The New Dawn (Monrovia)

Liberia: Bong Politicians Tussle Over School Project

Tern — The renovation of the Ernest Jerome Yancy High School in Totota, Salala District in Bong County is currently at the center of controversy. Politicians in the county are reported to be at 'each other's throat' for credit.

Ahead of the 2014 mid-term election, these politicians are reportedly using the renovation of the school to attract support from electorates in Salala District, who seem not to be aware of the political bickering among their leaders. During the launch of the renovation by Superintendent Serena Polson-Mappy, it was reported that funds for the work was provided by the government.

But as part of their campaign efforts to win the hearts of the people at the end of the school's rehabilitation, lawmakers continue to claim credit before citizens and residents of the area, attributing the success of the project to their lobbying power both at local and international levels.

On top of the controversy is the District's Representative, Adam Bill Corneh, who continues to boast of personally infusing fifty thousand United States dollars (US$50,000.00) into the project.

Another contentious issue about the same school as reported by our correspondent is a proposed Bill before the House of Representatives for the transformation of E.J. Yancy High School into a Multilateral High School. Claiming credit for the Bill are Senators Henry Yallah and Jewel Howard-Taylor.

According to our Lower Bong Correspondent, Yallah has told the people that the Bill was his handy work, the locals seemed not to have accepted his claim because of his failure to hold meetings and initially acquaint them with issues affecting their livelihood during his annual break.

Yallah is reported to have said that the intent of the bill was not for election purpose, but as part of his Legislative achievement during the first sitting of the 53th Legislature, while on the other hand, Jewel Howard-Taylor also claimed that she drafted the bill to make E.J Yancy a Multilateral high school to help with the growing students' populace.

She made the disclosure during one of the meetings held with the women groupings in Salala District sometimes ago. Senator Taylor is also reported to disclosed to the people of Bong County during a live radio interview in Gbarnga last year that she drafted the Bill for the Gboveh Community College, something proven not to be true.

The Bill for the Gboveh Community College was drafted and submitted to the House's Plenary by Representative George S. Mulbah after the idea was passed on to him by a permanent Liberian Journalist from Bong County at his Duport Road residence a few years ago.

The E.J. Yancy High school was established in 1951 by the late Ernest Jerome Yancy during the tenure of President William V. S Tubman, but was in the state of dilapidation until renovated recently. Since then, the school has become property of Bong County's politicians who are using same as personal political achievement.

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