The Informer (Monrovia)

10 August 2013

Liberia: Pealat Boasts of Completing Controversial Belle Yellah Road

The Management of Pealat Construction Company (PCC) is boasting of completing the full construction of the controversial Belle Yellah road, and has pledged his company's unflinching commitment to the development of Liberia.

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, riding and walking behind bulldozers, treaded the path to enter the defunct notorious prison town of Belle Yellah with a vehicle in 2009 and vowed to construct the road.

Pealat was given the task as the road construction became political than technical for almost four years until its dedication in July.

In a release issued Tuesday, Pealat said its attention was drawn to "recent unwarranted media onslaught underpinned by petty jealousy and ignorance" against the Company and its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr. Praise O. Tony Lawal, following the completion and subsequent dedication of the much politicized Belle Yellah Road by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf recently in July.

The Management said although it was fully aware of those behind these orchestrated media assaults in the last few weeks, it would not be deterred by those anti-developmental conspiracies and campaigns by dignifying them in any manner or form, including their perpetrators, because according to the company, they were not accompanied by facts, but only inundated with miscalculated information as evident by their inadequacies.

"We clearly understand how deeply these individuals are frustrated and disappointed as a result of tremendous progress and achievements Pealat is making in the country's infrastructure Sector ahead of others, including the successful completion of the Belle Yellah Road, which allowed Pres. Sirleaf to fulfill her promised "non-walk visit" to Belle Yellah last July."

The management added "those detractors, in the past argued that Pealat lacked the capacity to implement the 84km Belle Yallah Road Project, and in fact nurtured the public with falsehood that the road was abandoned, while at the same time they were maneuvering intensely to take over the contract. But After the completion of the road, our attackers are now reducing the road to 35km which is a total misrepresentation of facts about the project. There were others, who contended that the Sirleaf regime was not able to fulfill its promise to the people in Belle Yellah, but to their dismay, the promise was fulfilled and the road was dedicated."

The PCC Management, in its dispatch noted, that to the shame and disgrace of detractors, engineers of the embattled Pealat took them by surprise when it was announced that the President drove to Belle Yalleh and subsequently dedicated the project, which the Company believes was the source of their (detractors') outburst.

"As a technical Institution, we would have chosen to remain silent on these issues, since they are not bordered on technical imperfection of our works, but we are constrained because of the gullibility of the society to provide clarification on their latest debate, including nationality issue, contract value and its legality, alleged bribery, security implication and an alleged presidential connection to get contracts."

It added that Pealat was not interested in making empty promises or doing its business in the media, the Company believes in hard work and commitment as technical entity.

"However, for the sake of clarity, Pealat does not win contracts on the basis of presidential connection or influence as being insinuated by some weak contractors who do not have the capability to pre-finance projects, or even implement them successfully when they are paid. We have the equipment, the manpower, technical expertise and all it requires to compete in the reconstruction of Liberia, something others do not have." The Management said.

According to the Management, it would be necessary for those who want to know the total value of the Belle Yellah Road contract to contact the ministries of Public Works, Justice and Finance instead of speculating and feeding the public with misguided information.

"But, while we are consulting our lawyers for appropriate legal advice on some of these baseless allegations, which are only intended to undermine our integrity and present a gloomy picture of our CEO and the Entity, we appeal to our media friends not to lend credence to these anti-developmental agents, who are undermining government's infrastructure agenda by their non-compliance in the implementation of contracts awarded them by the Government after receiving payments and could not perform, but bent on grimy campaign which will not help them in anyway."

The PCC Management asserted that while it was true, Liberians are practicing freedom of speech and are making maximum use of it for the first time under the Sirleaf regime, it was necessary not to forget that it has legal obligation to hold people accountable for statements made which have the ability to impinge on individual's reputations.

"Whether the CEO of Pealat is an ex-ECOMOG soldier or not as being insinuated, we humbly refer the accusers to go to the Nigerian Embassy in Congo Town, because we believe the Nigerian Government has information on all those who served its army before, during and after the peacekeeping mission in Liberia."

To those who are questioning Mr. Lawal's Liberian citizenship, the Management urged them to go to the relevant government agency for clarity instead of misleading the public with falsehood. "For their information, Mr. Lawal is not only a Liberian citizen, but one who is productive and making significant contributions to the development of the Country."

However, Pealat noted that it was not surprised that some detractors of the Sirleaf regime would leave the actual issues and unleash their venom at those who are government's partners in progress. "While Liberians are not debating who are citizens or not, detractors who do not have the ability to perform in developing the country, are reducing developmental issues to citizenship debate."

Meanwhile, Management said, it was grateful to God almighty, and also applauds Pres. Sirleaf for her support and commitment demonstrated in the implementation of the Belle Yellah Road project. "Our thanks also go to the Ministry of Public Works, the Legislative committees on Public Works, the leadership of Gbarpolu County and all those who contributed to the successful implementation and dedication of the road, although others still doubt whether the President, indeed had the opportunity to drive to Belle Yellah uninterrupted and slept there before she performed the dedicatory ceremony."

"It is very shameful to add, while others are lavishing praises on the Liberian leader for the completion of the Belle Yellah Road and encouraging her administration to continue its partnership with Pealat, those we describe as "enemy of progress" are demonstrating their hatred of good things the President is doing in the country as evident by the recent media propaganda."

Pealat, however noted that whatever the case, it cannot be deterred by these anti-developmental outburst underpinned by frustration, envy and devilish intend, orchestrated by their perpetrators. "We, however see them as motivational factors and a way to carry on massive publicity of our Company which has reached the level to contend with international companies operating in Liberia. But we will not succumb to any form of blackmail!"

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