It may be one of the most important good news for basketball fans and teams at the beginning of 2014 as one of the long serving and passionate promoters, Abraham Samukai, is likely to lead the Liberia Basketball Association as its president.Information reaching the Daily Observer yesterday said there is a consensus among basketball leaders to petition Mr. Samukai to lead the leadership of the Liberia Basketball Association.“Samo has been a good leader, considering his support to the K-Delta Basketball Team, and leading the LBA will demonstrate his commitment to push basketball to another level,” a long time follower of basketball told the Daily Observer yesterday.He said the K-Delta Basketball Team has education and healthcare assistance for its members and with sports and education being encouraged in the country; his presence will bring fresh ideas to Liberian basketball.Another former basketball player said Samukai was in the administration of former president Tarr Harris, when the organization was known at the time as Liberia Basketball Federation, LBF.“It was one of the most successful administrations in basketball history,” he said.It is therefore no understatement that with all things being considered, Abraham Samukai could be the man to infuse new blood into the administration of basketball in the country.Meanwhile, a source from Samukai informed the Daily Observer that basketball owners need corporate support to ease the financial burden on private team owners.During a recent interview with the Daily Observer, Mr. Samukai said the Government of Liberia must also make sports development a priority.“The government,” he said, “has a commitment to develop the physical abilities of the young people and therefore with sports’ intrinsic values of fair play and respect for rules, it is in the government’s interest to make their development paramount.”He said much must be done in both the public and the private sector to move Liberian basketball to another level.Meanwhile, a source close to Samukai yesterday said he may consider any request by the members of the LBA to consider leading the LBA in a quest to improve on the game in Liberia.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Dwarfs are said to be very undersized persons, unusually small and stunted. They live not among people in city, towns and villages but in deep and dark forests. In a certain county, in the days of old, there once lived many dwarfs in various hills, forests and mountains. Because of their presence in these hills, forests and mountains, the inhabitants of towns and villages surrounding where they lived, dared not venture to hunt or undertake other domestic transactions that could sustain them. Accordingly, the dwarfs took to their heads in different directions in the south, north, east and west, respectively to fetch their daily food and other essentials for their survival. One of the dwarfs who had bowed legs, two strings of curly hair attached to his baldhead resting on his hunchback, black in complexion, with wide nose, big red eyes, took great pleasure in choosing to travel throughout the western part of the country. The route in which the dwarf journeyed passed through a village named Yeapolu that was erected by a number of tribes. The dwarf’s journey continued for some time through the village which brought fear to the inhabitants. Yeapolu was built beneath a hill near one of the largest rivers in the land, with the population of over two hundred persons, including adults and children. From decade to decade, the dwarf journeyed through Yeapolu without adding more fuel to his flaming anger against dwellers in the village. But the children of Yeapolu grew arrogant and did design, employ and exhibit methods to laugh and mock the dwarf whenever he was en route on his weekly routine every Friday. Whenever the dwarf passed through the village on Friday, he would return the next Friday and at this time the children would sit waiting for his arrival in the village only to laugh at him. While enroute one bright Friday morning, the dwarf keenly looked at the surface of Yeapolu village and observed a wave of green grass that nearly engulfed its fabric as though no man lived in the village with cutlass to brush the high grass from around for a decent face-lift. He also spotted children, ages from three upward, playing different kinds of traditional games. Sometimes when the hustle was unsuccessful beyond his expectation, the dwarf would spend the week tirelessly hunting for his livestock before returning home on that Friday, with the little foodstuff in his kinjah he placed on his bony humpback. While approaching the village about a few yards away, upon his return one day, with little foodstuff, the dwarf took a deep breath and landed the kinjah on the ground hurriedly with a flush of anger. He later backed his kinjah and took off for home. As soon as he passed through the village, the children who had earlier set an ambush for the dwarf’s return quickly saw him coming with the kinjah on his big humpback and bald head shinning like a star. Mockery and laughter flew from the haughty children to hit the dwarf like a strayed arrow. Despite the children’s action the dwarf quickly entered the village without causing any stir, but he staggered backward in astonishment. He breathed hard, looked on the earth and in the sky and then controlled his anger and departed for home.The dwarf had several occasions plucked enough patience and told the parents of their children’s behavior. “Please advise your children to desist from laughing and making mockery of me. They are seeking for future trouble when trouble doesn’t look for them,” he told the parents, but his advice fell on deaf ears. He looked in the faces of the parents and their children with anger and nodded impatiently and left the village. On another occasion, returning home from his journey at mid-day on Friday, the breeze blew wide across the surface of the village. The dwarf met with the haughty children’s parents and other inhabitants. He again acquainted them with the arrogant behavior of the children of the village against him. As soon as he landed with his talks, the parents and the inhabitants present didn’t respond, but rather the children looked at the dwarf and burst out laughing. “What! The children must be getting out of their senses by constantly laughing at me!” he exclaimed, “This is an evil behavior!” Unfortunately, the parents had no fear of what danger the dwarf could cause the the village, especially its children. None of them had any idea that one day a great evil would befall them. However, the wind bore the dwarf like a leaf until his anger vanished into the looming clouds and he began his journey again.Thereafter, on another Friday, the dwarf walked for hours hunting for foodstuff but to no avail. As warm sweat rolled down his giant-side chest, he wiped it off with the palm of his hand. Fortunately, he heard a rustling sound of a deer hunting for food in a nearby creek that ran into a large river. Not wasting a second, he silently crept towards the deer and as strong as he was, grabbed the right leg and knocked it severely on the ground until it was killed. Returning home with happiness, the dwarf’s weariness drove away from him like a clock, but he did not forget about the haughty children of Yeapolu village who constantly made mockery of him whenever he passed through the village. He arrived at a village and looked curiously at himself. He then laughed and immediately shook his head saying, “One day to come those who laughed at me would be roasted in a burning fire, as every long road has an end.”“It’ll be too late for the laughing children to repent when the right trump blows over the wrong they continue to do to me,” he said. “I’m tired and can no longer sit idly and see the children laughing and making mockery of me,” he said in disgust.Finally, the anger of the dwarf broke loose and he called for all kinds of roaring, of beasts of the earth and fowls of the air in the forest and by the scores they, without much delay, answered to dwarf’s serious call. “It pains my heart and soul more than hot iron for the little untrained children of Yeapolu village to constantly laugh and make mockery of me when I avoid their company,” he informed the fowls and beasts he had called to hear his story. “Go to Yeapolu village about three miles from here to the western region of this land and crush to death all children from three to sixteen years,” the dwarf ordered the beasts and fowls. Quickly, the beasts and fowls rushed to the village, as the earth shook like an earthquake which filled the ears of the parents, the children and other inhabitants. They could not suspect the hungry fowls and beasts that rushed suddenly on them. They attacked the children according to the dwarf’s order and clawed and killed them while their parents and other dwellers ran here and there. After the children received the wrath, the beasts and fowls returned with victory to the forest and reported their accomplishment to the dwarf. “Thank you all very much for the job well done! The haughty children have gone to the dust of the earth from where God made them. There are no more mouths to laugh at me!” The dwarf lauded the beasts and fowls, and they departed for their respective locations.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
To enhance her chance of winning the upcoming senatorial race, a cross section of Lofians at home and abroad have petitioned one of their outstanding daughters to contest for that prestigious seat at the National Legislature.Authorities at the National Elections Commission (NEC) have scheduled the special senatorial election for October this year. The exercise will accordingly, take place in all the 15 counties.In their petition to Gladys, copy of which is in possession of this newspaper, the Lofaians have acted in solidarity with women’s participation in politics, and decision-making, thus encouraging Mrs. Beyan to officially contest during the October midterm election for Lofa County.Mrs. Beyan was a presidential candidate in the last election, standard bearer of the Grassroots Democratic Party of Liberia (GDPL).Over the years, she is said to have contributed in several other ways to the development of the Lofa County, including her participation in the 2011 Presidential race, lobby for the building of roads to connect major towns in Zorzor and Salayea, reconciling and maintaining peace and unity among the Lorma, Kpelle and Mandingo tribes.The senatorial aspirant also lobbied for and provided vacation jobs for Lofa students in the county and Monrovia, and assist the Curran Lutheran Hospital to receive a Government subsidy. She is also a contributor to the welfare of Lofa University students, including the provision of scholarships.Meanwhile, Madam Gladys G.Y. Beyan is the founder and political leader of the GDPL. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Residents near Bong Mines Bridge on Bushrod Island have complained about the dumping of old tires in their community, and are calling on authorities to hold those responsible for it.Interviews conducted over the weekend revealed that the old tires are dumped during the night hours by unidentified persons. Some residents told the Daily Observer that they have tried identifying the perpetrators by monitoring the situation near the bridge, but without success.Although businesses near the bridge include a tire center, its operators told the Daily Observer that they are not the ones dumping tires in the community.“It will be stupid for us to do a thing like since we have our business in the area,” an operator, who asked to remain anonymous, said. “We have seen the old tires at the location and have wondered who may be doing it.”Workers at an entertainment center close to the bridge told the Daily Observer that they are also aware of the increasing number of old tires being dumped under the bridge. “We can never allow anyone to do a thing like that,” a worker said. However, the number of dumped old tires increases daily, forming a straight line towards the former Coast Guard base.Meanwhile, residents have appealed to the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC) and the Borough of New Kru Town to work together to ensure that old tires are dumped at appropriate locations to ensure environmental safety.“We also want the authorities to ensure that those who dump such things indiscriminately are punished,” a resident said.At the Duala Market, a team of sanitation workers told the Daily Observer that many Liberians throw garbage anywhere because “we are there to clean it.”“Old tires should have a special way to be disposed of, but we are people who don’t care about what we do to our environment,” one of them said. “We hope that now that you are drawing attention to this bad practice, our ‘big people’ can find a way to ensure that such a practice stops.”Meanwhile, Ministry of Transport officials on Warren Street were shocked when they were shown pictures of the old tires.“This is just unfortunate,” a transport official said, “it is good that you are drawing attention to this, and hopefully we can all work together to end this bad practice.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
During the Unity Party’s National Convention in Gbarnga, Bong County, a group of UP partisans, under the banner “Disenchanted Partisans of Montserrado County” last Friday decided to join the Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE) declaring their support to former governor of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), Dr. Joseph Mills Jones for his presidential bid in 2017.The group’s Chairman, Chancy Gibson Wlah, said their decision to abandon the UP is due to several reasons beyond their control. He commended the political leader of MOVEE, Dr. Jones, for being the only solution to problems facing Liberia, if elected.Wlah said after careful reflection and analysis of unfolding developments in the country, the members have realized that they cannot support the candidacy of the individual chosen by the “so-called partisans of UP” to contest for the 2017 Presidency.“We, the disenchanted partisans of the Unity Party (UP) in Montserrado County, concerned about the future of Liberia, are pleased and grateful to God Almighty for giving us this opportunity to inform the Liberian people and the world at large regarding our direction for 2017.“We pledge our collective support to the candidacy of Dr. J. Mills Jones, a man who has demonstrated excellent leadership while serving as Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia during which time he put in place policies that led to the upliftment of thousands of Liberians from economic degradation and financial marginalization,” the group said in a statement. The statement, which was signed by Arthur Glaydor, former UP Secretary General of District #3, Montserrado County, and approved by Chairman Wlah, said that “…UP has led this country for two terms and we are of the opinion that we should support a more suitable candidate to accelerate the development of our country and raise our people out of poverty with more inclusive socioeconomic policies.”The group’s statement also acknowledged the establishment of rural financial institutions across the country that has enabled Liberians to have easy access to banking services in rural areas. The disenchanted UP partisans assured members of MOVEE that they will use their limited resources for the ascendency of Dr. J. Mills Jones, otherwise known as the “Poverty Doctor.” They said further that Dr. Jones’s leadership at the CBL “was excellent, and he can do more if given the chance in 2017.”“Dr. Jones is a man who knows how to find solutions to complex problems, and this is the man Liberia needs now,” said the former UP partisans.Receiving the statement, Dr. Jones thanked the former UP partisans for “thinking positively” and joining “a party that means business for Liberians.”He said for too long, the people have suffered and it is now time that they enjoy their God given resources in the country.“Coming here today, shows that you believe in the future of this great nation; and by doing so, we have to work together as positive thinkers to make it happen,” he said.Dr. Jones called on Liberians to stop preaching continuity in leadership, because it would not work for them; that they must select the right person who is capable of improving the lives of ordinary Liberians. Dr. Jones assured supporters that they should not be deterred by the Code of Conduct, as Liberia belongs to all Liberians. It may be recalled that at least fifty senior executive members of the Liberia People’s Democratic Party (LPDP), Grand Bassa County branch, recently pledged their support to MOVEE.In another development, MOVEE has officially opened its Montserrado County Chapter on A.B. Tolbert Road, in Paynesville.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
VP Jewel Howard Taylor Several Bong Local Officials “dismissed” for not Joining the partyMany local officials in Bong County have lost their jobs and have now been replaced by stalwarts of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) allegedly on orders of electoral district #3 Representative, Josiah Marvin Cole. Their dismissal comes in the wake of recent veiled threats by Vice President Taylor to dismiss non party members from positions in government.Some of those replaced by CDC partisans are the Labor Commissioner of Bong County, Jackson Kwegbian replaced by CDC Sayblee Weyea, Agriculture Coordinator for Bong County, Roland Varkeh replaced by CDC Kollie Nah, the County Inspector, replaced by CDC Victor Wesseh and Commerce Inspector replaced by CDC Pauline Sarlie.“The fact that some of you who sitting here, are not members of the Coalition, but we have nothing in our hearts against you because I would have removed everybody, replaced you with people I trust and believe would work with us, because you would have done same to me had you been in power” adding, “this is my time, because I served as opposition for 12 years,” Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor told the residents recently in emotionally charged remarks.Residents believe it is because of the Vice President’s inclination to dismiss local officials who are not part of the CDC that Rep. Cole gained strength to replaced those he had targeted. Some maintained that the Vice President has the Constitutional right to bring on board those she satisfied with.The Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor has also asked local chiefs to join the ruling CDC or be replaced.Mrs. Taylor who also suggested that it is biblical, unacceptable, why two cannot walk together if they do not agree; asking members of the local government in Bong County to either join the ruling CDC or be replaced. In justifying her stance on the matter, Vice President Howard Taylor sought reliance from the Scriptures, quoting from the Book of Amos 3:3, which states, “can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction?”Mrs. Taylor informed the chiefs that the CDC will be holding political meetings and these gatherings must be attended only by the partisans. Mrs. Taylor further told those inducted officials that it is unbearable for the government to work with people with whom she does not share the same political philosophy.“The Bible says can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction. For us to agree, we must be on the same side so if you think you cannot make it, tell us, we will find somebody else to replace you.Similar actions were taken during the Unity Party (UP) regime where people were made to join the ruling establishment at the time. “You all will join because other people joined the UP so I am waiting for you to travel to your districts to tell me you have joined the ruling party,” Mrs. Taylor ordered the chiefs.She maintained that trust is paramount and she would not be confident to express herself in the midst of non-members of the Coalition.It was shortly after the VP statement, that Rep. Cole took the decision to unilaterally remove those officials from their respective posts, thus sending a clear message of competing poles of power with President Weah on one hand and Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor on the other hand.According to a prominent lawyer (name withheld), the power to appoint and dismiss public officials rests squarely in the purview of the President and not that of the Vice President nor that of a member of the Legislature, the lawyer observed. It can be recalled that Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor publicly apologized to President Weah following reports that she and President Weah had been at odds over her unapproved frequent travels abroadBut with this latest dismissal action which some Bong County officials claim is instigated by Vice President Taylor without the approval of President Weah, it appears that Vice President Taylor’s apologies to President Weah, may have been insincere according to the officials.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Mr. Gyeabour and one of the beneficiaries affixed their signatures to the grant agreement.-Provides US$170K in grants to 13 SMEsMercy Corps-Liberia, one of the major non-governmental organizations (NGO) operating in the social financial services sector, has provided a total of US$170,000 as grant to 13 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to improve their operations and boost their viability.The grant is also meant to empower these local entrepreneurs to build constructive and meaningful livelihoods by equipping them with confidence, skills, and opportunities to engage with their communities and the market.Mercy Corps Country Director Kwasi Gyeabour said that the initiative is part of the organization’s sub-program, entitled, “Promoting Sustainable Partnership for Economic Transformation (PROSPECTS),” which provides employment for youth entrepreneurs.Mr. Gyeabour spoke yesterday, September 12, at a program marking the signing of a one-year social business grant contract in Monrovia with the beneficiaries. Yesterday’s event coincided with the official handling over of assorted office equipment to authorities of the Ministry of Youth and Sports for the smooth operations of the national cadet program and other youth centers in Montserrado, Bong and Nimba counties.The program, according to Mr. Gyeabour, is expected to enable owners of those businesses (SMEs) benefit from financial and business advisory support from Mercy Corps.He said that the grant was provided by the Swedish Government, through its Embassy accredited to Monrovia, to move small Liberian businesses to the next level so that they are able to offer employment opportunities for some of the country’s serious-minded youth.“The beneficiaries will collect about US$7,500 to US$20, 000 as start-up grant to help them improve their businesses and also provide employment opportunities for some young people who are focused but out of job,” Gyeabour said.He added: “Before providing the grant, we thoroughly selected some of the SMEs that we could identify as the most deserving businesses through analyzing their proposals. Some of them are here today to receive their packages.”Mercy Corps Africa Director Mervyn Jouillie spoke of how he had been inspired on previous occasions by the big impact small businesses have made on the economy, “and that was why the grant was created to provide incubator support to enable young entrepreneurs with creative ideas in agriculture, ICT and creative economy start or expand their business concepts.”Jouillie expressed optimism that the initiative will lead to startups and give a boost to economic growth by issuing a call to entrepreneurs to use the fund wisely to empower their friends that would want to follow their fine examples.“For us at Mercy Corps, we strongly believe that supporting young entrepreneurs is an opportunity for the organization, because when the youth are empowered, the country will be at peace and will empower other people along the way,” Jouillie said.He said that Mercy Corps intends to work with partners, because they cannot do it all by themselves; but with the help of others, they can achieve one common goal for Liberia; that is, to empower locals to develop the country.Beneficiaries of the grant expressed gratitude to Mercy Corps for such an opportunity, which will enable them to expand their businesses.They promised to use the fund for its intended purpose as is enshrined in the agreement.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Mr. Shoniyin: “I resigned based on professional and personal consideration.”Barely 24-hour B. Elias Shoniyin, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister resigned his post, President George Weah has “directed him to authorities of the Liberia Anti Corruption Commission (LACC) in adherence to official exit process, consistent with best practice and the laws of the land.”Although the President has accepted his resignation, and has thanked him for his 13-year “dedicated and professional service to the Liberian government,” sources informed the Daily Observer that Mr. Shoniyin’s resignation was primarily a result of “non-cooperation and disrespect to his office as deputy minister.”Shoniyin tendered in his letter of resignation on Monday, May 6, 2019, citing “professional and personal consideration” as reasons for his resigning his post, but said he remains with the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development.Sources close to the Foreign Ministry confirmed the resignation of Mr. Shoniyin, following the submission of his letter to the office of President weah for “professional and personal consideration.” He has served at the ministry for 13-years. The letter read:“Dear Mr. President,It is with regret that I tender my resignation as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Liberia effective May 6, 2019, after 13 years of dedicated service to the Liberian government spanning two successive administrations. My resignation is motivated solely by personal and professional consideration.Meanwhile, I take this opportunity to thank your Excellency for the opportunity to serve on your team since your historic inauguration on January 22, 2018, and for your personal brotherly support during the period of my service in your administration.”According to Shoniyin, his time spent working as a member of President Weah’s administration was indeed a wonderful experience and an opportunity to continue making a meaningful contribution to the country.“You can have my assurances that I depart the Foreign Ministry, but not the administration as I remain committed to the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development, and will be available whenever I am called upon,” Mr. Shoniyin said in his letter.Shoniyin, one of the Liberia’s astute diplomats, was appointed in 2006 as an assistant foreign minister; later he served as deputy minister for international cooperation and rose to the position of deputy minister of foreign affairs.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The Esplanade Recreational Park and Botanical Gardens, situated in north- western New Amsterdam, is undergoing major rehabilitation work by the Mayor and Town Council of New Amsterdam.A view of the Esplanade Park in New Amsterdam. The Bandstand can be seen in the (right) foreground, and the Pavilion in the backgroundFinancing for this project, which is all part of the New Amsterdam Town Enhancement programme, has been made available by the Ministry of Social Cohesion.Thus far, extensive under-bushing of the area has been completed, and the perimeter drains have been dug. According to the Department of Public Infrastructure, the facility is to be fenced, and an arch is to be constructed. Among other work earmarked to be done are: fencing of the inner field of the facility; installation of 25 LED lights around the perimeter; construction of ten benabs, two ‘kissing bridges’, and a walkway, among other conveniences.The venue presently boasts a playground, pavilion, stand, a benab, a bandstand, and some sheds. There are also several concrete benches which were donated by the business community.When completed, the Esplanade Park is set to house an inner field and an outer track.Recently, the Town Council, through the Ministry of Communities, signed a $14 million contract with a Berbice contractor to do further extensive works at the facility.In 1998, under the mayorship of Businessman Errol Alphonso, the town became twinned with Midland Texas in the USA. During that exercise, the playfield was rehabilitated and a pavilion was built (named the Midland Ball Field and Pavilion).In the early 90s, the Council collaborated with the Rotary Club of New Amsterdam to develop the Esplanade Park.
The E Division (Linden-Kwakwani) Police Headquarters has recorded a number of successful activities and exercises in 2018 thus far.Some of these successes were highlighted during the annual presentation of the Division’s Christmas Policing Plan which was recently presented by Divisional Commander Linden Lord. It was reported that for the period January to November, several drug eradication exercises were conducted at Wisroc and West Watooka (Linden), Coomacka Mines, Five, Ten and 18 Miles (Ituni Road) and would have resulted in over 16 acres of approximately 7300 cannabis plants being destroyed.For the same period, there were reportedly five murders committed in the Division, four of which were solved by ranks attached to the Division’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID), who according to Lord, “demonstrated proactive policing and thorough investigations”.Additionally, there were 14 robberies recorded over this period, with eight cases being solved and five criminals prosecuted in connection with these crimes.As it relates to outreaches, Police in the Division have also conducted several outreach programmes and lectures at schools and communities across the Division which Lord noted were done, “as a means of fostering a better relationship with the community”.Included in these exercises, were an interactive session conducted with students of the Muritaro Primary School and another conducted by traffic ranks with youths interested in acquiring a provisional license.Traffic ranks also conducted lectures with students of the Harmony and Linden Foundation Secondary schools in Linden.The boundaries of the Division extend to the left Bank of the Essequibo River (West), Ebini River (East), Dora (North) and the left bank of the Kurupuri River (South).