Friday, July 16, 2010

Nimba July 26 Gala Runs Into Trouble


16 July 2010

A day after Nimba County Superintendent, Edith Gongloe Weh was quoted as saying that projects earmarked for the observance of the 163rd Independence Day Celebration in the county are still from completion, several youth and student organizations from the county have joined the fray, not necessary supporting their superintendent call, but calling on the government to immediately move or transfer the celebration from the country to another county, notably Monsetrrado.

The youth and student organizations representing the Federation of Nimba Youths and Students Organization made the call yesterday late in the evening when they walked into the offices of this paper in their numbers.

On behalf of the over 100 Nimbaian youths and students who walked the streets of Monrovia going from newspapers officers as a show of remonstrance to the slow pace that mars the several projects for the July 26 festivity, Acting President Stanley Beain of the Federation of Nimba Youths and Students Organization said they were out to address the issue of the July 26 celebration named and dubbed "Nimba 2010" with reference to the delay in making available to the county the budgetary allotment which he said totaled about US$400,000.

He said he was aware that since the inception of this government, it has set aside some amount of money in the fiscal budget for the purpose of carrying development projects and other activities for July 26 National Independence celebration.

Unlike other counties where activities of National Independence were successfully executed, he said it appeared to be a different case with Nimba, their county.

"In the case of Nimba County that is about to host this year's celebration, we have realized that US$400,000 earmarked for the process was just being released to the Ministry of State on Tuesday. As we speak to you, this money has not been made available to the county and we only have four days to the kick-off of the celebration," Beain who was sandwiched by his colleagues said.

He wondered as to when the national government made available monies it appropriated for counties that have successfully hosted the events.

It may be recalled few counties including Grand Bassa, Montserrado, Margibi and Bong successfully hosted the celebration of the National Independence Day.

In the wake of what they see an impending ignominy on the part of the county, he said they as youths and students of the county are not prepared to sit supinely and see their county be disgraced.

"We, as young people and students, believe that Nimba County is our pride and so we cannot sit here and observe the disgrace of our county. This is why we have come to make this clear to the national government that since indeed the time is untimely, the July 26 celebrations in Nimba County now be put to rest until another July 26 celebration during which the county will be willing and prepared," he said to the approbation of his colleagues who swamped the tiny newsroom.

The young people and students said they were similarly contending against their county hosting the red-lettered activity as a means of even trying to eschew President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who he said they love, being made shamed because lots international dignitaries are expected to grace the occasion.

"We really love our president. We do not want our president to go in our county where she will not have electricity, not even on the main street where we will be having international guests. We feel if that is done, it means Nimba County will not be showing respect to our president. So we are saying in order to have first female president respected in our county, there should be an adequate preparation," the spokesman said.

Whether it was proper at this last minute to call on the government shift from hosting the events in Nimba to another venue, Beain defensively said their action was not belated, stressing that this was the most appropriate time to make such calls.

In a fuming tone, the spokesman told this paper that as far as he is concerned and as far as all the projects earmarked for this year's events are concerned, nothing has been done on the grounds, indicating "this is why we are concerned."

"We are not against the celebration, but we are against the time that you are willing to make Nimba County a failure," he noted.

He said they intend to call on youths and students in the county to take similar action they are taking in Monrovia so as to send a clear message to the rest of the citizens.

When asked whether their action met the approbation of local government, the County's Legislative Caucus, he responded in the negative, saying they are part of the government, which by extension means that they are part and parcel of the problem.

Confusion has been billowing from the ranks from file of the county's leadership over the appropriation of funds intended for development purposes.

Notably, Superintendent Edith Gongle-Weh was sometimes ago accused by members of the County's Legislative Caucus of unilaterally using funds intended for other projects in violation of set and agreed- upon standards.

But how far their call and action will take them and how willing and prepared is the government to adhere to their plea and move the celebration hastily to a new venue is what remains to be seen, and according to observers that appears to be an improbable cause.

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As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah


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