Grand Bassa Citizens Reassure President Sirleaf of Support for LAC Expansion

Wednesday, 29th August 2007
President Sirleaf listens as Bassa citizens make a point.
President Sirleaf listens as Bassa citizens make a point.
Photo Credit: Ousman Diallo/Executive Mansion
Monrovia, Liberia - Chiefs and elders from Grand Bassa County have held a meeting in Monrovia with Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. The meeting was intended to assure the President of the citizens’ support for the expansion exercise of the Liberia Agriculture Company (LAC).

An Executive Mansion release quotes the Chiefs as saying they would do nothing to obstruct the expansion of the Company, because they want development in their area. The meeting, also attended by youth representatives of the county and other prominent inhabitants of Grand Bassa, was called by the citizens to dispel rumors that they were against the expansion of the Liberia Agriculture Company (LAC) in their area.

The citizens, however, appealed to the President to ensure that citizens of Bassa affected by the expansion project are duly compensated.

A petition from the Youths of Bassa also supported the expansion of LAC, but recommended that the company begins its expansion exercise only after the relocation of affected citizens. In the petition, the Youths acknowledged the level of development taking place in the country and observed that much could be done to get the information out to the people. “The young people of Bassa have resolved to go out and interpret the policies of government to help our people make informed decisions,” the Grand Bassa Youths said in their petition.

The Liberian President, in response, thanked the citizens of Bassa for demonstrating their appreciation toward development taking place in their county. The President reiterated an earlier promise that there will be no forced evictions. Relocation, the Liberian leader noted, will take place through negotiations and dialogue. “That policy will not change!” the President emphasized.  “If an understanding can not be reached, we will find other alternatives for the project to expand,” the President assured the citizens.

The Liberian leader called on citizens to cooperate with investors to encourage more investment in the country. She said government would insist that companies which invest in the country provide better living conditions for the people in keeping with their social obligations to the country and its people.

Tuesday’s meeting was also attended by the Chairman of the Traditional Council of Liberia, Chief Zanzar Kawah, Grand Bassa Senator Gbezongar Findley Superintendent, Julia Duncan Cassell as well as Internal Affairs Minister, Ambullai Johnson.