Pres. Weah Becomes The Implementer

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Liberia, established in early 1822 and recognized as a sovereign state in 1847, has seen about twenty-five (25) presidents who presided over the country and its resources at different times in history. Each of these leaders, however, had different approach toward developing the nation and managing its natural resources. They all had blueprints about how they envisioned a Liberia that will be a sweet land of liberty and justice for all.

    There were presidents who had the luxury of time to implement lots of projects during their tenures, while others could not do much due to the briefness of their time in power. Whatever the case was, they all had blueprints that could not be implemented during their administration; as such, they expected that their successors would take on from where they stopped, in the spirit of continuity.

   Unfortunately, many presidents would end the dreams and aspirations of their predecessors immediately they are inaugurated by announcing a whole new development plan, which many times bring unfinished projects to a dead end. Even though some of them would continue the ones that funds had already been secured for, landmark projects were thwarted only because the dream-bearer’s tenure had elapsed and the successor had no interest in completing a project that would not earn him a political point.

   But President George M. Weah, among those who saw reason to continue the legacy of their predecessor, has distinguished himself as the implementer—knowingly or knowingly carrying out projects that had been on blueprint since the William R. Tolbert era.  

    With the Hot Pepper beginning with some of ex-President Charles G. Taylor’s blueprint for the development of the nation, President Weah on Thursday, August 5, 2021 broke ground for the PHP Unity Sports Park, which he hoped will provide opportunity for the youth to play again.

   The PHP Unity Sports Park is a 12-month project, valued US$5 million and sponsored by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed. The project is located in the PHP community, outside the BTC Barracks.

   This project, as new as it may seem, appears duplicate to ex-President Taylor’s blueprint for a Children Village at the BTC Barracks, for which some structures at the barracks were demolished. The project was spearheaded by Myrtle Gibson, former Senator of Sinoe County and Advisor to President Taylor.

Ex-President Charles G. Taylor

   Ex-President Taylor had a dream of creating a playground for Liberian children, and for this reason an Act was introduced and sponsored by Senator Myrtle Gibson and passed by the National Legislature for the creation of a Children Village.

   Funds for the Children Village were raised in 1998 at the Pavoratti Musical Concert in Italy, and War Child UK, a nongovernmental organization based in the United Kingdom, was selected to implement the project.

   However, the news of demolishing solid structures at the BTC barracks would trigger mixed reactions from leaders and supporters of the National Patriotic Party (NPP), and the demolition would be halted with immediate effect. Since then, there has been no children village, and the millions of dollars generated were allegedly squandered by Gibson and the War Child UK.

    Fast-forward, President Weah has secured funds from the Arab world for the creation of a playground for Liberian children, and the project is being implemented almost at the site designated by ex-President Taylor, arguably linking the development dreams of the two presidents.

   Knowingly or unknowingly, President Weah has mustered the courage to recreate and implement a project that was first blueprinted by ex-President Taylor, and honored the nation with the development it deserves. Part II tomorrow.  

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