Monrovia, Liberia: President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has opened the Bomi County Service Center in Tubmanburg as she ended the first leg of her County tour, which took her to Grand Cape Mount and Gbapolu counties. The Bomi County Service Center is among other efforts by the Government of Liberia to decentralize is program intended to bring services closer to the people amid the vision for a new Liberia that responds to the needs of its people through inclusive governance, service-oriented and economically participatory processes.
According to an Executive Mansion release, the Liberian leader made the statement in Tubmanburg City, Bomi County on Thursday, February 9, 2017 when she the cut ribbons to the Bomi County Service Center. “Thank you Bomi County, thank you for keeping the peace; the peace that we have today could not have been possible if each of you did not play your part,” she told jubilant citizens and residents of Bomi County.
President Sirleaf said the opening of Bomi County Service Center marks a significant transition to a new governance approach aimed at making services available to the people in areas where they live. “With the opening of this Center, it now becomes easier for our people to access services without coming to Monrovia,” President Sirleaf emphasized.
She expressed appreciation to partners, particularly the Swedish Government, European Union, USAID, UNDP and the United Nations as well as the local authorities and the citizens for their support and commitment to lifting Liberia.
The Liberian leader thanked citizens and residents for helping to maintain 11 years of uninterrupted peace through their various activities. According to her, this is the time to build and not to destroy. She said Liberians should work together because the economy is not a button that one can push, adding: “When you do your business, you also make the economy strong; when you make farm and sell your goods, you make the economy strong; when you plant and harvest, you make the economy strong.” She said: “If you had not kept the peace in all that you did, whether in farming, business, religious, professional activities, we would not have achieved this level of peace; so thank you for being good and responsible citizens.”
The Liberian leader used the occasion to appeal to those involved with ‘Bamboo’ activities that is causing serious embracement to schools and farming activities in the county to stop or else government will not hesitate to take action against anyone involved. She pointed out that there is nothing called ‘Bamboo’ in the bush, but someone who has dressed in black cloth to scare people because according her such person can’t win elections on his or her own but wants to use other means.
In a related development, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has reassured Liberians that she is of the conviction that there will be a good election – come 2017. “I do believe we will have a successful election; I believe the Liberian people do not want anyone to disturb the 11 years of peace that we have enjoyed; So, go and register and be a part in deciding who your next leaders will be comes 2017,” she said.
She congratulated the people of Bomi particularly Superintendent Samuel Brown for making full report on the management of the County and money given to Bomi County including County and Social development funds. President furthered we are still left with few months to work and finish most of our projects earmarked for the country, so do not sit down go to work.
Speaking earlier, United States Ambassador to Liberia Christine Elder said the deconcentration services through the County Service Center represents a great stride in making the government more responsive to citizen’s needs in the overall decentralization process until the passage of the Local Government Act that will further empower local communities through election of some county officials and bring decision-making and governance closer to the people.
Also making remarks, the representatives of the European Union, Sweden Embassy in Monrovia and the United Nations said the County Service Center will make it easier for the people of Bomi County to remain in the county in order to access quality services provided. She said they recognized the service delivery, which is meant to reduce the high cost of traveling from Bomi to Monrovia just obtain a driver’s license or other related documents. She admonished members of the public in the county to protect the facility for their own interest. They all pledged their continual commitment to Liberia’s decentralization efforts.
For his part, the Chairman of Bomi County Legislative Caucus, Senator Morris Saytumah congratulated President Sirleaf for her leadership in establishing County Service Center across Liberia. He said President Sirleaf is one of the finest daughters of Bomi County if not the finest because the entire world is proud of her and her work and all she has done to lift Liberia and Africa. He described President Sirleaf as a ‘blessing’ to Liberia.
Following the dedicatory ceremony in Tubmanburg City, President Sirleaf attended a Town Hall meeting in Beajah Town in Senja District Bomi County to interact with the citizens and thanked them for the 11 years of peace. In Beajah, the citizens including women, chiefs, elders, youths, disabled children and students welcomed President Sirleaf and expressed thanks and appreciation to her for all that she has done for Bomi and Liberia in general. They named access to education, health, roads, freedom of speech, and women empowerment among others as some of what the government has done.
President Sirleaf also made a brief stopover in Gbah Town to interact with market women, young people, motorcyclists, students and chiefs and elders. She lauded them for keeping the peace they are now enjoying. She said the marketers are the strength of the economy; they go to the market to sell, take care of their children, the home, among others.
In separate remarks, Kumba Barrie, Superintendent of Bomi Market and Chief Musa Fobio congratulated President Sirleaf for the visit and giving them a voice. They said President Sirleaf has done so well that they are unable to name all she has done for Bomi in particular and Liberia in general. The named the construction of the market building in Gbah Town, promotion of women’s rights, establishment of Community College and the growth of Gbah population from 500 to 5000 inhabitants. They however appealed to President Sirleaf for the elevation of the only Junior High to High School to accommodate the huge number of student enrolment.
President Sirleaf has returned to the capital following the conclusion of her three-day county tour.