16 April 2014

Liberia: VP Boakai Attacked, But...

Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai has come under stinging verbal attack for "ignoring" the plight of ordinary Liberians.

Vice President Boakai came under the verbal attack recently while attending the official ground- breaking ceremony of the Liberian-Turkish Light International Boarding School in the Kpor Town Community on the Robertfield Highway, Margibi County.

Speaking at the ground breaking ceremony of the school, the Principal of the Kpor Town Public School, Mr. Emmanuel Menmengar, who launched the verbal attack on VP Boakai, described the Liberia's Vice President as being "forgetful" to things that affect ordinary Liberian citizens.

According to Mr. Menmengar, authorities of the Kpor Town Public had on numerous occasions informed the vice president about the deplorable condition of the school so that he (vice president), as a top official of the government, would consult with the Ministry of Education (MOE) in a bid to recondition the school.

"We had informed the Vice President's Office and authorities of the MOE about this school's condition on several occasions, but our calls yielded no results.

The Vice President uses this very route to go on international trips nearly every month, but he doesn't care to stop by to see the condition of this school we had long been telling him about," said the Kpor Town Public School Principal.

"Mr. Vice President and Madam Deputy Minister of Education, you have come here today to break ground because this is a rich people school, but this is the same community you had been invited for several times and you had refused to come.

I think the reason for your failure to come to see the deplorable condition of this school is because the children here are all from poor parental backgrounds, and so their plight is less important," Mr. Menmengar continued with the verbal attack.

Mr. Menmengar furthered that the school has a student population of 600, but said all of the classes are in deplorable condition.

He lamented that there is less sitting capacity for the students, and as such, most children bring their own chairs from their homes to sit to attend classes.

"Mr. Vice President, besides the poor classroom condition, our school does not have a toilet. The students use nearby bushes for defecation, and this poses a poor sanitary condition to our community. Just imagine, if a school just next door to Monrovia is in such a condition, then what more about schools in counties far away from Monrovia," he added.

However, VP Boakai, in response to the hurtful comments by Mr. Menmengar, apologized for the delay in intervention, but said it was not deliberately done.

He assured the school's authorities that government through the Ministry of Education will visit the campus to ensure that the necessary renovation works are done in order to bring it on par with other schools in the country.

"Mr. Principal, thank you for information again. I like the way you expressed your grievances, this is how I like to see someone speak their mind.

From here, I am going to straightly engage the Ministry of Education to visit your campus to see the kind of work that needs to be done there. Thank God that we have our Deputy Minister here and she, too, was listening to those comments," he added.

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