it and, making sure it stayed unlocked, made his way into the darkness. The soldiers had promised to pay him. He was angry that they hadn’t come yet. One of the most infuriating habits of these soldiers, many of whom were nothing but pickpockets, he thought grimly, is that they’re very unreliable. Every minute he had lain there on the blankets had been spent listening intently, like a man who had lost all his senses except the ability to hear, for the knock that would have signalled the start of the massacre. But the more he listened the more distant his prospects grew until finally it began to torture him, like thorns in his clothes. Now he would go and see the soldier Mulbah and the others, and tell them that this man and his family were rebel collaborators. It was hardly a sophisticated lie, but at least one on which he could count, because it had worked for him when the family was arrested at the airport. Even now it was the kind of untruth you told and which immediately was taken as gospel because the government was so desperate it would rob a priest. And although he could feel nothing but resentment whenever he thought about the chicken fuss, he now needed to get something out of it as well, especially since food was scarce. He wondered if the soldiers would keep their word and give him the half-bag of rice and the small gallon of cooking oil as he had asked.But he did not find Mulbah and came back feeling like a man with a big family but not a coin to his name. One of the child’s parents while he was absent had come to the living room and taken the little boy away. The thought that perhaps the family might have escaped already, made Gbassy nearly cry out with rage. He was on the verge of running into the bedrooms to find out, when suddenly he heard sounds coming from one of the rooms. He sighed gratefully, like a beggar who finds a snug place to sleep during a night when it is raining, went to sit at the dining table and began to watch the hallway where the bedrooms of the family were, like a hyena waiting for the moment he would finish off a wounded animal. They must not be allowed to escape. Just then he heard footsteps in the yard. He jumped up, ran to the door, which he had left unlocked, and threw it open, hoping the soldiers had come. But it was a group of displaced people going by with their belongings, mattresses and cooking utensils placed on their heads and shoulders. They looked at him, seemed surprised that he was not running away himself and continued on their way. He closed the door again. As he turned round he saw the family standing there behind him. Both the man and the wife had got dressed and looked as if they were leaving the house. The child too had been made to put on sneakers and a jacket. They were carrying nothing but one travelling bag.Gbassy frowned and looked darkly at them, his eyes seeming to scorch, like fire.‘Morning,’ said the father.‘Morning,’ said the wife.The child did not speak.‘Good morning to all of you,’ Gbassy said, standing inside the door as if barring the family from getting out of the house, arms akimbo and feet planted firmly on the floor.The father said, ‘My family and I are leaving. We would like to seek refuge somewhere else rather than stay here until the war reaches Monrovia.’Gbassy did not move, as though he had scarcely heard the father, and stood with a wicked gleam in his eye.There was a long moment of silence, and they all remained motionless, like an audience waiting for the moment the curtain would rise, so that everybody, long spent with anticipation, would sigh gratefully. The child looked up at the faces of his parents and at the man inside the door. But when he looked at the man now it was with raised eyebrows, as though unable to believe that this was the very man with whom he had slept only hours before. Already his parents had told him why they thought the man was there; now all the friendly feelings he had felt toward Gbassy had vanished. The father put his hand into his trouser-pocket, removed a thick wad of American notes, and handed it over to Gbassy. ‘It’s five hundred dollars, ‘he said, ‘and you can have the things in the house. We don’t need them anymore.’Gbassy looked past the father’s shoulder, over at the furniture, and nodded his head. Then he stood aside from the door.‘Thank you,’ said the husband.‘Thank you,’ said the wife, and gazed at Gbassy like a sinner repentant in the presence of the Pope.Gbassy smiled at the boy, but the child did not return the smile and looked at Gbassy as if he wanted to run away.The man and his family walked out into the yard, then onto the tarred road and headed in the direction of the church that the wife had heard was receiving displaced persons.The EndShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Football plays a large part in the lives of both young and old Liberians, and especially with Liberia producing the only person to emerge as a World Player the important role of the game cannot be overlooked.The establishment of an old-timer football league in the country, which allowed former professionals and amateur players at the age 40 to participate for physical recreation, offers many benefits, ranging from simple enjoyment to improved health and social interaction.In the just ended ECOWAS Integrity and Solidarity Old-timer Football Tournament, Foreign Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan was the skipper for the Barnersville Old-timer team.The winger cum striker’s side whipped Paynesville old-timer 8-7 in a penalty shoot-out after the 70 minutes ended 2-2.The likes of former Lone Star players Sam Chebli and Janjay Jacobs were teammates to the Minister with Chebli on the extreme right while Janjay was in front of the goal.Paynesville showcased the likes of former Lone Star players Kelvin Sebwe, Jonathan Boye Charles Sogbie and Papie Sumo.Inarguably a fling from Ngafuan to Chebli gave Janjay early head up in the 8th minute. Papie Sumo struck the equalizer in the 14th minute, but before the break Sam Chebli increased the tally from a sublime pass from the Foreign Minister.Twelve minutes to stoppage time, the Minister was substituted and six minutes later, Kelvin Sebwe squeezed the rotation.Debatably, the Minister’s absence in the semi-finals against Lakpazee on Sunday might have caused the 2-1 defeat. Prince Harrison and Stephen Nimely in the 5th and 60th minutes threw Barnersville out in spite of the consolation goal by Wearl Venn in the 13th minute.Earlier, the tournament’s favorite Alpha Old-timer was spanked 2-0, courtesy of Ben Saydee and Rufus Neufville in the 2nd and 28th minutes. Youth and Sports Minister Lenn Eugene Nagbe wouldn’t push enough to get either an equalizer or a win and there was no one to convert his three encouraging crosses.Many Alpha players said that the absence of Sen. Amb. George M. Weah, Finance Minister Amara Konneh, NOCAL boss Dr. Nathaniel McClain and others caused their defeat.Labour Minister Neto Lighe’s Sinkor Old-timer was also thrown out in a lottery kick after the field-of-play ended goalless.Howbeit, Bame clinched the ECOWAS Cup, having whipped Lakpazee Old-timer 4-2 in a lottery shot after 70 minutes of entertaining football ended 1-1.According to the former Secretary of Alpha, Bryant McGill aged people are actively engaged in the game in order to reduce the likelihood of a person developing many chronic diseases.Bryant named some of health benefits of playing soccer as increased aerobic capacity and cardiovascular health; lowering body fat and improving muscle tone; building strength, flexibility and endurance; increasing muscle and bone strength and improving health due to shifts between walking, running and sprinting.He said another benefits to old-timer footballers is teamwork. It also enables the old timer to share; help them to ‘think on the run’ and increases concentration, persistence and self-discipline.“Through old timer football we make new friends and subsequently get employment,” Mr. Bryant said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The leadership of the Movement for Progressive Change (MPC) party has suspended for time indefinite its deputy chairman for mobilization and recruitment for alleged corruption. The MPC is headed by businessman Simeon Freeman.The suspension of Augustine Kimber was announced yesterday during a press conference at the party’s headquarters in Congo Town, outside Monrovia.Kimber, who was present at the press conference, has been accused by the MPC leadership of allegedly signing for materials on behalf of the party, which he reportedly converted to his personal use.MPC national chairman, John Ballon, said the party took the action against Kimber, “because he has been in a constant habit of misusing funds belonging to the party.”Ballon said that it was also due to Kimber’s persistant refusal to formulate an action plan for the party in Montserrado County that led to his suspension.“Kimber is hereby suspended because he has also misused the MPC’s funds in the amount of US$260 intended to make the necessary arrangements at the Roberts International Airport for the arrival of the Party’s leader, Mr. Freeman on December 5, 2016,” Mr. Ballon said.He said Kimber even refused to be at the welcome ceremony and has yet to refund the money in question. Kimber was said to have recently signed for the party’s materials intended for the ongoing voter registration. They included T-shirts, 4,000 pieces of the party’s observer forms that he (Kimber) took to his house. However, said Mr. Ballon, in spite of Kimber’s suspension, he is still a member of the MPC.The accused, who was at the press conference, refused to speak to the press, but promised to react “at a later date.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Of Liberia’s 4.5 million citizens, the National Elections Commission says it expects to register 2.5 million as eligible voters.“This figure is based on the Liberia Statistics and Geo-information Services’ (LISGIS) population projections; and to achieve this target, the Commission has trained and deployed 438 civic educators and 219 gender-mobilizers across the country,” NEC Chairman Cllr. Jerome G. Korkoyah said. Serving as the ‘launcher’ of the civic education and voter registration, Cllr. Korkoyah said NEC will disseminate civic education messages based on a standardized toolkit developed by the Commission. He said as the Commission prepares to undertake this monumental task, it is appreciative of Government’s support and the partnership of the international community through UNDP, the European Union, USAID, friendly governments as well as every organization closely engaged in enhancing the tenets of democracy globally.“Voter registration is not just the technical implementation of an activity but it is a holistic political, administrative, and practical process,” Cllr. Korkoyah said. “This is why the role of voter registration is especially important when it comes to emerging democracies.”He said the quality of the process and the product, which is the voter’s roll, can determine the outcome of an election and consequently the stability of the democratic institutions in a country. Cllr. Korkoyah also stated that trust in democracy is promoted when the voter registration process is open and transparent and allows for the participation of all electoral stakeholders, mainly political parties, CSOs, the media, security forces, the international community and all potential voters.“Moreover, when the outcome of an election is readily accepted by both the winners and the losers, then the implication is that the major instrument upon which the election was conducted is fair, reliable, and credible. And that instrument is obviously the voter registration,” Cllr. Korkoyah said.“As we launch the voter education awareness for the 2017 voter registration exercise, let every citizen charge him or herself with the difficult responsibility to encourage others to participate in order to hit the bar of 2.5 million registrants.” Speaking on behalf of the Coalition of Political Parties Women in Liberia, Madam Lou A.D. Clark of Liberty Party said as the voter registration process is key to any election, everyone should take it as a personal responsibility to not only learn and conceal but share with others the importance of becoming part of the process.Madam Clark meanwhile called on NEC to closely work with all political parties in order to ensure that women’s participation – not only as voters, but as aspirants – reaches the 30 percent benchmark they are seeking in the country.“Our call is for us to realize the fulfillment of what our Constitution says: equal opportunity for all,” she said.For his part, Rep. Gabriel Buchanan Smith said the National Legislature and the House of Representatives’ Committee on Elections will continue to work with NEC in all its activities leading to 2017 representative and presidential elections.Rep. Smith meanwhile said the ‘Threshold Bill’ calling for the increment of electoral seats for women by constituency demarcation cannot be passed into law now on grounds that the national census, having been conducted in 2008, will only be done again in 2018, at which time elections would have long been be over.‘’We all have followed the recent elections in Ghana, The Gambia as well as the United States in which incumbency was not the matter but the will of the people in each of those countries,’’ Smith pointed out.The ceremonies during the launch included a parade along the main street from Sinkor to the Monrovia City Hall, featuring cultural and drama performances, songs and speeches in the NEC’s James Fromoyan Conference Hall by representatives of Community Based Organizations, Civil Society Organizations, Coalition of Political Parties Women, Faith Based Organizations, among others.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
-UNPOL, EU Reps AlarmThe US$14.2M out of the US$16.3M allotted to the Liberia National Police (LNP) in the 2017/18 fiscal budget for compensation to include salaries for civilian and paramilitary personnel overshadowed the release of a report on the Security Actions for Everyone (SAFE) Project yesterday.An honorarium and special and general allowances were also captured in the US$14.2 million, with US$3.1 million accounting for “non-financial assets.”The US$3.1 million, the police said, was intended for support and operations during the 2017 presidential and legislative elections.The report, released in Monrovia, covered police facilities and operations in four of the 15 counties, including Bong, Lofa, Montserrado, and Nimba, as well as police-community engagement.It was jointly conducted by International Alert, Liberia National Law Enforcement Agency (LNLEA), and the Center for Justice and Peace Studies (CIPS) with funding from the European Union (EU).It comes in the midst of the reported deplorable condition of prison facilities and other logistical situations experienced by the police.Yesterday’s forum was attended by representatives of the EU, United Nations Police in Liberia (UNPOL), and authorities of the LNP, among others.Meanwhile, participants agreed for the establishment of a Policing Trust Fund to provide support for needed police operations that are not reflected in the national budget.In separate remarks, European Union representative Agniesille Napierala and UNPOL’s Tabitha Mbugua said they believe that the allotment was unfair and unbalanced to make the country a safer place.“The Government of Liberia needs to improve on the budget to settle the imbalance and unfair distribution in it,” Mbugua, who proxy for the UNPOL commander, noted.“Such an imbalance in the budget would make it very difficult to have a strong partnership with the community in terms of support,” she said.Napierala also said the budget, that is hugely dominated by salaries, does not ensure accountability and transparency in the operation of the police.“How will the police manage to support the Community Watch Forum that is providing security assistance in the country to ensure a safer Liberia with the allotment of US$14.2 million as salary payment to staff of the LNP?” Napierala wondered. “How will they improve on the deplorable condition of prison facilities throughout the country?”Police Deputy Inspector General for Manpower and Training, William Mulbah admitted the huge financial difficulty posed by the budgetary allotment.“With the over 5,000 police officers, to set aside US$14.2 million for salaries is unfair and demeaning, and we had to work on it,” Mulbah assured.Despite the huge salaries, Mulbah said, they have made significant efforts in improving the relationship between the police and the community to make the country peaceful and safe.“This is evidenced by our handling of the ongoing elections process and our engagement with the community in combating crimes and improving on civilian complaints against police officers,” he indicated.The report said some police stations in the four counties do not have the necessary logistics for effective operations.“Some do not even have typewriters or computers and printers, and they have to resort to using commercial typewriters for their office operations. Many officers do not have uniforms and accessories and so, they have resolved to wear t-shirts as uniforms,” the report indicated.Cecil B. Griffiths, the president of LNLEA who read the report, said: “Moreover, many police stations in the rural areas, such as Zorzor and Flumpa police stations in Lofa County are in very deplorable conditions and need urgent renovation while the Ganta Police Station in Nimba County is in need of expansion.”The report also frowned on civilians recruited to assist police to man checkpoints in the country.“Community members complained that some of the police aides are the ones creating problems for them and are even operating without the supervision of the commander of police,” the report noted.The report also recommended that the police budget should be re-framed to capture the need for police stations in the counties.“Community members recommended that each police station should at least have one vehicle or motorbike, a computer, printer, solar panel or generator with a regular supply of gasoline, stationery and supplies, one smartphone for internet connectivity and food for the upkeep of detainees and suspects,” the report said.“To provide information about police work, community members are recommending that every police station should provide monthly or quarterly statistics on crimes, arrests, prosecutions and information about complaint mechanisms,” it indicated.On police achievement, the report said: “The police authorities made strong effort to promote accountability by issuing a number of tags to officers for identification purposes. This is a highly commendable initiative and we hope that the LNP authority will follow-up to ensure that all officers will have their names on their tags. Regular meeting between the police and community members is ongoing in addition to the SAFE project community dialogue; they are also having a regular policing forum in the various communities.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Cameroonian Ambassador Beng’Yela Augustine Gang delivering remarks at his country’s 47th independence anniversary, observed in MonroviaCelebrates 47th Independence AnniversaryIn 2015 and 2016 the Republic of Cameroon could not just jubilate on their Independence Day, which occurs on May 20, but had something to show. During celebration images of major development in infrastructure and socioeconomic development were displayed for the view of invitees.However, since 2018, the desire for development has come to face challenges arising from violent clashes between separatist fighters and the national army in the North-West and South-West of the country, thereby killing people, burning towns and villages, and displacing tens of thousands of citizens.In his deliberation in Monrovia on the celebration of National Day on May 21, 2019, one day later after the main day, May 20, Ambassador Beng’Yela Augustine Gang said, “In recent months, my country has been traversing stormy weather with some vibrations being felt under the stout national edifice.”Amb. Gang, however, mustered the courage that for the very large majority of Cameroonians, the long-established reputation as a haven for peace in the sub-region will not easily pass into oblivion.He said amid the national challenges, both their leadership and citizenry have always deployed immense passion and conviction in the task of consolidating mutual tolerance.According to the ambassador, the Cameroonian populations, despite the tough moments in the country’s history, have continued to move with confidence into each other’s ethnic and linguistic zones to find temporary fraternal relief.While confronted by national crisis that has the propensity to halt development, Amb. Gang said the government’s intention for development of the people of Cameroon remains on the agenda.He said in the last two years the government has been actively engaged in peace and reconciliation initiatives characterized by the creation of an exclusive, special Common Law section at the National School of Administration and Magistracy that trains career judges and civil administrators and state financial managers.He added that under a decree of December 13, 2018, there was suspension of prosecution followed by the release of almost 300 detainees arrested in connection with the Anglophone unrest; the creation of a National Commission for the Promotion of Bilingualism and multiculturalism by Decree of January 23, 2017, the opening of an English-speaking Higher National Polytechnique in Bamenda as an undergraduate-level institution attached to the University of Bamenda that was itself opened in 2011 as the second purely English Language State University of Cameroon.Other were the launch of the over 20 million dollar National Emergency Humanitarian Assistance Program for the North West and South West regions, and the creation by presidential decree of November 30, 2018 of a National Committee for Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration.The NCDDR holding centers, according to Amb. Gang, has started receiving “Repented” fighters, who are assured that the laying down of their arms would be tantamount to total pardon and rehabilitation.“With the slight resurgence of Boko Haram incursions, especially in North East Nigeria, Cameroon has been under renewed pressure to host over 30,000 hew refugees with UNHCR support; and lastly, but without being exhaustive, recent repeated calls by President Paul Biya that we have now reached the time for urgent forgiveness, pardon and reconciliation,” Amb. Gang said.He said recent visit to Bamenda, Buea, Kumba and Limbe by Prime Minister Dion NGUTE in this May at the request of President Biya confirms that the mood in favor of dialogue and reconciliation is stronger.He assured that Cameroon will in all circumstances move steadily toward a developing nation with the hope of attaining socioeconomic emergence as a respectable middle income country by the year 2035 (Cameroon Vision 2035).In line with its vision, Cameroon is said to have completed various hydro-electric power plants; the kribi deep sea port, a modern, indigenously-owned cocoa transformation plant in the West Region, and a new, modern state hospital.The defense forces of Cameroon, the Ambassador noted, has continued to play key development roles—building modern roads in areas abandoned by foreign contractors scared away by Boko Haram threats.In sports, Amb. Gang recounted that Cameroonian under 17 National Football team won the African Nations Cup in Tanzania in April 2018, while the senior Indomitable Lions qualified for the next African Nations Cup, and aim to give excellent account of themselves in Egypt this June.A number of activities including sport encounters in Basketball with Liberia preceded the celebration on May 21, and with the cooperation of Liberians, Amb. Gang extolled the people and the police of Liberia for making the celebration a success.For Liberia’s situation, Gang said Cameroonians truly feel what Liberians feel, and in its current moment of tension have lessons to learn from Liberia’s past.However, he added “We also nurture fraternal hopes that Liberia does not slip back by undue presumptions into a past that we all neither want to remember, nor to see repeated.”He lauded his diplomatic colleagues in Liberia for remaining tireless, neutral, respectful and discreet in helping Liberia to avoid retrogression.Minister of State without Portfolio, Trokon T. Kpui, on behalf of President George Weah and the people of Liberia, extended warm felicitations to the government and people of Cameroon and recalled how President Weah has his football history tied to Cameroon.He expressed the hope that the bilateral relation between the two countries will continue to be nurtured.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
T. Mark Korpu, the Chief Executive Office of Uprok Event Entertainment event organizer Uprok Events has announced a music festival which is intended to ensure the monetization of Liberia’s rising music industry.The All Liberian Music Festival, according to T. Mark Korpu, the Chief Executive Office of Uprok Events will be held on March 14 at the famous Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS) featuring several A-list and emerging artists and will bring together top producers and record label scouts in search of new artists.“The festival is predicated upon the need to sow neatly and tightly the loose intra-cultural relationship in Liberia by using music as a potent weapon of intercultural understanding, and medium of appreciation for the country’s arts and culture,” says Korpu.He added: “This year’s festival, like any one of our past events, will leave fans mesmerized with a lot of an unforgettable triple-treat experience.”The Uprok CEO added that, being the first of its kind in Liberia, the festival is also aimed at promoting unity among the players in the Liberia music industry—something which has been lacking over the years.“We will also like to announce that certain percentage of the total revenue generated will go to a development project to aid the industry, and this will be an entertainment arena that will host not least than 8,000 people, “he said.The Uprok CEO added that this festival is in line with Pillar one of President George M. Weah Pro- poor Agenda to empower Liberians with the tools to gain control of their lives through more equitable provision of opportunities in education, health, youth and development.Meanwhile, Mr. Korpu has called on the Government, business owners, small and large companies, influential individuals to join the company’s efforts to make the festival a success.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Flashback: Mining equipment floating over Cestos River near Buutuo Headquarters, a stone’s throw from the Ivoirian border. This is occurring all over the country. Several “undesirable” foreign nationals linkedIllegal mining activities have reportedly resurfaced in Nimba County with concentration recorded around the west bank of the Cestos River, near Behwalay Town in the Kparblee Administrative District.The identities of those foreign nationals, who are allegedly connected to the illegal mining activities, and those who hired them as well as how they arrived at the river as their point of convergence have so far remained unknown, though locals claimed many of the miners come from countries in West Africa.“They miners have reportedly installed two dredges in the river and are carrying on intensive mining activities during day and night hours without any consideration to the environment,” eyewitnesses have said.The proliferation of suspected illegal alluvial mining, involving foreigners, is becoming alarming across the country, specifically in Nimba County where 40 persons were recently trapped under debris in Gbanepea Town, near Tappita District.Last year, a group of unknown men, believed to be Malians, surfaced around the northern town of Buutuo with the same floating dredge for mining in Cestos River near the Liberian border with la Côte d’Ivoire. Residents however raised alarm, which thwarted the foreigners’ intention to mine near Bwelay Town, situated east of Buutuo Headquarters.With this latest development in the mining sector, it is not clear whether the governments of Liberia and La Cote d’Ivoire are officially informed about the presence of those allegedly linked to the border trade.In the wake of the report, Nimba Superintendent David Dorr Cooper, has halted the alleged mining activity around Cestos River, Behwalay Town, shortly after receiving reports of unfolding developments.Meanwhile, the office of Superintendent Dorr Cooper has invited to Sanniquellie, the county political capital, all those that are allegedly linked to the mining trade, to explain whether any government officials authorized them to mine minerals in those areas.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
A 23-year-old taxi driver is now in the custody of Police after he was on Saturday afternoon found to be in possession of 13,800 grams of compressed cannabis.The bust was made at around 17:00h, as ranks were conducting a routine ‘stop and search’ operation in the vicinity of the Weldaad Police Station on the WestSeventeen taped parcels containing 13,800 grams of compressed marijuana were found in the carCoast of Berbice.According to reports, the man, from Burnt Bush Dam, East Canje, East Berbice, was observed making a sudden about-turn upon observing the ranks at the roadblock, and was accordingly pursued and detained. A search carried out on his motor vehicle revealed seventeen taped parcels containing the illegal substance. As such, he was taken into Police custody, and is expected to appear in court today to answer a of cannabis possession for the purpose of trafficking.
The regional administration of Region One (Barima-Waini), with intent to develop its agricultural sector, is encouraging its residents to increase their cash crop production for this year.However, with the lack of markets for residents to sell their produce, there is a hindrance in this transition.Mayor of Mabaruma, Henry SmithRegion One Mayor Henry Smith, in a recent interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI), related that there is the need for a feasibility study to be conducted to determine the types of crops that are suitable for residents to produce; and moreover, there is need for markets for the distribution of the crops once they are harvested.Smith said the people of Region One are willing to plant cash crops, but they are concerned about where they would be able to sell their goods.“The people within the region are not lazy, but what (has) caused them to lose interest is the fact that persons would encourage them to grow more cash crops, (but) when it (is) time to reap the crops, there (usually is) no market to sell the produce. This is one of the factors that affected the establishment of an agricultural market in the region,” he explained.The main economic activity for Region One over the years has been logging and gold mining. In some areas, the alluvial soil is used to plant coffee, ground provisions and nuts. But with the recent economic decline in those products, the regional administration has decided to shift to something that the residents can implement to survive.The mayor noted that the region is trying to expand its agricultural sector and be more prominent in that field. He is certain that Barima-Waini can be successful in this new venture if there is the availability of markets, which the administration is currently seeking.