Monday, October 26, 2009

AACC Hosts Youth, Climate Change Dialogue

On Saturday, October 24, 2009, the Action Against Climate Change (AACC) Liberia held a climate dialogue with youths as well as other development organization in preparation for the Copenhagen climate conference which will commence on December 6, 2009 in Germany.
Speaking during the introduction of the program in the reading room of the Liberia Resource center (LRC), Mr. Yurfee Shaikerlee, Director of AACC, said the change of climate is real, though it may not be felt in Liberia as much as it is in other countries, but there are storms and floods that have devastated many countries around Liberia.
He stressed other climate change effects such as drought and famine which last week compelled Ethiopia to ask food of the United Nations (UN) for about 6.2 million of its citizens.
He further added that the advocacy for climate change is not a new thing, it started since the 90s up to date and it is still our hands and they will go to Copenhagen and tell the world leaders to cut emission.
“We are facing the impact just as other countries, it may not be as severe as theirs, but the conference is coming up in December. There’s going to be a lot of talking with world leaders and organizations and we supposed to be there too. And we will be telling them that we want people to stop heavy pollution,” Shaikerlee said.
He pointed out that if people are adding pollutants to climate change is like shifting a matter from worse to ridiculous.
“We just got through with a case that we’ve been involved with firestone, there’s a community that people have died, that a child was born with one arm and we’ve been into that talking about that pollution.
Climate change, when people are adding to it, is like adding gasoline or anything flammable to cut a fire out and burn the house,” he said.
He said that AACC wants people to stop doing that and urged industrial nations which are heavy pollutants to cut down some of the things that they are doing.
Also addressing the students at the program, Madame Rosemary Ernie, of the society for women empowerment education and training (SWEET), working along side AACC said that climate is one of the biggest challenges humanity is facing or have ever faced.
She said that Liberia like any other country in African country those not bear the causes of climate change because emission is very low in Liberia but the problem is being caused by advance countries like the USA, Japan, China and India among others.
“but we can not sit back and say that because they are the ones causing the problem then we have something to do; we have our part to play. Because even here if we look around our waste management is poor,” Madame Ernie said.
She further said that China and India are shifting blames of the climate change we face today on those industrialized nations during the industrial revolution.
Another speaker, Heather Cannon-Winkelman, doing research in Liberia, said that the Liberian forest have reduce from 90 percent land coverage to less than 50 percent land coverage with in five decades.
She said that this reduction was done because a lot of people have coal pot to cook with so they needed char coal.
“960,000 trees are being cut down every year just for those type purposes. That what is happening,” she said.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Culture Village Ground Breaks

Bong County Senator Franklin Siakor, on Tuesday September 29 broke Ground in Dimeh Bomi County, for a construction of a culture village in honor of Liberia’s Culture Legend the late Bai T. Moore.
Doing the ceremony the Youthful senator remanded Liberian of their compulsion in upholding their cultural heritage.
He recounted the efforts and contributions of the late Bai T. Moore in promoting and educating the young people of Liberia about their cultural heritage of the country.
He made an initial contribution of 20 bags of cement and urged Liberians to contribute massively to the realization of the project.
Senator Siakor also appealed to Liberians throughout the country to practice their own culture because according to him it is a symbol of unity.
For his part Momo Rogers’s former deputy Minister of Information Culture and Tourism, currently serving as deputy Minister of State for Presidential Affairs hailed the late Bai T Moore as one of the finest spices the country could boost of in the history of the country.
Mr. Rogers lauded the work of the former deputy Minister of Information culture and research Bai T. Moore for his remarkable role played in the area of cultural research at the Ministry of information. He also made a contribution of US$200 for the construction of the Culture Village in honor of the late culture hero of the country. “The late Bai T. Moore was more then a father to me while he was serving the information Ministry of Information in 1979,” Mr. Rogers averred in a passionate tone.
Making remarks, the wife of the late Bai T. Moor, Gillian Lorba Moore thanked everyone for recognizing the sacrifice her late husband made to the country in the areas of culture. She added by saying: “thank you for leaving your basic schedules to be a part of this ground breaking ceremony; it signifies that those who work harder will surely be appreciated for their works.”

LNP Override Court’s Jurisdiction

Authorities at the Liberian National Police (LNP), a subset of the Ministry of Justice responsible to combat crimes in the country, have themselves been brought to the spotlight for defying the orders of the Monrovia City Court, after a verdict against the illegal search of Nigerian house.
Judge Nelson Chineh of the Monrovia City court, in a ruling brought down on July 28, 2009 he sustained that the properties of Michael Efe Igho the defendant were seized illegally and should therefore be turned over to him.
The home of defendant Igho was ‘illegally’ allegedly searched on the 20th of July 2009 by Sam Gaballah, Raffel A. Wilson one Issac and others to be identified all being Officers of LNP and away US$2,650, one brand new apache motorbike valued US$1,600 and at least 14,000 Euros after they had gone to effectuate an arrest of alleged burglary committed by the Defendant.
Lead defense Lawyer Cllr. Emmanuel B. James had argued before the court that his Client’s home was illegally searched and properties seized in violation of the Constitution, which is the organic law of the land.
Cllr. James told the court that his Client’s rights was violated by the officers who raided the house without search warrant, searching and snatching away property and money without respect to the rule of law.
The prosecution had also argued that the action of the LNP was not a violation of any statue. The prosecution represented by City Solicitor Sam T. Solomon indicated before the court that the LNP had gone to the home of the defendant in ‘Hot’ pursuit of an alleged criminal who had committed the act of burglary on the premises of Eddie Textile situated at Waterside, the City of Monrovia. The prosecution further denied in total the submission of the defendant about properties seized from his home.
After entertaining arguments from both sides Judge Nelson B. Chineh in his final ruling said: “these are the contentions of the parties before this court, which required passing for the settlement of this information.”
The Judge further added: “let us first look at what the constitution has to say; article 21 sub-paragraph B. of the 1986 constitution states, “ No person shall be subject to search and seizure of his person or property, whether on a criminal charge or for any purpose unless upon warrant lawfully issued upon probable cause supported by oath or affirmation.”
The judge further intimated that for the fact that the police did not proceed to the Defendant’s resident on the same day or the day after prior to the commission of the crime the prosecution’s assertion that it had gone in ‘Hot’ pursuit of the defendant was also a violation of the laws of the state.
Chineh indicated that even if the LNP had gone to the Defendant’s home with a search warrant the court is the legal arm in a trial that is clothed with the authority to keep or possess the properties of the Defendant.
“Wherefore, and in view of the foregoing, it is holding of this court that the information field by the informant before this court, be and same is hereby sustained in part,” the judge averred.
“The state is hereby ordered to return to this court all properties all properties seized from the informant, who is believed to be in connection to the burglary case. As those items which have no bearing on the burglary case in connection with the police findings must be returned to the person from whom it was seized and is hereby so ordered.”
Since the ruling of the Court and evident by a letter from the court to the minister of Justice the LNP had failed to adhere and respect same.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Narcotics Ghettos Overwhelms Monrovia

Despite the danger it poses on the health and thoughts of many youngsters, narcotics are flowing on the Liberian street especially in central Monrovia where a higher lever of national security offices is concentrated.
The problem of drug abuse in Liberia goes beyond just the users. Farmers are tempted to grow cannabis rather than other crops because profits are higher and the drug can be trafficked relatively easily throughout the region, 100km and 150km from Monrovia.
The Drugs Enforcement Agency (DEA) in June of this year simultaneously disposed of a huge consignment of narcotic drugs valued over L$24million in the 15 political sub-division of the country.
In April of this year, DEA agents in Greenville, Sinoe County accused some law enforcement officers in the county of aiding drug traffickers.
Apart from the cannabis grown in rural Liberia other synthetic drugs such as cocaine, Italian White, Dugee, morphine among others are found on the streets of Monrovia.
Some of the areas pin-pointed for harboring narcotics Ghetto include trench town, Mechlin street, the west point, the redlight and center street where the ghetto is located not more than 25 kilometer away from the police metro one depot.
Information gathered in the area indicated that the police and the drugs dealers in central Monrovia are in a very close tie and ghettos hardly get raid.

According to an informant, who preferred anonymity, the only time ghettos get raided is when an order is issued from headquarters for a general raid which last took place in January of this year.
Besides the general raid, the police often visit some of the ghettos on Self Interest Operations SIOs at which time the narcotics dealers organized some funds for them.
For the ghetto at center street there is more than one dealer. Each of these dealers operates on certain day of the week in other to get their product going.
At least the lowest as amount paid for a piece of crack is settle at an amount of 280 Liberian dollars a piece.

60 Health Practitioners Get Neonatal Training

The ministry of health in collaboration with the Latter-Day Saints Charities yesterday began a two day Mid-level Neonatal resuscitation training in order to reduce the higher rates of maternal death as well as neonatal death.
The workshop was stage at the latter-day saints church on the Horton avenue opposite St. Simon Baptist school.
According to the Ministry’s director of family health services, Dr. Saye D. Bawoo, the rate of neonatal death remains high in Liberia and the training was aimed at preparing up to 60 health practitioners.
“In spite of the global decline we are experiencing in less than five mortality rates, neonatal mortality rate remains unchanged. Neonatal mortality constitute about two-third of the deaths that occurred in infants,” he said.
He pointed out that infection which constitutes 47%, Births at home contributing 29% and premature birth accounting for 24% of neonatal mortality in Liberia.
The infections that bring about neonatal mortality according to Dr. Bawoo include tetanus, pneumonia and diarrhea among others.
Dr. Bernice Dawn also speaking at the training workshop said that the participants in the work shop would be assigned at about health facilities around the country.
She rated the maternal mortality as ratio 10 deaths to every 1,000 women that give birth and neonatal mortality is three times more at 32 deaths to every 1000 infants that are delivered.
She urged the participant to be agents of change to reduce the mortalities rate in the country.
She said that the training will help take the task from the traditional mid wives to professions adding that there would be mentors assign to each of the trainees to help them to cope up with the training they would receive.
Meanwhile, the Latter-day Charities, facilitators of the training, said that at the end of the training each of the participants will be presented resuscitation kit.
One importance of the resuscitation training is that many at times when babies are bore there can be fluid in the air way which could be fatal leading to death.

ILFS Call on India to Grant Medical Aids

The Indo-Liberia Friendship Society (ILFS) on Friday, September 18, 2009 called on the Indian Government through its Minister of State for External Affairs Dr. Shashi Tharoor, to see reasons to established a modernized Hospital in the country help solve complicated medical problems.
Since the armed struggle which plague the country for about fourteen years, residents of Liberia have been seeking adequate medical services abroad due to the break down of advance equipment to deal with such ills.
Therefore, the ILFS president madam Marpu P.Z. Dhaliwal, seized the opportunity at the welcoming ceremony of the Indian parliament man held at the resident of the Indian consulate to called on the Indian government to not only established a hospital but to also provide physicians to be assigned to other hospitals in the country.
According to madam Dhaliwal, Liberia over the years had offered Indians a second home to be proud of. She acknowledged the cordial and friendly relationship between the two countries with the hope that the visit of an Indian high-powered delegate to the country would cement the already existent friendship and open new areas of bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
“Mr. Minster, we are aware that India is far ahead in the production of pharmaceuticals which Liberia needs at the moment. We are also aware that 73% of doctors in the United States of America are of Indian origin. It is our hope that in the spirit of South-South Cooperation, Indian doctors and medical support will be sent to Liberia as matter of top priority,” she said.
She warns of malaria saying that malaria is one of the deadliest killer diseases in the world, Malaria is prevalent in Liberia.
“India has produced medicine that cures malaria. We therefore, appeal for Indian malaria experts to be sent here to deal with this malaria epidemic in the country,” Madam Dhaliwal Said.
a member of Parliament and Minister of State for External Affairs of India made history on Wednesday, September 16, 2009 when he became the first high-profile Indian government official to visit Liberia in 40 years, even though the two countries have enjoyed cordial bilateral ties for so many years. Dr. Tharoor, a very humble and simple gentleman, does not display the hot air of power that he wields, but he is no small power broker in the world's largest democracy. The soft-spoken Minister met a cross-section of top Indian businessmen at a private dinner tendered in his honor by the Honorary Consul General of India, Upjit Singh Sachdeva, at his residence in the diplomatic enclave of Mamba Point in Monrovia. The august visitor exhorted Liberians to lift their economy by importing some of India's technology into the country. He said India would assist the Liberian Government based on the Government's own agenda for assistance and promised that his government would assist Liberia in easing some of her land transport needs. The Honorary Consul General earlier recounted Indian businessmen's contribution to the Liberian economy and the cordial ties they enjoy with the Liberian authorities. He also called for more Indian investment in the country as, according to him, Liberia is a good place for doing business.

Fuamah Rioters to Face Prosecution

The youths residing in Faumah District in Bong County who staged a violent demonstration on Wednesday, September 16, 2009, in which the Liberian Flag (Lone Star) was brought down and allegedly burnt are expected to face court prosecution in November on several charges including robbery and crime against the state.
According to earlier reports, the rioters were demanding accountability from the district authorities for funds that they have generated over the years from the flourishing scrap business that has been ongoing in the area as well as the county’s development funds.
During the riot, the Fuamah youths brought down three of the country’s from the offices of the commissioner, the clan chief and the paramount chief; a action describe by the police Inspector, Ebenezer R. Coleman, as a first degree felony that could result in violators facing firing squad.
The latest riot in the district claimed the attention of some of the county authorities in a rather negative way including the chairman of the Bong County legislative caucus, Rep. George Mulbah who believed that the youths should not go with impunity.
He thereby alleged that the Fuamah youths attack on the state was becoming habitual pointing back to 2008; when the youths arrogantly burnt down the then newly renovated police station in the area.
“They are not going to get away with this act this time, but will be brought to justice for their actions,” he asserted.
However, The Federation of Liberian Youth (FLY) has reportedly accused some of the local authorities including Representative, George Mulbah; District Commissioner, Nathaniel A. Carter and Police Inspector, Ebenezer R. Coleman for allegedly brutalizing several youths belonging to its Bong Mines youth secretariat on
Meanwhile, the Youth Chairman of Fuamah, John G. Monroe, whom along with other youths was imprisoned for four days pending trail, spoke with the Daily Observer on Monday, September 28, 2009 via phone about the pending prosecution.
According to him they have a bond up to November 9, 2009 when they should be facing the magisterial court in Gbarnga on charges of robbery and contempt.

‘Nourishing the fragile Peace’

The Liberian Council of Churches (LCC) boss Dr. Benjamin Lartey on Monday urged every Liberian to become an ambassador of peace in order to nourish the ‘Fragile’ peace that exist in Liberia.
He said this at the indoor ceremony of the observance of the international day of peace stage at the Monrovia city
The Civil Peace Service-Liberia celebrated the third Liberian Day of Peace today as many other countries in the world, Liberians on this very day came together to celebrate the ongoing peace process in their country.
This observance is the third of its kind in Liberia since the International Day of Peace was established by the U.N. General Assembly in 1981 for the “commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace within and among all nations and people.”
In 2001, the General Assembly decided that the 21st of September would be observed annually as a “day of global ceasefire and non-violence" thereby inviting all Member States, organizations and individuals to commemorate the day, including thorough education and public awareness.
The day was thereby been proclaimed by the President of the Republic of Liberia, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to be observed through out the country.
The program was observed by members of the civil society as well students who paraded the principle streets of Monrovia and concluded the observance at the Monrovia city hall where students, civil groups took place in two fashions the celebrations started at 8.00h with a parade from the Ministry of Education to the City Hall in Monrovia.
Mr. Lancedell Mathews, Coordinator for the Civil Peace Service Liberia, gave an introduction for the day. After that representatives from the Liberian Ministry of Education, the united Nation Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), members of the civil society, the Liberian Peace Fund and some schools from Monrovia gave their "Wishes for Peace" in Liberia.
The indoor observance was spiced up with a documentary on the Liberian civil war title “Pray the Devil Back to Hell”, which was aimed at sensitizing the young students that was generally fervent to understand the message that was being passed on.
The documentary according to some of the students taught how brutal war can be especially to non-combatants who were disadvantaged during the Liberians.
Some said that they wish that Liberia will know war no more because war has cause them to be overlooked in our global village as barbarians of the ancient times.
The program had a 10 minuets break for a moment of silence for the Liberian that have fallen during the countries civil crises during which time the “peace candles” were lit and held up by individuals in the hall.
Speaking at the program the Liberian Council of Churches (LCC) boss Dr. Benjamin Lartey urged every Liberian to become an ambassador of peace in order to nourish the ‘Fragile’ peace that exists in Liberia.
In an interview with a team of journalist, Dr. Lartey added that Liberians most unite in order to nourish the peace that many have fallen for and the observance of the International Day of Peace is a reminder of where we have passed to enjoy this peace we are now enjoying.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

AACCL Observes Global Climate Week

The issue of climate change effect the world over the years has prompted many nations to get involve in the establishment of environmental clubs in order to sensitizer people of the emission of green house gases which tend to trigger a higher rate of nature disasters.
AACCL on Tuesday, September 22, 2009 visited several schools in Monrovia planting trees as well as educating students on the devastating effects of global warming and it causes.
This observance started on Monday, September 21, 2009 and have been named by the United Nations as The Global Climate Week coincide with the UN's Secretary-General's High Level Summit on Climate Change on 22 September 2009.
Global Climate Week aims at uniting efforts, whether individual or collective, calling for urgent action to combat climate change – the greatest challenge of our time. UN urges that Cities, organizations, groups and individuals are invited to mobilize their networks and join the effort.
This important week and the lead-up weekend will be marked by synchronized activities in more than 100 cities to urge world leaders to seal a fair and effective climate agreement at the UN Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen this December.

Go Slow Hits ELWA Hospital

Workers of the Eternal Love Winning Africa (ELWA) Hospital located on the Roberts field highway on Friday September 4, 2009 morning stage a go slow in relation to an expected employment of a Nigerian national as a supervisor of the hospital.
The go slow lasted from the early morning hours up about 12:30 P.M at which time many patience were not being attended to.
Minister. Kedrick White, Executive Director (ED) of the ELWA, then called an emergency meeting in to discourse the issue of bringing a Nigerian, identify as Hawa Sarwah to supervise the workers; journalists were banded from attending the meeting.
After the hour plus meeting, Minister White spoke to the media present on their progress with the workers at the hospital.
He said that they facing difficulties with many factors such as authorities, proceedings, procedure consultations and how to run and operate ELWA.
According to the excusive director, the hospital will host a one week meeting be to him the staff need to made knowledgeable of different positions hiring and processes among others that can be misunderstand.
He further added that the decision to host a one week meeting is to dialogue with the staffs over their current grievances for a liberalize ELWA to the Liberian Public.
Meanwhile, the staff representative, Jadeh Gesenius Gbablo, speaking to his fellow reluctant comrades about the out come of the meeting said that Minister White wanted for all workers to list the opinions on problems that they have being face with and channel it through three representative.
However, some of the Nurses raised qualms over representation of the entire staff by only three persons, especially in time like these. Mr. Gbablo responded to their say that their words are not the gospel and appealed to them to take up their working and go back to work.
Many of the staff show off reluctance to the appeal and slowly move toward their respective offices in a hope that the seven days cooling off dialogue will solve their many grievances which have haunted them over the years.

Bong Mines Youth Thirst for Justice

The youths of the one time, Bong Mines Company (BMC) that was operating in the west African state of Liberia have been face with series of problems. the rights of the youths are been infringed on by the local authorities as well as the scraping company that is operating in the area.
 Ihe scrape company which is in partnershiip with a british owned company known as horizons, has been scraping every structure of the bogn mines company and ship abroad thereby leaving the facility to be as i fa ghost town.
In September of 2009, the British prepierator, Hans Armstrong used tear gas grenade aginst the local there by injuring their eyes severely. he was then to appear in court but used his monetary might and call the case off to the Provencal city of gbarnga where the case is still pending investigation.

Presidential Task Force Dissolved

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has dissolved the controversial task force under Madam Mary Broh, the embattled Acting City Mayor of Monrovia, for apparently flexing her muscle after a brief clash with Muslims who were breaking their day-long fast over the weekend.
The incident on Benson Street provoked an uproar among Muslims and some Christians who described the Mayor’s act of using baton-carrying members of the task force to disrupt the traditional rituals of the fasting Muslims as ‘barbaric and ruthless’.
In the meantime, President Johnson Sirleaf has expressed disdain and repugnance over the action of Mary Broh when the latter ordered the Special Presidential Task Force to raid the area along the Benson Street Mosque in a routine clean-up exercise.
Presidential Press Secretary Cyrus Wleh Badio, quoting President Johnson Sirleaf, said the ‘uncalled for action’ of the Task Force, led by Madam Mary Broh, affected some members of the Muslim Community who were preparing to break their fast.
Badio made these disclosures yesterday at the Executive Mansion’s weekly news briefing held at the Foreign Affairs Ministry on Capitol Hill in Monrovia.
According to him, the President has been identifying with Liberian Muslims by distributing rice to various mosques in Monrovia and its environs, as they celebrate the Holy Month of Ramadan. But the incident on Saturday, August 29, 2009, threatened to overshadow that gesture.
At the same time, Badio said during a well-attended meeting with representatives of the Muslim Community and the National Muslim Caucus, President Johnson Sirleaf offered an apology for the incident.
The Liberian Chief Executive has also accepted a request for a meeting with representatives of Muslim groups in the country following the Fast Month.
Muslim leaders in the country have also requested a meeting with the President to discuss issues of concern.
Meanwhile, the Executive Mansion said President Sirleaf had dissolved the Broh-led Special Presidential Task Force with immediate effect. Madam Broh and her team had used the Force to demolish makeshift structures and market stalls to the discomfiture of their owners.
The Task Force, according to a briefing note issued by the Press Secretary’s Office, is not necessary; ‘now that the structure of the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC) is in place’.
At the same time, eyewitnesses, in separate interviews with the Daily Observer on Monday, expressed dissatisfaction over the action of Madam Broh and the now disbanded Presidential Task Force, last Saturday, “when they wasted food and other eatables belonging to Muslims who were breaking their Fast”.
According to the eyewitnesses, the move of the Task Force provoked anger and annoyance from the Muslim Faithful, but the situation was swiftly and professionally put under control by gallant officers of the Liberia National Police who later arrived at the scene.
Other eyewitnesses said the action of the Presidential Task Force was aimed at discouraging indiscriminate throwing of waste materials near the Benson Street Mosque and other nearby areas where some of the fast breakers were seen throwing dirt onto the principal streets.
Others, too, are of the opinion that such an act was a potential source of violence; something, they say, Liberia, which has just graduated from 14 years of armed conflict with unimaginable negative impacts, was not prepared for.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

UNMIL Gets DSR for Recovery and Governance

The United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) has received a new Deputy Special Representative (DSR) for Recovery and Governance, Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator to assist the Mission.
Mr. Moustapha Soumaré from Mali was appointed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to carry out these tasks. He replaces Jordan Ryan who had served in this capacity.
Mr. Soumaré graduated with a Doctorate in soil and water conservation in 1979, and served as a skilled and seasoned professional in positions of increasing responsibility, both in his native country Mali and at the international level.
He later merged his skills with policy analysis, development issues and international affairs. His range of expertise and knowledge spans environmental management; project development and management; and management of human resources.
Mr. Soumaré brings to the UN family in Liberia a range of in-depth skills in partnership-building, policy development, operations management, team management and stakeholder dialogue.
The Recovery and Governance boss possesses a unique understanding and capacity to manage complex negotiations and relationships, borne out of his in-depth knowledge and understanding of international institutions, including the Bretton Woods Institutions and regional economic bodies.
In recent years, Mr. Soumaré’s career at the UN Development Program (UNDP) has seen him serve in a number of capacities, including as Head of the Directorate, Special Assistant to the Director, UNDP Africa, New York; Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Benin and Rwanda; and as Deputy Regional Director for Africa.
While in New York, he also served as Research Director for the Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on the UN system-wide coherence, in the areas of development, humanitarian assistance and the Environment. The UNMIL new chief is married with children.
It can be reached on UNMIL website that Mr. Soumaré’s predecessor, Jordan Ryan, UN’s Resident Coordinator in Liberia held an interview, when he first arrived at his new post three years ago, he soon discovered how much needed to be done to rebuild the war-shattered West African country. One of the UN’s early tasks was to help re-establish working government systems at the local and regional level. But “we faced a challenge where local officials had to sit under trees to hold county meetings,” says Mr. Ryan.
In an interview in December 2008, he had this to say: “They had no electricity, running water… much less functioning county buildings. Rather than disparate UN agencies acting in an uncoordinated fashion, what we did was to create a single team in each of the 15 counties, with the goal that they were there to support the restoration of state authority, to help the County Superintendent learn the basics.”
Mr. Ryan has a lot on his plate, both as Resident Coordinator, bringing together the work of the agencies, and as Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, acting under the overall leadership of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Ellen Margarethe Løj, who was at the time Denmark’s ambassador to the UN in New York and now UNMIL Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG).
Mr. Ryan arrived just before President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first female elected head of state and a former UNDP director, took her oath of office in January 2006.
There were still IDP (internally displaced persons) camps, refugee camps and a nation not very clear on its way forward. “But after three years of engagement, there has been a real effort—that the UN is quite proud of—towards beginning a dialogue with the people of Liberia, focusing on their needs.”
The UN supported consultations that helped formulate the County Development Agendas in 130 districts across all 15 counties. Thousands of people were consulted for the first time as to what development should be in Liberia: from road networks, to schools and health services.
“Early on when I first came, we faced a very large vaccination campaign. We were able to use peacekeeping mission assets—helicopters—to get us and NGOs out to places that couldn’t otherwise be reached. The strength of the mission makes us stronger; and when you start working together, people realize ‘wow, we can do so much more,” Mr. Ryan disclosed.
While the SRSG is the overall voice of the UN, Mr. Ryan said the entire team “sees what we’re doing, that we’re all part of the UN.” Each agency has relationships with a variety of ministers, and they are encouraged to think outside their traditional roles.
As the DSRSG and Resident Coordinator at the time, he promised to take an enormous pride in the entire team; an enormous respect. He did as he promised. And other ordinary citizens who spoke to these new papers hope the new successor, Mr. Moustapha Soumaré, will do even better now that he is in charge.
The country extends thanks and appreciation to Mr. Jordan Ryan for his assistance.

WAEC Dux Explains Success Story

The 2008/2009 West African Examinations Council (WAEC) dux, Hester Andoh, in an exclusive interview with the Daily Observer, has explained her success story of her success in this year’s WAEC exams.
She spoke with the Observer on the campus of Joseph Jenkins Roberts United Methodist High School yesterday, September 3, 2009.
Hester, 16, told this reporter that ascending to this level in her life meant a lot to her. “The level of earning division one status in the exams came through hard studies and determination,” she said, beaming with smiles.
The former student of the J.J. Roberts United Methodist High School narrated that her success did not just start but began far back in her elementary school days, when her instructors saw her as a potential student who could make the difference in the lives of her fellow students. “My instructors then began to encourage me to continue to hard work,” Hester added.
She said she obtained her elementary education in Ghana, adding that at the time she was and is still very articulate in English but admitted having deficiency in Math.
“Notwithstanding, I improved on it [Math] and today I have become the dux for this year’s exams. My WAEC result is a plus in my life and I’m not surprised that I emerged as the dux because I know and believe that with hard studies and determination, it can happen not only to me but to any other person,” she asserted.
She then admonished her peers to study hard as a means of succeeding in their academic sojourn.
Hestor was born on June 24, 1993 in Ghana, to a Liberian mother and a Ghanaian father, who currently resides in his country with Hester’s siblings. The prospective college student is the only girl child of her parents and the only one in Liberia with her mother.
According to Hester, her father and mother were married but later divorced.
For his part, the JJ Roberts School Principal, Samuel K. Sagbeh, told the Observer that it was a victory for his school to produce the dux for this year’s exams.
“To a larger extent we are thrilled and fascinated for the kind of result we received this year. We, however, give special recognition to all of our instructors who took time impacting knowledge to all our students, including dux Hestor Andoh,” Mr. Sagbeh intoned.
He used the occasion to call on the Government to provide scholarship for his student.
Interestingly, there are high hopes from many quarters that Government will see reason to provide scholarship for Hester, whether in the country or outside.

World Briefing


A recent report by an Israeli non-governmental organization says 5,000 Palestinian children in East Jerusalem will not be able to attend classes this year because there are not enough classrooms.

The Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem lack more than 1,000 classrooms needed to accommodate schoolchildren, according to the report issued by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) and Ir Amim, an Israeli nonprofit that promotes coexistence in the city.
Iranian MPs have approved the first woman minister in the 30-year history of the Islamic republic.
She was one of 18 nominations for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's new cabinet to be approved. Two other women were among three rejected nominees. The president's choice for defense minister, Ahmad Vahidi, who is wanted by Argentina over a deadly 1994 bombing of a Jewish centre, won strong backing. The vote follows months of wrangling after disputed elections in June.


The aid agency Oxfam has decried the conditions in which hundreds of thousands of refugees from the conflict in Somalia are being forced to live.
It says the overcrowded and badly managed camps in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya are "barely fit for humans". Dadaab camp in north-eastern Kenya was meant to hold 90,000 refugees, but is now home to almost 300,000 people, and a further 8,000 arrive each month. Oxfam has called on Kenya's government to urgently allocate more land.


At least 46 people have died and thousands of people have been forced into emergency shelters after a powerful earthquake struck off the coast of Indonesia's Java Island, rescue officials say.
The magnitude 7 quake, which hit on Wednesday afternoon local time, caused widespread damage. With rescue and recovery efforts under way on Thursday, officials said the death toll was likely to rise further. Some coastal areas remained out of contact.
A 22-year-old South African man who committed suicide after being refused identity documents he needed to start a job is being buried in KwaZulu-Natal.
Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma will address the mourners at Skhumbuzo Mhlongo's funeral. The minister broke down in tears before journalists earlier this week when she was telling them about the case. She is expected to announce the outcome of an investigation. She said she suspected an official expected a bribe.
A journalist has fled Russia after suggesting the Arctic Sea cargo ship that was apparently hijacked in July may have been carrying illegal weapons.
Mikhail Voitenko said he had been told to leave Moscow or face arrest. The editor of Sovfracht, an online maritime journal, fled on Wednesday, saying he may not be able to return as his life would be in danger. Eight men, mainly from Estonia, have been charged with hijacking and piracy over the case.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Hike in Tuition Outweighs MOE Mandate

Hike in Tuition Outweighs MOE Mandate
-Education Minister, Appears before Plenary Today

By Bill E. Diggs
After numerous appeals by parents to the Government of Liberia (GOL) for a reduction in the skyrocketing tuition fees in the country, the Minister of Education, Dr. Joseph D.Z. Korto, has disclosed that the Ministry of Education (MOE) had not been mandated to control tuition fees paid to private schools.
Recent numerous appeals of parents have raised eyebrows over the past weeks and Dr. Korto is expected to appear before the 52nd Legislature today to address issues concerning the hike in tuition fees in private schools.
However, in an interview with a team of reporters on Monday, August 24, 2009 at the Centennial Memorial Pavilion, Minister Korto disclosed that the issue of controlling hikes in tuition was beyond his Ministry’s statutory mandate.
He said that the Ministry of Education’s mandate was to oversee and supervise the curriculum and academic calendar, among other activities. Such mandate, he added, covers both public and private schools.
“But let me say this, the Ministry of Education, yet does not have the statutory mandate to regulate school fees that are being paid,” Min. Korto disclosed.
The Minister did not say who has the mandate to regulate school fees in the country, but acknowledged that Liberians live in a capitalistic society where private schools, which are part of the National School System, are not being administered by the Ministry.
“The different school systems determine what level of tuition fees they can charge,” he added.
He accentuated that the Government could prevail on private schools by bargaining with the schools on their skyrocketing fees for a possible reduction.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Liberia’s Professional Shoemaker has Falling

Liberia’s pioneer shoemaker and businessman, Matthew G. Kpeh, 56, on Wednesday, August 12, 2009 at about 5:30am met his untimely death by heart failure at the St. Joseph catholic Hospital where he was admitted.
Mr. Kpeh was born on January 7, 1953 in Moweh district # 5, Rivercess County. In all his life time, Mr. Kpeh got many achievements as a businessman and a professional shoemaker despite his educational background.
In 1975 having graduated from the Liberia Opportunities Industrialization Centers (LOIC) Mr. Kpeh established the MKS shoemaking shop on McDonald Street under the Crown Hill cinema in Monrovia where he mended shoes for President Williams R. Tolbert.
During the 80’s Mr. Kpeh was the President of the Shoemaker Association of Liberia and by 1985, he was awarded a scholarship by the then President of Liberia, Samuel K doe, whom he made shoes for to go to Italy and study shoemaking.
He retuned to Liberia in 1986 and become a teacher of the Liberia Opportunities Industrialization Centers (LOIC) Shoemaking Department up to 1990 when war broke out at the countries border and he had to flee for his life.
He returned to Monrovia in 1992 and established the Come and See Bakery no McDonald streets where he began producing meat pie and other pastries until 2009 when he added cook food to his menu.
In 1995 Matthew G. Kpeh won the award businessman of the year. Also that same year became father of the year of the John Jackson Powell United Methodist Church on Warren Street.
Mr. Kpeh remained very committed to his native home Moweh district #5, Rivercess County and by 1998 he became chairmen of the Moweh Development Association up to January of 2009 when he resigned from the post.
During the general and presidential elections of 2005 Mr. Kpeh served as the campaign chairmen Moweh district for the Liberty Party, where he canvassed a huge some of votes for his party.
Mr. Kpeh was married with 11 children to Mrs. Durcas Nukah Kpeh, who predeceased Him in March of 2008 in a motor accident.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Armed Robbers Raid Firestone

Police Dragnet Catches 15

During the early morning hours of Tuesday, August 12, 2009, the homes of some key Firestone administrative staff were robbed at gunpoint with at least one sustaining severe physical injury.

Speaking to the Daily Observer, LNP Chief Superintendent Susannah Blackie of the Roberts International Airport (RIA) police detachment said she received a call at about 1:30am that there was an armed robbery in progress in the Firestone concession area, so she called on the LNP Emergency Response Unit (ERU) to go there.

The homes that were victimized, according to Blackie, were those of Firestone public relations manager, Rufus Karmorh, who sustained an injury to the head and was taken to the Duside Hospital; and chief of administrative affairs, Mrs. Onu Abdallah Keshen.

Chief Supt. Blackie did not say whether there was an exchange of fire in the area, but said that the ERU responded with efficiency and rounded up 3 of the robbers on the scene. The 3 have since been moved to the Central Police Headquarters in Monrovia.

She added that several other alleged criminals were raided yesterday morning in addition to the few that were arrested that night.

Asked what could be done to avoid recurrence of the situation, Chief Supt. Blackie said that they needed logistics because that makes the work much easier.

She alluded that armed robbery in the concession area has been quiet for some time, but since more young men moved into the area of late, from Monrovia, armed robbery has returned to her control area.

“Those guys that were arrested, majority of them don’t live here, they live in Monrovia; but they come, you know, and their friends harbor them. Then, at night they go around damaging and taking people things away”, she said. But key sources within the concession area are saying that some of the alleged armed robbers are men who were down-sized from the Firestone security apparatus, the Plant Protection Department (PPD).

When contacted by this reporter to elaborate on the burglary at her home, Mrs. Keshen said that she was so stressed up and couldn’t make any comment until after an hour or so, but when further contact was pursued, security at Mrs. Abdallah home said that she was sleeping and didn’t wanted to be bothered.

However, according to information gathered earlier by this reporter, several armed men, some with machetes, knives and guns, entered the home of Mrs. Keshen and took away her jewelries, money and laptop, among others.

Mr. Karmorh, who was admitted at the Duside Hospital for the injury he sustained on his head, could not be contacted to explain what occurred in his home because medical officials said he was taking rest.

Meanwhile, Margibi county District number 3 Representative, Saah Gbollie, condemned the act of robbery in his district and has urged all residents of the plantation to cooperate with the police in cracking down on crime in the district.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Masonic Craft Identifies With The Needed

-Vows Quarterly Donations
The Charity Committee of the Order of Eastern Star of the General Grand Chapter of the Masonic Craft on Saturday, August 8, 2009 donated consorted food and non-food items valued over US$2,000 to three needed related orphananage homes in Monrovia.
The Anthonette Tubman Cheshire Orphanage Home (ATCOH), on 10th Street Sinkor, Cheeseman, amongst the three beneficiaries, received five bags of rice, a cartoon of fish and chicken and Mango Candle.
Other items included a cartoon of bathing soap, clora and toileteries.
The Director of ATCOH, Ms. Famatta Collins thanked Worthy Sister and Brother Irene L.M. McIntosh and Anthony W. Deline, General Grand Worthy Matron and Patron of the Order of the Eastern Star for the donations, as well as the Charity Committee, headed by Worthy Sister Ophelia Hoff-Saytumah for the kind gesture.
“The Anthonette Tubman Cheshire Orphanage Home, a resident of 14 multi-disability, between the ages of 1-49 is grateful for the donation and we hope this will not be the last,” Ms. Collins smiled.
The head of maternity of the Liberian-Japanese Friendship Maternity Center- the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital, Dr. Wilhemina Jallah, receiving the two bags of rice and two cartoons of children used clothes and consorted items, extended her thanks and appreciation on behalf of management and promised to use the items for the intended purpose.
“We can assure you that these items will be used for the children and as you promised us, we hope to see you again,” Dr. Jallah averred.
The head of the Americans for Africans Adoption Incorporated (AFFA), Ms. Oretha J. Wesee, located in Paynesville, told journalists that the donation is the first in six years.
Ms. Wesee asserted that the home is housing 27 abandoned children, two of whom are multi-disable, between the ages of 5 months to 11 years, and is a recognized institution established in 2002.
“We give God the glory to the Eastern Star of the General Grand Chapter for such timely donations and we want to tell you that they will use for the intended purpose,” Ms. Wesee avowded.
Worthy Sister Ophelia Hoff-Saytumah told journalists that the donation is way of identifying with the needed in the country and is the first donation since her appointment in March-2009, and vowed to have a quarterly donation to the needed institutions.
“The items were donated by Worthy Sister Irene l.M. McIntosh, Past Matron, Ruth Chapter Number 8 and General Grand Worthy Matron, Order of the Eastern Star and Worthy Brother Anthony W. Deline, Past Patron, Adah Chapter number Four and General Grand Worthy Patron, Order of the Eastern Star,” Worthy Sister Saytumah, Honorary Past Matron, Queen Esther Chapter Number One, stated.
Other members of the Charity Committee are Worthy Sister Esther Page, Past Matron, Dorcas Chapter Number 3 and Worthy Brother H. Augustus Roberts, Jr, Distric Deputy General Patron of Grand Bassa County and Past Patron of Ruth Chapter Number Eight.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Traditional Culture Returns

The RLJ Kendeja resort and Villas has launched a weekly Liberian cultural night which tends to promote cultural activities in as well as attract tourist to the country.
The Launching ceremony brought together people from all walks of life in Liberia to witness a glamorous performance of the Bassa, Vai, Kpelle and Dan traditional dance groups as well as the preparation of some Liberian traditional dishes.
The former Liberian Cultural centre was so lighted that it signifies that the commitment of the RLJ Kendeja Resort and Villas towards Liberian culture and economy and especially to support the local Kendeja community is not just a hollow phrase, but is really being put into action.
The General Manager Ronald praised the performers who colored the occasion with their swift bodies stating that the Liberian Culture was appreciated and has the potential to attract guests if it is presented and promoted the right way.
“I think this is the way forward, not only for Kendeja but for the tourism sector in general. We will increase this kind of activities and launch a monthly changing Contemporary Liberian Art Exhibition on the 22nd of July with works from the artist David Wollobah,” Ronald added.
He further averred that at this moment they are also developing a range of special Kendeja products, postcards and arts and crafts in collaboration with the Kendeja community and craftsman, which can be sold in their shop to support the concept of traditional night and the Kendeja Community as well.

Miss Liberia Donates to orphanages

During the latter weeks of July, about four Orphanages and at least one displaced center in Montserrado County benefited from aid donated by the current Miss Liberia, Shu-rina R. Wiah.
Moved by compassion, Miss. Wiah visited Anna M. Enoch Orphanage in Upper Caldwell, the Gold Child Orphanage in VOA, among others, and identified with approximately 114 orphans between ages two and 18, on July 27, 2009 and donated about six 50kg bags of rice, four cartons each of candles, detergent soaps and Vaseline.
The day-long orphanage tour came to an end in Mount Barclay displaced center where she donated about three 50kg bags of rice, one carton each of candles, detergent soaps and Vaseline to the elderly people of the camp.
Miss Wiah was accompanied by some of her able lieutenants who aided her as she dispensed her tender aid to the orphanages and old folks in Montserrado County.
In an interview with a team of reporters, Miss. Shu-rina R. Wiah said her donations were based on her quest to be a role model for other young women and being Miss Liberia affords her that opportunity.
She prioritized education, saying that education is a medium for national development and without education the nation will not move forward.
She said the cause of education is her target as it will help young people in making the right decision for the country as well as themselves. She also stressed the need to eradicate teenage pregnancy in Liberia.
“The problem of teenage pregnancy is due to the high level of illiteracy in the country. I believe that if young people are educated on the effects of teenage pregnancy it would be eradicated,” she averred.
Miss Shu-rina Wiah, 21, is studying Public Administration at the African Methodist Episcopal University with the desire of becoming a lawyer to defend the rights of women and children.
With a strong empathetic disposition, Shu-rina condemned the act of rape and sexual exploitation, saying that men involved in such act are psychopaths and should be dealt with.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

CRC Considers Assistance for TC

CRC Considers Assistance for TC
Plans are underway by the management of the Cavalla Rubber Corporation (CRC) in Pleebo, Maryland County to provide support towards the rehabilitation of the William V. S. Tubman Technical College (T.C.) in Harper, the County provisional capital.
TC is the only higher institution of learning in the underserved Southeast but its camps was ruined by the civil war and effort are being garnered by the government and partners to restore the College.
In an exclusive interview in Pleebo with a team of journalists from Monrovia recently, the General Manager of CRC, John Y. Barkemene, said his company intends to soon offer material and financial support to have the Technical College working once again. He did not say what would be given or the amount to be involved. However, he said, if refurbished, the institution would serve as beacon of hope for thousand of young people in the south east as well as a medium for development in the region. He noted that the institution would also attract development to their area in terms of resource capacity building; providing both academic and vocational education free-of-charge.
Mr. Barkemene maintained that if Liberia was to progress in its post-war reconstruction, government should provide training to young Liberians in a way that they could meaningfully and effectively contribute to rebuilding process of the war-torn country.
He further explained that the civil war did not only destroyed lives and infrastructures, but it also created a huge gap in terms of brain-drain, which makes it incumbent upon all development agencies, key stakeholders as well as government to highly consider the provision of basic skills and techniques for Liberians in order to enable them meet the mounting challenges of the future.
The CRC General Manager pointed out that the United States of America, Great Britain, Japan, and other rich nations are what they are because they invested a lot in their people. Barkemene states that Liberia could achieve similar feat by drawing up appropriate national programs to develop its human resources.
“When we took over Cavalla in December 2007, paramount among out plans was the training and retraining of our employees in every sector of the establishment. Some of these trainings will take place in Liberia and others abroad.
He indicated that his company was bringing in new equipment to set up a modern process plant. He disclosed that the equipment would arrive in November and the plant will be commissioned in December by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
Barkemene said once full production activities begin following the installation of his new equipment, CRC would employ more persons, increasing job opportunities and alleviating poverty among the population.
He promised that similar CRC scholarship scheme, which through several students hailing form Maryland County are being sponsored at various universities including Cuttington and University of Liberia would be introduced at TC to afford less fortunate students in the County an opportunity to attain tertiary education.

CRC GM, Barkemene

Friday, July 24, 2009

FLY Executive Alarms Widespread of HIV/AIDS

Federation of Liberian Youth (FLY) youth employment officer, Jerry B. Tarbolo Jr. has alarmed that the spread of the global pandemic HIV/AIDS in urban cities in Liberia is reaching a higher peak and has the propensity to impede the growth and development of youth in the country.
Presenting a paper at a one-day lecture series organized by the Alliance of none-governmental organizations (NGOs) working with vulnerable population and advocating for the rights center in Monrovia on Tuesday July 7, 2009. The lecture series was held in the court yard of actionaid-Liberia in Congo Town.
Quoting a report recently released by the Liberia Institute for Statistics and Geo-services Information (LISGIS), Mr. Tarbolo said among other things that more young women in the Liberian society have been identified as those who stand a poor chance of being vulnerable to be affected with the HIV/AIDS virus in urban areas than those in the rural communities.
According to him, about 2.1 percent of people in urban areas are affected with females carrying the highest ratio. Giving some statistical problems associated with the factor, Mr. Tarbolo calls, ‘hard drive’ in human as something that serve as motivating factors for people to engage in acts that influence the spread of HIV/AIDS.
On the theme, “youth at a Work Place” the FLY Executive said the need for food, shelter, sex and self preservation are what cause people to behave the way they do to see themselves going through life.
He said sex being a need and poverty a striking situation facing many persons a lot of young people involve themselves in the act, which has greater influence on the spread of the disease.
He asserted that the effect of the spread of the disease will not only face the victims alone, but will also affect the nation because it shall bring decrease in the population that constitutes the human resource of the country.
Mr. Tarbolo said as women advocacy groups are all around encouraging girls and women to make use of the available opportunities to improve their lives, young girls should take the advantage to do what will improve them instead of giving themselves in sex trade that quickly spreads the HIV/AIDS.
In his recommendation to both the hosting organization and government for possible action, Mr. Tarbolo said youths should advocate for the accessibility of the Anti-Retrovirus drug to everyone who is a sufferer of the disease, training and information be carried out to prevent social discrimination and prejudice against AIDS sufferers and government should create more voluntary and testing centers where people cases will be confidentially maintained.
About 28 participants from various organizations attended the lecture series, while two other speakers, including actionaid Communication officer, E. Chesty Gbongon and actionaid Project Coordinator, Quitina B. Cooper in a separate remake called on the participants to be encouraged and remain focused as they grow to become more mature in society.
The Alliance is a network of 18-member organizations that comprise women group, media and youth organizations.
Since its formation in 2008, it has extended its advocacy activities and workshops in both the interior and around Monrovia, speaking against discrimination of HIV/AIDS sufferers and gender based violence.


The UN Envoy, Ellen Margrethe Loj has said the handing over of new training facilities to the Liberia National Police (LNP) is a sign that efforts are being redoubled to train the Liberian National Police and to achieve the goal of a well and fully-functional democratic force.
Ms. Loj made these remarks when she handed a seven classroom-building at the National Police Training Academy in Paynesville, Monrovia on June 20th 2009.
The SRSG noted that she was particularly pleased to hand over the building because the UN has been working with the LNP for close to one year on a strategic plan for the LNP.
The plan which prioritizes areas in significant changes, such as in human resources and training; administration and operational effectiveness and efficiency.
Envoy Løj expressed appreciation to the Government of the Netherlands for supporting the construction of the building and called on the LNP to Endeavour to maintain the facility.

For his part, the UN Police Commissioner, Mr. Henrik Steirnblad said, “the Dutch Government has donated close to two million US$ to several programs in support of the LNP, and the building of these classrooms is the most costly and most significant.” He added that the funding would go further towards equipping the police with uniforms and basic defensive gear. It would also fund an educational support program aimed at female candidates entering the police service.

Ms. Løj further emphasized the need to recruit more women in the LNP as it would create the trust which is needed in the population, and is important for a well functioning police force.

Present at the ceremony were senior UN and LNP officials, including Mr. William K. Mulbah, Deputy Commissioner for Training and Development at the National Police and Training Academy.

The completion and handing over of the building was a significant development, taking place in advance of a donors’ technical roundtable organized by the LNP and the UN Police on June 23rd. The roundtable addressed the need to fund the Plan’s detailed priorities and support the LNP’s renewed service-oriented approach, which aims to be more responsive to the needs of the public and communities. The Plan hopes to instill public confidence in the police and criminal justice system. The UN Envoy challenged the Government of Liberia, partners and donors and the UN itself to show dedication and commitment to the implementation of the Plan; otherwise it will just be a piece of paper.

“Let’s Battle Corruption in the Education System”

The International Consultant at the Ministry of Public Works, Mr. Peter N. Kerbay says if Liberians can fight corruption to be minimized, it must start in schools where the minds of people can be modeled.
Speaking at the 16th Thanksgiving Service and closing exercise of the Christ Foundation Elementary and Junior High School in the edifice of the S. Trowen Nagbe United Methodist Church in Sinkor on June 28, 2009, Mr. Kerbay observed that no other way corruption can be minimized if it is practiced in schools and students are learning it.
He said no one else can make Liberia corruption free but Liberians themselves. He said if this goal can be achieved, then government and parents who play cardinal role in the education system need to take all necessary steps to abolish corrupt practices in the school system.
Mr. Peter Kerbay who spoke on the theme, “The fight against corruption in Liberian schools”, noted that the fight against corruption in schools has nothing to do with the Ministry of Education but involves the collaborative efforts of parents, administration of schools and regulatory policy designed by government.
He said if students who are going to school to learn get to see teachers selling grades to students, sexually exploiting females for good grades when they (female) fail in a test and allowing students to pay money for a test which they cannot take but receive passing grades at the end, it means that the students will take it in as part of the education they have gone to acquire.
He said with this, corruption will always exist in every sector in the society and no one will consider it as evil even as it is the worst enemy to mankind.
Mr. Kerbay in his speech stressed that there need to be public awareness on corrupt practices that exist in the school system so parents, teachers and the students can be abreast of the danger it causes the society.
He said as a result of the corrupt practices in the education system, the examination process in the country cannot be credible and it can be difficult for people to determine its quality outcome.
Stressing other unethical issues, the Public Works Consultant said drunkenness on the parts of teachers as well as other favor for private gain need to be battled to bring improvement in the education sector.
He warned that if Liberians do not realize their shortcomings to adapt accountability and train teachers for effective work in the system, the upcoming generation will suffer the consequences of corruption; thereby carrying the country behind in the West African sub region.
Meanwhile, corruption is as old as mankind and it has been in the society, but its rampant emergence into the education sector, especially in schools, started during the war years.
Prior to the war, private schools could attract more students because parents felt they were on time in paying their teachers and the learning atmosphere was better as bribery was seriously restricted.
For the government schools teachers were not encouraged to teach because a lot of them were denied of salaries and those who could get salaries were unable to get it on time; therefore, irregularities on the parts of teachers were too much.
During that time, payment of money for free grades was very rare for the fact that many students could not afford the money to pay.
When more schools had sprung up during and after the war, proprietors and administrations adapted the act of denying teachers their salaries and what they offer could not enable teachers cope with the economic condition. As a result, rampant corruption emerged with students solely relying on paying money or females giving themselves to have sex with male teachers for grades.

Senate Somersaults

-Confirms Gongloe and Police Director

The Liberian Senate has somersaulted on its previous rejection decision on the confirmation of Former solicitor General of Liberia Cllr. Taiwan Gongloe.
Cllr. Gongloe was nominated by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf few weeks ago to serve the post of Labor Minster of Liberia.
The Liberian Senate took the decision on Thursday July 23, 2009 following more than three hours in executive session.
Speaking to legislative reporters following the confirmation of the nominees by the Senate, the Senate Pro-Tempore Grand Kru County senior Senator Cletus Worotoson said the action of the Senate to confirm both Cllr. Gongloe and Police Director Marc Ambrald was in the best interest of the Country.
Senator Worotoson said it was no mistake on the part of the Liberian Senate to confirm the two nominees since in fact the Senate had been provided with all necessary information on the two nominees.
When asked as to the information that was lacking to the Senate, Senator Worotoson could not say much but rather noted that the Senate was provided with additional information on the ability of the two nominees to serve in said positions.
‘There were lots of information to the Senate that was lacking that’s why we rejected Cllr. Gongloe the first time and nothing else’ Senator Worotoson told journalists Thursday.
It may be recalled that the Liberian Senate on last week rejected the nomination of Cllr. Taiwan Gongloe for what they referred to as his inability to function as head of the Labor Ministry in Monrovia.
At the same time the Senate did also place legislative hold on the confirmation of Police Director Marc Ambrald.
The placing on hold of the confirmation of the Mr. Ambrald was based on what the Senate referred to as lack of security knowledge of the nominee.
The Liberian Senate for the pass days has received lashes from the public for the rejection of Cllr. Gongloe on grounds that he prosecuted several officials of Government during his administration as solicitor general of Liberia.
The Senate on its grounds for rejection for Cllr. Gongloe said the nominee did trial Margibi County Junior Senator Roland Kaine on charges on Murder and Bomi County junior Senator Richard Devine on the charges on Economic Sabotage to the tone of over US$1million.
With the confirmation of the two nominees it is now left with the executive branch of Government to commission the two presidential nominees in order to get ready to serve the Liberian people.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Observer Editor Takes Off For US Today

As Kenneth Best weeps during Farewell Ceremony
Like a father could always pray for God’s blessings on his son so was it on Tuesday July 21, 2009 when the management and staff of the Daily Observer Newspaper shower their blessings on its Deputy Managing Editor Mr. Cheechiay Jablasone.
Mr. Cheechiay Jablasone who usually writes the editorial for the Daily Observer trip to the United States of America follows a successful wining of the United States Diversity Visa Program in 2008.
Mr. Jablasone won the United States Diversity Visa program in 2008 along with his wife and four children.
Mr. Jablasone Farewell program brought together several editors, reporters, as well as printers of the Daily Observer Cooperation.
Those at the program extended farewell messages to Mr. Jablasone and his entire Family.
Speaking during the farewell program Daily Observer publisher Kenneth Y Best expressed gratitude to Mr. Jablasone for the level of excellence work discharge during his time as Assistant Managing Editor of the Paper.
Mr. Best said the great job exhibited by Mr. Jablasone will not be forgotten by both management and employees of the Corporation.
Mr. Best in tears described Jablasone as a humor individual adding that the management will miss him a lot and that he wishes he all the best.
He challenged Jablasone and his family to always strive for greatly goals in his entire endeavor adding that when this is done he will be proud.
He called on Jablasone to remain focus in discharging his journalistic duties while in the United States of America.
Mr. Best who himself lived in the US cautioned Jablasone not be carry away by everything in the US.
As for Mr. Stanton Peabody Editorial consultant of Daily Observer said he was proud to see his student following his foot step the area of writing editorial.
He recalled years back when Jablasone was his student at the University of Liberia on Capitol Hill in Monrovia describing Jablasone as a good and smart student.
Mr. Peabody described their working together as fruitful adding that he will never forget Jablasone for his submissiveness and his style of work.
He ended by appealing to Jablasone, to see reason in returning to Liberia in the future aimed at helping rebuilt the Country through his journalistic skills.
Following the statement of Mr. Peabody, came Mr. Cheechiay Jablasone who expressed great joy to both management and employees describing his stay at the Observer as rewarding one.
Cheechiay as he was called by employees of Observer said his going to the US is not in any way suggest that he will forget about the institution but rather puts him in better position to serve Liberians.
He vowed to continue to write of the Daily Observer while in the United States using the company’s website and e-mails.
‘I will remain a journalist I don’t care what comes my way in the US trust me’ Jablasone noted.
He expressed thanks to Mr. Best and Mr. Sando Moore for recognizing his journalistic skills in 2005 describing it as a boost to his journalistic future.
Mr. Cheechiay Jablasone served the Daily Observer from June 2005 as a reporter and was later elevated to the post of Deputy Managing Editor for the Daily Observer Newspaper up to present.
In 2004 he worked as an associate editor of the well known Vanguard weekly Newspaper.
Mr. Cheechiay Jablasone is also a former employer of the News News paper were he served as in coming-reporter in 1998.
From 1998 – 1999 he served as editor-in-chief of the Varsity pilot Newspaper on the campus of the University of Liberia.
Jablasone is also a stint of the New Democrat Newspaper in Monrovia and a 2000 graduate of the University of Liberia Mass Communication major and Political science minor.

Former ATU Commander on the Run for Rape

-Parents Want Justice, Fear of More Victims

A former Anti-Terrorist Unit (ATU) commander, Babah T. Tarawally, popularly called Mystic and Babtee is currently on the run for raping a sixteen years old girl, in Congo Town behind Lonestar Communications on Tuesday July 14, 2009 in the afternoon hours.

The victim mother, an American, who wants to be anonymous, told Daily Observer yesterday that up to present, Mr. Tarawally is yet to be found, to be arrested, trial and sentenced.

The victim mother revealed that the former ATU commander, Mr. Tarawally also committed such acts with two Sierra Leonean teenagers in Sierra Leone while he and her husband were all in Sierra Leone , about eight years ago, and expressed fear that if not comprehended will be dangerous in the society.

“Since Mr. Trawallye rape my daughter, he is currently at large and want anydoby seeing this man should report him to the nearest police station because he is very dangerous.

“Mystic or Babtee, as he is popularly called in Sierra Leone and Liberia, committed prior acts with minor girls in Sierra Leone up to eight years ago.

“We were able to alert the police, when he was seen in Via Town, Congo Town and New Georgia since this act was committed, but up to present he is in hidden.

“I am afraided that he maybe a flight risk, because he has family in Buedu Kissi Tongi, Kailahun District, Sierra Leone,” the American mother of the 16 years old girl sobbed.

According to the victim mother, Babah T. Tarawally, popularly called Mystic and Babtee is about 5’6”
In height , weight approximately 130 pounds and as last seen wearing blue jeans, corduroy beige jacket, white round hat and brown work boots.

Friday, July 17, 2009

2,550 Farmers Benefits from LNRCS

2,550 Farmers Benefits from LNRCS Food Security Project in River Gee
As the issue of food, health and education remains a major problem of many sub-regions in Liberia, the Liberian National Red Cross Society’s (LNRCS) has step up to help the most vulnerable people of rural Liberia.
A team of reports which visited the LNRCS River Gee chapter food project sites in the county was impressed by the way in which the people of River Gee and the LNRCS was cordially working together to reduced hunger in their county.
Since the commencement of the Chapter’s Food security project in 2007, the LNRCS have provided about 2,550 substantive farmers with seed rice, tools and clean rice as well to guide the seed rice.
Speaking to some of the LNRCS River Gee chapter food security beneficiaries in 63 communities including Geken’s and Tarken’s Towns, they elaborated on how the project was benefiting them.
One elder of Tarken’s Town, Moses G. Slowea Slogbor, said that about 40 farmers have benefited from the project recently and are expected to return a 50kg bag of seed rice to the seed bank in the community.
He further asserted that before the LNRCS project, they had very little seeds to start farms that could provide enough food for them, but the project has provided them with more seeds to grow enough food for them and their family.
Another beneficiary, Elizabeth Wallace, said that they are currently faced rice shortage but hopes that they may have a good harvest which will keep rice in their attics until next harvest.
According to the LNRCS River Gee’s Field Officer, Mathew N. Wesseh, about 750 farmers have benefited from the project.
He averred that about 22 bundles of zinc were given out to 11 communities out of the 63 communities in River Gee for the construction of seed bank where returned seeds would be kept for further aid purposes to the most vulnerable of the county.
The field officer further asserted that his chapter is in the business of sensitizing the people on the importance of returning seeds that have been given to them because it is one acquiring seeds for further assistance.
“By returning seeds given to them, the farmers are helping us keep on rendering assistance to other vulnerable farmers,” Wesseh said.
Wesseh avowed that the LNRCS River Gee’s Chapter hopes to reach its goal in strengthening the Farmers to feed themselves and the entire county and even other neighboring counties.

Biology of the Male Reproductive System

The external structures of the male reproductive system include the penis and scrotum. The internal structures include the vas deferens, testes (testicles), urethra, prostate gland, and seminal vesicles. Sperm, which carries the man's genes, is made in the testes and stored in the seminal vesicles. During ejaculation, sperm is transported along with a fluid called semen through the urethra.

Effects of Aging
It is not clear whether aging itself or the disorders associated with aging cause the gradual changes that occur in men's sexual functioning. The frequency, duration, and rigidity of erections gradually decline throughout adulthood. Levels of the male sex hormone (testosterone) tend to decrease, reducing sex drive (libido). Blood flow to the penis decreases. Other changes include decreases in penile sensitivity and ejaculatory volume, reduced forewarning of ejaculation, orgasm without ejaculation, more rapid detumescence, and a longer refractory period.
• The penis becomes erect through a complex interaction of physiologic and psychologic factors.
• Contractions during ejaculation impel semen into the urethra and out of the penis.
During sexual activity, the penis becomes erect, enabling penetration during sexual intercourse. An erection results from a complex interaction of neurologic, vascular, hormonal, and psychologic actions. Pleasurable stimuli cause the brain to send nerve signals through the spinal cord to the penis. The arteries supplying blood to the corpora cavernosa and corpus spongiosum respond by dilating. The widened arteries dramatically increase blood flow to these erectile areas. At the same time, muscles around the veins that normally drain blood from the penis tighten, slowing the outflow of blood and elevating blood pressure in the penis. This combination of increased inflow and decreased outflow is what causes the penis to become engorged with blood and increase in length, diameter, and stiffness.
At the climax of sexual excitement (orgasm), ejaculation usually occurs, caused when friction on the glans penis and other stimuli send signals to the brain and spinal cord. Nerves stimulate muscle contractions along the seminal vesicles, prostate, and the ducts of the epididymis and vas deferens. These contractions force semen into the urethra. Contraction of the muscles around the urethra further propels the semen through and out of the penis. The neck (base) of the bladder also constricts to keep semen from flowing backward into the bladder.
Once ejaculation takes place, or the stimulation stops, the arteries constrict and the veins relax, reducing blood inflow, increasing blood outflow, and causing the penis to become limp (detumescence). After detumescence, erection cannot be obtained for a period of time (refractory period), commonly about 20 minutes in young men.
• Puberty may begin as early as age 9 and continue until age 16.
• At puberty, the testes start to produce testosterone.
• Testosterone causes reproductive organs to mature, facial and pubic hair to appear, and the voice to deepen.
Puberty is the stage during which a person reaches full reproductive ability and develops the adult features of their gender. In boys, puberty usually occurs between the ages of 10 and 14 years. However, it is not unusual for puberty to begin as early as age 9 or to continue until age 16.
The pituitary gland, which is located in the brain, initiates puberty. The pituitary gland secretes luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone, which stimulate the testes to produce testosterone. Testosterone is responsible for the development of secondary sex characteristics, features that distinguish the sexes but are not part of the reproductive system, such as facial hair growth and voice change.
Testosterone also produces many changes in the male reproductive organs, including
• Elongation and thickening of the penis
• Enlargement of the scrotum, testes, epididymis, and prostate
• Darkening of the skin of the scrotum
• Growth of pubic hair
Sperm usually develops by age 14. Ejaculation first occurs during late puberty.
• The penis and the urethra are part of the urinary and reproductive systems.
• The scrotum, testes, vas deferens, and prostate gland comprise the rest of the reproductive system.
The penis consists of the root (which is attached to the abdominal wall), the body (the middle portion), and the glans penis (the cone-shaped end). The opening of the urethra or orifice (the channel that transports semen and urine) is located at the tip of the glans penis. The base of the glans penis is called the corona. In uncircumcised males, the foreskin (prepuce) extends from the corona to cover the glans penis.
The body of the penis consists primarily of three cylindrical spaces (sinuses) of erectile tissue. The two larger ones, the corpora cavernosa, occur side by side. The third sinus, the corpus spongiosum, surrounds the urethra and ends as the glans penis. When these spaces fill with blood, the penis becomes large and rigid (erect).
The scrotum is the thick-skinned sac that surrounds and protects the testes. The scrotum also acts as a climate-control system for the testes, because they need to be slightly cooler than body temperature for normal sperm development. The cremaster muscles in the wall of the scrotum relax or contract to allow the testes to hang farther from the body to cool or to be pulled closer to the body for warmth or protection.
The testes are oval bodies that average about 1.5 to 3 inches (4 to 7 centimeters) in length and 2 to 3 teaspoons (20 to 25 milliliters) in volume. Usually the left testis hangs slightly lower than the right one. The testes have two primary functions: producing sperm and producing testosterone (the primary male sex hormone). The epididymis is a coiled tube almost 20 feet (6 meters) long. It collects sperm from the testis and provides the space and environment for sperm to mature. One epididymis lies against each testis.
The vas deferens is a firm duct that transports sperm from the epididymis. One such duct travels from each epididymis to the back of the prostate and joins with the seminal vesicle. In the scrotum, other structures, such as blood vessels and nerves, also travel along with each vas deferens and together form an intertwined structure, the spermatic cord.
The urethra serves a dual function in males. This channel is the part of the urinary tract that transports urine from the bladder and the part of the reproductive system through which semen is ejaculated.
The prostate lies just under the bladder and surrounds the urethra. Walnut-sized in young men, the prostate enlarges with age. When the prostate enlarges too much, it can block urine flow through the urethra. The seminal vesicles, located above the prostate, join with the vas deferens to form the ejaculatory ducts. The prostate and the seminal vesicles produce fluid that nourishes the sperm. This fluid provides most of the volume of semen, the secretion in which the sperm is expelled during ejaculation. Other fluid that makes up a very small amount of the semen comes from the vas deferens and from mucous glands.

human rights, society, politics and government.


Monrovia Gbarnga High Way Bridge Deplorable
One of the bridges that link Monrovia to Gbarnga between David’s And Lorpu’s Towns, Swacoco District, lower Bong County, is in a deplorable state posing a grave treat to vehicles get across it, especially at night.
According to one of the David’s Town residents, Jonathan Kpeh, the bridge got damage on Monday, July 13, 2009 at about 10:30pm when two heavily loaded goods-toting trucks crossed it.
However, he said that he did not recognize the trucks license plate but maintained that the trucks were heading from Monrovia.
The bridge was only made usable when some of the residents gathered pieces of logs and filled the damage concave portion of the bridge.
Many trucks and other vehicles getting across the bridge struggled with intense care to avoid tumbling into the river and further damage to it.


By Bill E. Diggs
Many communities in rural Liberia that once faced problem with adequate Drinking water are now benefiting from the Liberian National Red Cross Society’s (LNRCS) Water and Sanitation (WatSan) projects.
According to this reporter who visited some of the projects sites in Rivercess and Sinoe counties the WatSan projects as well as the food security projects provided have to some extend reduce the many health problems that once loomed in those parts of Liberia.
Speaking to some of the beneficiaries of the LNRCS WatSan projects in Cestos
city, they explain how the projects impacted their lives.
Koffa Barney a resident of Kpah's Town, Timbo District said that the LNRCS has carry on their Watsan project in his community based on their assessment in the area.
He added that at least two bathrooms and a hand pump were given to them which have significantly reduced the health problems they faced in the area.
"before the LNRCS came to give this project we use to get water for drinking
from a creek more than 30 minutes away from here which often made our
stomach to run. This project came just in time when we thought that there
was no more hope to get access to safe drinking water, "Koffa Barney said.
Barney thanked the Red Cross and said there was a need for more toilets and
hand pumps in the area.
Washington Bocy, 75, another of the Kpah’s town resident in his native
vernacular said that he is happy for the assistance that LNRCS is
rendering to them, but called on the national government as well as local
and international NGO's to provide them with a health facility because there
was none in their area except for the county health center that was located
in the heart of Cestos city.
Merlin George, Field Officer of the LNRCS chapter in Rivercess County
said that in recent times the LNRCS projects provided cost at least
24,000USD for the entire project.
The Field Officer further asserted that the Rivercess chapter was challenge with the issue of mobilizing resources to meet the need of every community in the area.
Meanwhile, in Saywonkan’s Town, Kpanyan's district, Sinoe County one of the regions where the LNRCS Food Security project was been conducted, Charles T. Snowea, chairman and committee head of the area said that the LNRCS has been like an angel to them when they was almost sinking into the ‘hell of starvation’.
"we never had nothing to start up our farms not even seed nor tools,
cutlasses, hoes axes; when the LNRCS came and provided us with seed as well
as clean rice in order for us to make our farms to help substantiate
ourselves and family,” Snowea said.
About 20 farmers’ received the seed and clean rice from the red cross chapter
in Sinoe in order that they would return 50kg of seed rice after harvest to the LNRCS in order to assist other farmers who did not received from the initial donation.
The chairman of Johnny's Town, Kpanyan’s District, Sinoe County, Philip Wah, told the team of reporters who visited the area that the LNRCS have provided many help to them including clean rice, mats wheel barrow and other life essentive which have aided them a lot.
The chairman of Johnny’s Town thereby signals a SOS call for the need of health and educational facilities which remains a major problem in rural Liberia.
Speaking to the Field Officer of the Sinoe chapter Juhah Kanmoh, he elaborated on how his chapter was carry out its recent project in more than five communities where they provided Four wells Nine Latrines and two hand Pumps.
When asked how his chapter was going to provide health and educational
facilities for the people in Johnny town, he said that building of health and educational facilities was not the traditional part of the LNRCS projects.
"We have a lot of target and are dealing with cross sectional not a specific
group. We sensitized people about the emblem and humanitarian laws of the
Red Cross and how to be patriotic and teach young people the volunteering
spirit because by volunteering we can develop our communities," field
officer said.

Monday, June 8, 2009


US$ 347 M Budget Under Scrutiny
Morlu, Ngafuan, Tarpeh and Others Face House Tomorrow

The much awaited Public hearings of the over US$300 million draft national budget submitted to the National Legislature would begin tomorrow with John S. Morlu III, Auditor General of Liberia and head of the General Auditing Commission (GAC) ; Professor Wilson K. Tarperh, Liberia’s former representative to the African Development Bank (ADB); Finance Minister Augustine K. Ngafuan and other leading financial experts appearing before the legislature.
The Draft National Budget for fiscal year 2009/2010 was submitted to the august assembly by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on May 19, 2009.
The hearings which would be held in the conference room of the Lower House would begin at 12 P.M.
other cream of experts who are slated to participate in the hearings include the Chairman of the Department of Economics at the University of Liberia(UL), Professor Geegbae A. Geegbae as well as representatives of Liberian Civil Society organizations.
They are expected to critically scrutinize the budget and advance informed recommendations to the national legislature in the best interest of the country.
The deliberations would lead to what one analyst called a complete scrutiny of the various allocations for various ministries and autonomous agencies of government as enshrined in the draft budget with the intent to carry out adjustments where necessary.
The discussants are also expected to focus on the revenue component of the 2009/2010 draft budget.
The director for Press of the House of Representatives, Isaac Redd quoting the Chairman of House Committee on Ways, Means, Margibi County District #1 Rep. Emmanuel Nuquay, told legislative reporters yesterday that the committee has decided to look at the proposed budgetary allotments to state institutions including National Port Authority (NPA), National Oil Company, Ministry of Post & Telecommunication, Ministry of Labor, Liberia Petroleum Refining Company(LPRC), Bureau of Maritime Affairs, Ministries of Transport, Foreign Affairs among others.
According to Mr. Redd, phase two of the public hearing would begin on Monday June 8, 2009 with focus on the allotments for the Ministry of Commerce, Robert International Airport (RIA), Ministries of Health & Social Welfare; Lands Mines & Energy as well as Civil Aviation Authority, among others.
The Press Director further indicated that the passage of the budget by the House of Representatives would take place on June 16, 2009.
The total draft national budget as submitted to the National Legislature by President Sirleaf is in the tune of US$347,035,687Million.


Zion University College Finally Gets Student Leadership

Following years of suspension and marginalization on university intellectual discussion and gathering, the A.M.E. Zion University College has gotten a student leadership that will liaise between students and administration from henceforth.
On June 5, 2009, students impatiently stood in a long cue from 12 mid-day to 6:10 pm to elect their leaders; election in which Mr. Deamie Stewart triumphantly ascended as president leaving down his opponent James Ngafua.
According to results released by the special election commission, J. Deami Stewart had 419 votes against James Ngafua whose total votes came up to 259.
Others who won with Stewart include, Mensue Mendee, vice president, Peter Wisdom Fayiah, secretary, Joseph B. Smith, student representative, Yallah P. Moibah, financial secretary, Hannah Watson, Champlain, Peter Karngbay, senior class president, H. Wede Wallace, vice president for senior class, Blessing Reynolds, junior class president and Ishmael Russell, freshman class president. views solicited from voters earlier suggested that they were not considering how much money a candidate has to carry on merry making, but were looking at how well the incoming leader can articulate to fully represent the college in intellectual discussion.
This indicates that instead of voters considering what one may have to offer as being customarily practiced, people are taking different dimension in choosing a leader.
According to a lot of them on the eve of their election, they could go in the camp of Ngafua to amuse themselves through merry making at an entertainment center since he felt he could win through sharing drinks.
In a brief interview president-elect Deami Stewart, he said his ascendancy to the position is not only a victory but a challenge.

He said after sometimes of retrogression, it was time that student participation in the affairs of the college be prioritized if true Democracy can be said to exist.
Special Election Commissioner Abu Ansumana Kromah in an interview said the election was fair, free and transparent that since it ended on Friday June 5, there has been no protest filed in.
He noted that there were more invalid votes; an indication he says can be attributed to students failure to follow instruction.
The current leadership is under the banner of student union government. According to a close source to the administration, this was done to limit students policital activities so that condition that caused the suspension of student politics on the campus cannot reoccur.


Job Creation

The Core of Economic Independence

The greatest problem any nation can face that can cause that nation to become insecure even from within for that nation to be overwhelmed with unemployment. Finding solution to the problem of unemployment may be elusive ever so long if the unemployed themselves are not involved in the process of finding the solution. So it is safe to say the problem of unemployment cannot be solved without the involvement of the individual job seeker.
We have suffered for more than 160 years finding solution to the problem of unemployment in this country. For the most part, our efforts have produced pseudo results that were so paradoxical that they perplexed us. We thought we were at target until the hour came when things fell apart.
Today in post war Liberia, job creation is ringing tone in every political sermon around the country, with government shouting at peak pitch when a single concession agreement is signed. This illusionary myopia has compelled the Daily Observer Labor Column to somewhat delve into little bit of the nitty-gritty of this matter that has turned itself into a monster.
One may wonder whether the job seeker can be directly involved in creating a job in the establishment he or she wants to work; or be a part of setting up the office a man or woman would love to sit in and proudly say “I am at work.”
We do disagree that multimillion dollar companies provide jobs for hundreds of workers and the granting of more concessions adds value to the job market. But the capacity of companies and their ability to maintain and sustain a certain size of workforce and yet create more jobs for more workers at the same time is inconceivable.
However, job creation cannot be the sole prerogative of government when individuals who have the ability to impart the knowledge and the technical know how to job seekers to be able to create employment for them sit idle and wait for someone to give them the help they are able to provide even to others.
The Money Market
Have you ever stopped for while to ask: how did the money market open so fast in Liberia that today almost everyone is busy buying and selling money? Where did it begin literally for the common man? What was the economic power of the pioneers of this money market in Liberia?
The money market growth in the latter 1970s could not be forecast from looking t the people who were engaged in the business as means of employment. There was first the alien who exchanged the US dollar that was then the larger circulating currency in the country with other currencies for traders, since the Liberian dollar coins were on par with the US dollar. The business then was between these money exchangers and traders who had to go to neighboring countries to do cross border trading.
But most importantly it was the group commonly called the ‘95 boys’ who traded directly in the Liberian dollar in money market. This group comprising mainly early teenagers usually offered 95 Liberian cents for one dollar, US dollar or Liberian dollar. This enabled petty traders to sell to locals and house wives who needed change coins to buy in the local markets; and drivers of taxi cabs found it a blessing, because commuters who wanted to evade paying their car fares always gave drivers dollar coins for a twenty-five cents distance to embarrass the driver.
So, the 95 boys traded and made five cents profit on every dollar as means of creating jobs for themselves while the graduates of our then only university and college went hunting for job heedlessly. What we are driving home is the fact that jobs can be created by the job seeker in most areas of human need to yield capital, since capital accumulation is the utmost purpose of seeking job. One wonders then whether there are areas in our economic sector people could explore in the quest for job creation.
In spite of the lofty aspiration of this noble endeavor, problem soon entered the trade when older boys got involved in the money market. The 95 cents soon came down to 85 and 90 cents to dupe their customers, especially when the taxi drivers were in haste or ready to pull up in the traffic. But the trade continued until it has now developed into a major market today creating job for many people. Many job seekers who were applying for job in many establishments are now self-employed today in the money market; and some of them have hired people to work for them, thereby turning the job seeker into an employer.
Shoe mending in Liberia was a very serious problem because of the lack of skilled shoe repairers in the country. Many pairs of shoes were disposed of that could the owners much longer it they were repaired or mended.
When the Liberian civil war reached a turning point, the lull in violence allowed for disarmament that brought many fighters to peaceful civilian life. The question then was how to transform fighters into skill and productive citizens. So, shoe mending and production was one of the several options to some politicians and the West African Economic Group (ECOMOG) peace keeping force on the ground started to work in conjunction with some agencies of the United Nations to devise modalities derive at appropriate solutions for the problem.
And so, some former combatants were trained to mend shoes as a way of helping those ex-fighters create jobs for them to avoid falling into the trap of unemployment that could turn into instruments of violence. A good number of those trained later engaged into shoe making that eventually also turned some of them into employers when their shops developed. Howbeit, there are but few cobblers visible at street corners today. The rest have narrowed down to mending slippers and polishing shoes. They have otherwise turned into shoe-shine boys.
Sadly, however, most cobblers in the country today are of the alien Fula ethnic group that continues to migrate into Liberia in search of greener pasture. Similarly, the money market is substantially in the hands of the very Fula ethnic group. They are the ones who have ideal and respected money exchange centers or booths; while most of the Liberians engaged in the trade as employment sit along the street or in corners that customers fear.
And so, it is about time for us to understand that we consider job creation in terms getting the job seekers involved in the venture and not only rely upon concessions coming in or investors who only want to maximize profit to come and absorb our workforce. No one can do for us what we are able to do for ourselves.