Citizens of Bomi County have attributed their county's under-development to insincerity and disunity amongst past elected officials. Located in western Liberia, Bomi is one of the poorest counties in the country. The citizens said the county is under-developed due to "negligence and greed" amongst past elected officials from the county.
They said the placement of personal aggrandizement above the county by elected officials is one of the primary factors responsible for the county's backwardness. The citizens said former government officials of the county usually construct their houses in Monrovia and other parts of the country, leaving their country of origin to languish behind in terms of infrastructural development.
Citizens residing in the county made these comments recently in an exclusive interview with this paper in Bomi. The citizens interviewed included town chiefs, elders, youth leaders and marketers. Others were students, religious leaders, and disabled persons, amongst others.
They stated that these past elected officials and other prominent citizens carried out investment in "far away places because they do not love their own county." Mr. Varney Sherman, head of the National Union of Disabled Persons in Tubmanburg, capital of the county, is one of the citizens of the county. He said: "Past government officials abandoned the county and carried out development in Monrovia and other areas."
Also commenting on Bomi's lack of development were two youth leaders from different parts of the county. The first was the youth leader of Klay District, Mr. Alvin Paasewe. He noted that most of the past elected officials excluded their fellow kinsmen from the benefits of the county's resources.
He added: "They did this by leaving them out of meetings intended to bring development to the county because of selfish motives." For his part, Mr. Barclay Karnley, a youth leader from Tubmanburg, said "Bomi County is one of the oldest counties in this country but is behind in terms of development. If you look around you, you will see and understand what really I am trying to say."
Also speaking was the town chief of Senjeh, commonly called Pa Momo. He blamed past leaders' disunity for his county's underdevelopment. "Therefore, if we must bring development to our county, then our current leaders must work together collectively," Pa Momo added.
Further lamenting on the lack of development in Bomi was a school teacher in Tubmanburg. But he spoke on condition of anonymity. He said, "In the past most of the elected or appointed officials moved to other areas with their families to perform their duties. They took development to places where they are not from.
"How will this county be developed if we don't have love for it?" he asked. Nevertheless, the citizens interviewed failed to name the past elected officials who contributed to their country's extreme backwardness. Equally, what is astonishing is that the county has produced a president of the country and two speakers of the House of Representatives.
Current President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf hails from there. The speakers are current Speaker Alex Tyler and the late Mr. Samuel D. Hill. The late Mr. Hill was speaker during the regime of the late President Samuel K. Doe.