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Hope, not mockery: Rep. Tingban challenges President Sirleaf on pre-election promises

By Samuka V. Konneh  

Nimba County, (District 9) Liberia: In her annual
message to the nation and the 52nd national legi
slature, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf on Monday,
disclosed her government's plan to relocate the nation's capital
from Monrovia to Zekepa, central Liberia.
 “I am talking to every single citizen of this great nation when I say:
our progress belongs to you, and the future is yours for the taking, a
future in which the process would have started to move the capital to the
 center of the country.”
“Given the effects of climate change and expectations of rising sea levels
 that threatens coastal cities, including Monrovia, we will have concluded
 the plan for a new capital city at Zekepa, where the territories of
Grand Bassa, Bong and Nimba Counties converge,” the Liberian leader said.
Fifteen months after the pronouncement, the lawmaker of electoral district
#9 in Nimba County, where the town is located, has begun to raise concern,
hoping that the President's declaration was not a mockery to the people of
Liberia, especially Nimba.
Rep. Richard Matenokay Tingban, a professional Engineer, says though he
does not have reasons to think that the President's promise was a mockery,
reminding the Liberian leader about her public pronouncements helps in the
nation-building process.
 The Liberian legislator, however, maintains that by now signs of a
possible relocation of the nation’s capital would be visible, and said he
and other Liberians would be disappointed if the President only made
the pronouncement to win votes from Nimba during the 2011 presidential
election.
 Although Rep. Tingban says he has reminded the President on many
occasions about the pronouncement, nothing seems to be signaling anything
in the area.
 “Zekepa is currently not accessible by roads, and the President herself
could not reach the district and particularly Zekepa during the election
when she came here” Rep. Tingban told a gathering of citizens in Voipa,
Yarmensornor District over the weekend.
The education system in Zekepa remains deplorable, healthcare delivery,
too, is virtually impossible to an extent that pregnant women are said to
have passed away or gave birth on the highway en route to the nearest town
or clinic.
Rep. Tingban is calling on the President to make her promise to the people
a reality.
Samuka V. Konneh is News Editor, Public Agenda Newspaper, Monrovia,
Liberia.

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