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Victorious Bassa: The Day Politics Died in Grand Bassa County

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first_imgNot even the absences of Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine and Senate Pro Tempore Gbenzohngar Milton Findley could dampen the victorious celebrations of the Bassonians.Over the weekend, the port city of Buchanan came alive as thousands of Bassonians and hundreds of other Liberians stormed the city to officially celebrate the county’s end of almost 24 years of trophy drought as far as the annual National County Meet is concerned.Yes, jubilant moods they were indeed in what was like a trinity-of-celebrations in the port city that began Friday night (January 31, 2014) with the arrival of guests and continued on Saturday, February 1, 2014 with the grand possession through the principle streets unto the under-renovation Doris Williams Stadium and ended on Sunday, February 2, 2014 with the one-one draw football match between the champions and Senior Professionals. Of course, social outings climaxed the celebrations on the city’s nice and beautiful beaches.In a nutshell, the Bassa celebrations are real indications that politics can cease and probably die for a while despite the diverse political differences the people of Bassa share.With Grand Bassa County’s victory coming at a time when the county, like the other 14 counties, prepares for a crucial senatorial race, the kicking-aside of politics began right at the Samuel Kanyon Doe (SKD) Sports Stadium on January 19, 2014 when the county repeated its historic win over Nimba during a match that pulled the largest crowd ever in National County Meet history (whether pre or post war days). And at the very end of that match, Bassa politicians (lawmakers and aspiring ones and others) went beyond their respective political boundaries and hugged one another before they could probably even realize it.At least, because of Grand Bassa’s victory, an independent Findley could afford to hug his Liberty Party rivals while others jumped onto the shoulders of those sharing similar but opposing political ambitions.When the Bassa people decided to adequately celebrate their victory two weeks later in their capital city, the political tensions in the county died as if God Almighty had visited the place and everyone needed to show that all was well.It’s no doubt that Bassa politics had been getting deadly weeks leading to the county’s dual championships in football and basketball triumphs. War of words, including some of the worst uncouth words, had been leaving from the mouths of the political missiles of Bassa politicians either eyeing or having an interest in the pending senatorial race few months away.But on that day, the day when thousands of Bassonians gathered at the Monrovia Junction in Buchanan to begin the grand march while hundreds lined the streets, politics were buried; at least while the celebrations lasted.Even without Brumskine and Findley, the Bassonians celebrated as supporters from both sides probably forgot about their respective political idols. The pair happens to be the county’s current political giants, with each gowning their own line of political generations of loyalists who seem prepare to go extra miles in showing their unflinching loyalties to their respective political godfathers. Oh yes, they stand ready to do anything deadly to each other’s political camp if the “need arises” in protecting their respective political bases.But certainly, not during those days (from the days their teams qualified for the Monrovia knockout stages) up to last weekend’s celebrations in the county.Others argue that the presence of the pair could have probably changed the environment. Whether it was God’s timely intervention that prevented them from attending, the end result was a very joyous and tolerant celebration from the people of Grand Bassa County who seemed ready to have shown past winners how they (like immediate past winners Grand Cape Mount, Nimba, Bong, others) probably under-celebrated their respective triumphs.Besides Senator Findley and Representative Mary Kaiwor, the other five Bassa lawmakers including Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence, Deputy Speaker Hans Barchue and Representatives Byron Brown, Gabriel Buchanan Smith and Robertson Siaway all graced the occasion while LPRC’s T. Nelson Williams, II led an array of Monrovia-based Bassonians to include Simeon Freeman, Cllr. T.C. Gould, LBDI’s John B.S. Davies, Israel Akinsanya, Levi Deemah, the LNP’s Victor Gboyah, Chris Neyor, James Salinsa Debbah, Sundaygar Dearboy, among others.Behind the scene activities in extensive planning leading to Saturday’s successful program saw no political divide when prominent, eminent and ordinary Bassonians to include media personnel, marketers and student representatives joined hands and shared ideas under the T. Nelson Williams led-planning committee.At the end of it all, the theme was crafted and realized: “Two Trophies, One Goal….Bassa First!”It was also interesting when the acting head of the county’s legislative caucus, Representative Smith, in presenting the trophies to the county, remarked: “By virtue of the level of collaboration and coordination that existed amongst us as members of the Bassa Legislative Caucus, with God above and the support from the county administration and all of our citizens, our elders…. Distinguished people of Grand Bassa County, it is now our humble and singular pleasure to on behalf of the Bassa Legislative caucus, present these trophies over to the peace loving people of Grand Bassa County…. May God bless us”.Several others not even connected to the county dominant by an apparent group of Monrovia-based social lovers and other lawmakers of the current 53rd National Legislature including Lofa’s Eugene Fallah Kparkar, Nimba’s Matenokay Tingban, and Montserrado’s Acarious Gray didn’t mind the huge inconveniences that characterized the city arising from the overcrowdedness of Buchanan from Friday evening till early Monday morning.Now, it is clear from the Bassa victory that Bassonians, inspite of all the different political ideologies, can achieve a whole lot more in propelling that great county to higher heights once politics can die for a while just as it did throughout the National County Meet till the county’s victory.Above it all, it was Bassa who won: “Two Trophies, One Goal….Bassa First!”May Bassa always win so we can always bring out the general good we all share.At least we have all proudly converted our battle song from ‘A Mu Wa Badian, Deh Wu Ya Yun’ (‘We shall beat them, they shall be shame’) to a victorious one ‘A Na Wa Badian, Deh Na Ya Yun’ (‘We’ve beaten them, they have been made shame’).Nat Bayjay is a Media Consultant/ Communication specialist. He hails from Grand Bassa County and was very instrumental in his county’s County Meet Glory when he served as the media specialist on the Sundaygar Dearboy led Mobilization Committee. He’s reachable on:nbayjay2010@gmail.com/0777-402737.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Arsenal Fan in Monrovia Dies after Chelsea Victory

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first_imgA Liberian man, who collapsed while watching Arsenal losing to Chelsea on Saturday afternoon, was pronounced dead by doctors after he was rushed to a local clinic in Monrovia.According to eyewitnesses, shortly after the game ended in favor of Chelsea with 2 over Arsenal, the elderly man, only identified as Fofana, fell to the ground.“Fofana apparently had a heart attack when the final whistle sounded,” an eyewitness told this newspaper, following the stampede that ensued after the match, at a video club on Benson and Lynch Street in Central Monrovia.The deceased, a resident of Clara Town, was a professional tailor, who worked as president of the Fofana Tailoring Shop on Benson Street, neighbors said.Paramedics, who arrived at the video club around 2p.m. and took the man to the clinic, confirmed his death.An eyewitness, who claimed to be a Chelsea fan, said Mr. Fofana’s death was a tragedy, because he was a loyal member of Arsenal Club. It was also reported that a van conveying Mr. Fofana’s body to a local mosque was reportedly involved in a crash on Broad Street, Crown Hill.Meanwhile, in keeping with the Moslem tradition, the remains of Fofana were reportedly buried yesterday morning. On the game itself Coach Jose Mourinho was full of praise for his players, following Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Arsenal at Stamford Bridge Saturday.The Blues scored twice in the second half, through Kurt Zouma and Eden Hazard, to secure a much-needed three points, and it was no more than the team deserved having been much the better side.The visitors had both Gabriel and Santi Cazorla sent off, but Mourinho preferred to focus on the qualities of his own side.“It was a very good performance, a deserved victory, I’m happy with the performance and points,” Jose Mourinho, Chelsea’s Manager said after the match.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Banks Urged To Do More for SMEs

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first_imgIt was a conversation that had been held in many different pockets of the economy, throughout the Sirleaf Administration, though hardly as propitious as it was yesterday, when Commerce and Industry Minister Axel M. Addy called on commercial banks to do more to support the development of Small Medium Enterprises (SME) in order to achieve long-term growth for the Liberian economy. Speaking on April 19, 2016 at a one-day roundtable conference with donors and the private sector on Liberia’s Accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), Minister Addy declared that support to Small Medium Enterprises (SME) will greatly help to increase employment opportunities and decrease the burden of importing on Liberia.In the midst of stakeholders including government officials, representatives of banking institutions and non-governmental organizations, and ambassadors, the Minister said banking institutions in the country were [mainly] after big investors and not SME entrepreneurs. His remarks sparked a spirited exchange of experiences from representatives of local banks, the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) and other stakeholders, who weighed in on the concern. Responding to the Minister’s plea, a representative of the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) contended that most loans taken by SME owners are “non-performing”. Loans that are not repaid, said the LBDI representative, cause serious setbacks for the banks.Francis A. Dennis, President of the Liberia Chamber of Commerce (LCC), said one cause for non-compliance with payment of loans is the absence of a commercial court in the country to try delinquent borrowers indebted to banks.Mr. Dennis, who is also a former president of LBDI and former president of the Liberia Bankers’ Association, said banking institutions are not open to every player in the economy but chasing the same customers, noting that opening up to the economy will enable SMEs to grow.Also commenting was Elfrieda Stewart Tamba, Commissioner General of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), who said “The Judiciary has problems. Many young people are employed by banks and they steal taxpayers’ monies, but getting them prosecuted in the court is difficult, and law enforcement is weak.”Another participant suggested that the “naming and shaming” method instituted by the Central Bank is helping to minimize delinquency on the part of borrowers. The participant, however, said for such behavior on the part of borrowers to be further curtailed, there should be legal reforms to enhance compliance with loan payment. He said when cases are adjudicated and borrowers are convicted, they take their appeals to the Supreme Court, where the case will also experience delay with adverse effect on the banks’ profits and capital.A representative of the International Monitory Fund (IMF) at the conference also suggested that banking institutions should set a proper and affordable credit rate analysis that will encourage “would be SMEs.”Minister Addy was speaking from the perspective that “Liberia has over the years heavily imported [more] than exported, which has aversely burdened the country’s economy,” and that giving preference to SME entrepreneurs to have access to finance and be capacitated to operate will surely enhance the growth Liberia needs. He also said prioritizing SMEs is significant to the growth and development of the economy because it will enhance even agriculture, which serves as a backbone to the economy.He disclosed that the ministry is currently partnering with an institution to train some local entrepreneurs; and when they complete the training, each will be given US$10,000 to start their businesses, and they will be monitored. “Students in Liberia and Africa in general are graduating from universities and colleges every year without hope of employment,” the Minister told the gathering. “If you ask them about where they want to work, they will respond that they want to work in government; and if asked where they want to live, they will prefer to live in the West because they see how better their friends are in those western countries. Investment in SMEs is very important to changing the dynamics of thoughts of many of our citizens because it will create the jobs they need to sustain them.”He added that Liberia has heavily relied on exporting its raw materials including iron ore, rubber, timber and cash crops without added value, while at the same time importing larger portion of its needs including rice, petroleum products and other manufactured goods. And now that the price of iron ore has fallen on the world market, he said, Liberia’s economic growth can be enhanced only if SMEs are supported to get locally produced commodities properly packaged for export.“It only takes support of investors to come in as middlemen to have packaging facilities that will help local entrepreneurs package their goods and properly labeled for export; and when this is done, the agriculture sector will be highly promoted that more people will produce agricultural commodities in the country,” Minister Addy suggested.The roundtable conference about Liberia’s Accession to the WTO Protocol and Post Accession Plan was organized by the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The EIF is a multi-donor program which supports least developed countries to be more active players in the global trading system by helping them tackle supply-side constraints to trade. Giving some synopsis on the gathering on Tuesday, Minister Addy said “This gathering today is part of a series of discussions about Liberia’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO); and by the way, we have had discussions on the same matter with the National Legislature.”He said the gathering comes following Liberia’s participation in discussions on its accession to the WTO for the last seven years, and the ongoing phase is to discuss with donors and the private sector some domestic challenges and opportunities in making business under WTO protocol. Donors have supported the process of Liberia joining WTO for the last seven years, he disclosed, and now that Liberia has met the standards of WTO, donors and the private sector are joining government to strategize how the post accession plan can be implemented.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Man gets 9 years for attempted murder

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first_imgThirty-two-year-old Mohan Dharbali, also called “Rakish”, of Cumberland, East Canje, Berbice, was jailed for nine years by Justice Brassington Reynolds on Monday last after he pleaded guilty to an attempted murder charge.The Police stated that the accused dealt one blow to Fazal Hussain with a piece of wood to the head on February 7, 2017.Mohan DharbaliAccording to Hussain, he was at a wake house when Dharbali came and asked him what he was doing there. He then proceeded to punch and lash him to the head with a piece of wood. Hussain lost consciousness and was taken to the New Amsterdam Hospital. Currently, he cannot hear from his left ear.In a probation report, Probation and Welfare Officer attached to the Social Protection Ministry, Leesa-Ann Tucker said Dharbali was raised by a stepfather after his biological father died.At the age of 14 years, he worked as a porter with an uncle at Calabash Creek in the Canje River.In 2012, he was jailed for breaking and enter. As a child, he was often left unsupervised.The accused said he was sorry, but claimed that Hussain attacked him and he acted in self-defence.  Hussein said he wanted justice.Dharbali said, “I am sorry about what happened and it will never happen back.”Before passing sentence, Justice Reynolds said the offence carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. He then referred to a United Nations report on life expectancy for Guyanese males which is 63 years.  Hence, he premised Dharbali had 31 years remaining, and deducted 15 and a further five for the guilty plea. Another year was removed for the mitigating probation report.However, Justice Reynolds noted that Dharbali was not a first-time offender. He also said he noted the desires of the victim who said he wanted justice.last_img read more