Sinoe County Superintendent J. Milton Teahjay, has fired back at the pro environmental advocacy group, Green Advocate for "brain washing tactics" introduced to the people of Sinoe against the multimillion dollar company, Golden Veroleum Limited, operating in the county.
Last Friday, Green Advocate's Executive Director Attorney Alfred Brownell brought a 15-man delegation to Monrovia from Sinoe to highlight the reported destruction and illegal taking of their land by Golden Veroleum, while denying them benefits and due courtesies.
Speaking to the New Dawn Sunday morning at his residence near the Police Training Academy in Paynesville, Superintendent Teahjay said the accusation by Green Advocate is sorely intended to justified donor's funding and appease its board of directors.
Teahjay pointed out that every citizen whose land is within the operational site of the company has been duly compensated, based on the land size with each citizen receiving a minimum of US$350, excluding social benefits and an agreement that qualified and unqualified members of each family being affected, including their children would receive preference for employment.
Teahjay: "And as we speak, their children are actively employed with the company and earning attractive salaries in line with Labor Ministry's regulation. Secondly, Sinoe County is not a protectorate for the Green Advocate."
He said Green Advocate conducted a two-day meeting with the citizens and allegedly in-sighted them against the company which led to the destruction of over 609 palm seeds on nursery.
The spokesperson for the team that came to Monrovia, Kpangan Nimopoh of Butaw district claimed Golden Veroleum Limited failed to adhere to environmental principles and went ahead, destroying every structure, including palm trees, forests, towns, villages as well as polluting creeks use by the citizens to fetch drinking.
But Teahjay indicated that before the commencement of Golden Veroleum's operations in the county, the Environmental Protection Agency or EPA and some international environmentalists guided the process, which his administration is keenly following.
He also denied reports that the sacred bushes of the county have been destroyed through the clearing of land by the company, adding that heads of those strategic areas affected by the clearing, requested the company to provide funds to conduct surveys.
"The group under the banner 'Special Citizen Committee' received US$1000 through its chairman Togba Bestman but reportedly showed US$500 to the rest of the group. Upon discovery of the corruption, the company again provided US$1,500; this time through Magistrate James Tarpeh for the same purpose but the money was eaten also," he disclosed.
Teahjay said Golden Veroleum is about to provide over 35,000 jobs to the people of Sinoe from managerial level to security. "We as head of government in that county, our responsibilities are to protect both the investors and our citizens' interests. We will not allow anyone jeopardize the opportunity of our county and at the same time allow investors to play on our people," he said.
Meanwhile, Supt. Teahjay said he has received a communication from the county that the citizens are preparing to petition the government and that any attempt again by Green Advocate to visit their land without legitimate document from government, they will resist them in any form or manner.