Liberia: 'No Electricity No Vote' - Montserrado County District 9 Residents Vow to Boycott December 8 Elections

Monrovia — Several communities in District 9 have vowed not to participate in any future elections if their needs are not met by the national government.

"There's no need to keep voting for people and bettering they and their families' lives while we are here sleeping in darkness in this district; we are hurt and need solution, if we can't get it we will not vote," a resident told FrontPageAfrica in an angry tone.

Residents of the district mainly from New and Old Matadi Estates, Lakpazee, Fiamah, Raymond Field Community and the VAMOMA community have complained of the lack of electricity and bad roads in their respective areas.

The residents have complained that for the past six and eight months their communities have been out of electricity due to the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) alleged failure to replace damaged transformer.

The people of the district also expressed disappointment about the road condition which many in the areas described as terrible.

Speaking to FrontPageAfrica during a tour of Fubbi Henry, one of the candidates aspiring for the district seat, the inhabitants of the district expressed that they will not turn out to vote in any elections future election if their transformers are not replaced and their roads not rehabilitated by government.

The residents say they don't feel part of Liberia because government has continuously ignored their plights.

Madam Comfort Nah is a resident of the Matadi community and also a business woman, she told FrontPAgeAfrica that she and her entire household will not vote in any election if their transformers are not replaced by the LEC.

"We are living Monrovia just like we living in the remotest part of Liberia, why will our transformers damage and government refusing to replace them, if we do not get transformers will not vote in any election," mother Nah noted.

However, LEC says the issue of damaged transformers usually result of power theft which overburdens the transformers.

But Madam Comfort Nah blames the LEC for the high increase of power theft in various communities in the country due to the failure of the LEC to distribute power.

"They are the cause why we steal current; I am not taking myself from there because you cannot come here and connect someone right near my house and I pay money, too, to be connected and I cannot get light. What do you expect me to do but to connect illegally and pay the boys small money," Madam Nah said.

Power theft is a problem among both the rich and the poor. It is not because people do not want to pay, but because the power utility has not been able to meet the huge demand for electricity.

Power theft, according to the LEC has caused annual losses of about $35m.

Liberia has been trying to rebuild its power sector, destroyed during a civil war which lasted from 1989 to 2003.

The U.S. has been giving financial and technical aid to Liberia to increase connectivity, as part of the Power Africa initiative launched by former US President Barack Obama to bring electricity to 50 million people in sub-Saharan Africa by 2020.

For her part, mother Mary Nyumah of the Fanti Town Market in district #9 has also expressed frustration in the act by the LEC of not replacing damage transformers.

"Matadi is very big for LEC to bring a single transformer, we are not dogs here, we are all human beings so let them stop treating us like slaves," she said.

The residents of the district said due to the lack of the electricity they are forced to use Chines lights as a source of energy.

"Even the Chinese lights can't last for long and we have to buy batteries every other day, we will not vote if we don't have current," she added.

The residents have, however, urged all aspirants in the district, mainly Fubbi Henries who had gone a fact-findings tour on the issue of the transformer to advocate so the electricity can be restored in the areas.

"We're only begging our son Fubbi Henries to go to LEC on our behalf so our electricity will be restore, we're tired being in the dark and our goods spoiling because we don't have current," Pa Solomon Yeah of Fiamah Community noted.

Fubbi in response called on national government to see reason to restore power in the areas. He said if the people have electricity the issue of job creation will not be a problem.

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