'UP Government Will Not Disregard Concerns Raised by Any Group’—Vice President Boakai

Sunday, 10th April 2011

Monrovia, Liberia - Liberia’s Vice President Boakai, Sr., says the Unity Party-led Government will never disregard genuine concerns raised by any group in the country.

He assured the youth that as the future of the country, any genuine concerns raised by them would be addressed.

Vice President Boakai’s statement which was made on Saturday, April 9 during the ground-breaking ceremony for the Buchanan Renewable (BR) Maintenance & Vocational Training Facility, was in apparent reference to a planned demonstration by the youth group, Free Thinkers Association, against the ground-breaking ceremony.

The Free Thinkers which has a membership of ten persons and Grand Bassa County Lawmaker Gabriel Smith expressed their opposition to the ground breaking ceremony on grounds that the agreement reached in acquiring the 42 acres of land being used for the construction of the training center and the US$90 million electrical power plant, ‘was not done holistically’ and did not meet the consensus of all residents of One-your-own Community in the Buchanan suburb of Harlandsville.

The youth said while they were not against the construction of the vocational training facility and the electrical power plant, the 60 year lease agreement was too long and needed to be reduced. They also had problem that the county administration consummated the lease agreement without the involvement of the community residents.

But during the groundbreaking ceremony, the Traditional Council of Grand Bassa and chiefs and elders Own-your-own Community as well as the Acting Superintendent of Grand Bassa and City Mayor of Buchanan, gave their full consent and support to the project which, they observed would bring development not only to the community, but the entire county.

During the ground-breaking ceremony, they gave a white handkerchief to the General Manager of Buchanan Renewables, Mr. Liam Hickey as a token of appreciation for the project.

In his remarks at the the dedication of the company’s new office complex on Robert Street in Buchanan, which followed the ground-breaking ceremony, Vice President Boakai assured the youth that like all legal documents, the lease agreement will be reviewed in future.

He observed that Liberia lost most of her professionals during the civil conflict, and expressed gratitude to Buchanan Renewables for the facility that would train technicians to render services that are so crucial to the reconstruction and nation-building process.

He thanked the McBain Foundation for taking interest in Liberia and choosing to invest US$90 million in the post-war country.

He also expressed thanks and appreciation to Mr. John H. McBain, the Founder of Buchanan Renewables and the McBain Foundation for the offer of buses it made sometime ago to the Liberian Government which, he noted, helped to ease the transportation problem that plagued the nation at the time.

“We thank our partners for this great work. We like to see good things happen to Liberia. It is a long time now that no good thing has happened to Liberia,” he added.

Speaking at the dedication of the Buchanan Renewables’ Complex, Mr McBain who jointly broke grounds with Vice President Boakai for the BR Maintenance and Vocational Training Facility, expressed his confidence in the Liberian economy and his commitment to continue to do business with the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Government.

Also speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony, BR General Manager Mr. Hickey assured that the training facility will be critical for ensuring that the company’s fleet of trucks and other equipment are kept working to support its operations. “It will also be a vocational training center which will collaborate with the Bassa Community College to train and develop the mechanics, the engineers, the welders and all the professionals that we need to develop our business,” Mr Hickey added.

The BR General Manager also assured that the company would patronize local businessmen and use local resources and labor in the implementation of the construction project, adding, “We will do that; you can have my commitment for that.”

The program was attended by and array of government officials, including the Minister of Information Cletus Sieh as well as the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs and Defense Ministers, among others.