What is seen as a healthy desire by President George Manneh Weah to restore hope to fire victims of Popo Beach in the New Krutown area suffered desecration that characterized insult, disrespect and indiscipline towards the already depressed victims when Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson T. Koijee stood on the relief rice which was part of several other items donated by the President to announce the donation,
The President, during a visit to the victims, presented an assortment of basic food and non-food items which include 100 bags of 50kg of imported rice, 300 pieces of mattresses, and 20 bays of used clothing to the victims.
President Weah, in his passion to restore hope to the District #16 fire victims at the Popo Beach, on Monday, April 8, 2019, also promised construction of new homes within 60 days beginning April 9, which is the equivalent of two months.
The fire incident left about 20 houses destroyed, making homeless more than 300 persons. But President Weah counseled the residents of New Kru Town, especially the victims, to let go the past as immediate works would soon start to build new and modern homes for them.
Presenting on behalf of the President the relief food and other items, Monrovia City Mayor Koijee, in his usual state of arrogance found nowhere to stand and announce the presentation but to climb and stand on the food donated to the victims, which act was seen as gross disrespect not only to the President, but to the people – the recipients of the kind gesture of the President.
This action by Koijee to stand on the relief rice meant for the victims was considered unacceptable, with some critics who harbored angry feelings questioned, “You stand on food that is to be eaten?”
Criticisms pour out
Cadre Kamara, a Facebooker wrote that the masses elected President Weah for them to be served well as he is doing but the photo of those around the rice on which Koijee is standing, suggest that Liberians are worshipping Monrovia City Mayor just to eat….. Sad times in our motherland!”
Another critic of Koijee’s disrespect to the fire victim is one HYPERLINK “https://web.facebook.com/francis.boayue” Francis Mario Boayue who wondered “Why will Jeff Koijee place his feet on the Rice people are going to eat?” He considered the display by Koijee as being “so disgusting” to see the masses ill-treated in their own country.
HYPERLINK “https://web.facebook.com/paul.kanneh.1” Paul Kanneh reacted apparently to the situation, saying “Even the UN secretary general will not stand on relief items intended for common refugees or displaced people.”
HYPERLINK “https://web.facebook.com/paul.kanneh.1” Paul Kanneh guessed that supporters of Koijee in this act are educated and knowledgeable, and therefore should analyze for themselves the implications of standing on food intended for people without justified reasons.
Other out pour of criticisms for Koijee’s “indiscipline” towards the fire victims came from HYPERLINK “https://web.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008158121198” Augustine Saah Korsor who said, “This is actually wrong, there is no need for Koijee to stand on these items.
HYPERLINK “https://web.facebook.com/nene.inwang” Nene Inwang HYPERLINK “https://web.facebook.com/paye.cyrus?hc_location=ufi” Cyrus Konah Paye who is apparently baffled by this act said he kept wondering why Koijee should stand on the food, while HYPERLINK “https://web.facebook.com/patrickn.nuetah.3” Patrick N Nuetah said, “This is a total disrespect to the recipients of this donation…Don’t mind that the people are hungry so you will treat them like this.”
Further, another critic of Mayor Koijee is HYPERLINK “https://web.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100015054527956” Edwin C Benson Jr. who noted, “You mean the food we eat must be stood on by those who give them because they gave them to us, and when we talk about it some blind loyalists will term it as politics? Can we for once understand our mistakes when we make them?”
But these criticisms where countered by others, including HYPERLINK “https://web.facebook.com/jbmorrisjr85” J.B. Morris Jr., who urged “Lazy Opposition your go sleep, while HYPERLINK “https://web.facebook.com/jbmorrisjr85” J.B. Morris Jr. said to Koijee’s critics that granted that he stood on the rice, but do they know how the bags of rice are packed in a warehouse? Somebody got to virtually stand over the stock pile of the food to pack it, he said; But to this statement HYPERLINK “https://web.facebook.com/quita.kessellie” Quita Essellie replied, “He should have stand over his car instead of the rice.”
Pres. Weah Restores Hope
Meanwhile, President Weah has promised the victims that the construction of new homes for the victims would begin effectively on April 9, 2019, saying that construction of these new modern homes is expected in 60 days, meaning two months.
The President who presented an assortment of basic food and non-food items including 300 pieces of mattresses, 100 bags of 50kg of imported rice and 20 bays of used clothes to the victims, indicated that his visit on the grounds was intended to access the damage caused by the fire outbreak so that he would find an means for relief to the victims.
The President said seeking the welfare of Liberians is one of the key things that the government under his administration is committed to doing at all times, noting that disaster is always unexpected and heart broken
He however asserted that what is more important to him is that no life was taken away as a result of the disaster, emphasizing that the government will make its interventions to build the victims new homes.
“So what has happened already happened and our only thanks to God Almighty that no one is killed by the fire; for those of our friends who got injured as a result of the incident, we will speak to the Minister of Health so that they can get treatment as soon as possible,” the president assured. .
Speaking earlier at the gathering in New Kru Town, District #16 Representative Dixon Seboe lauded the President Weah and the Government of Liberia for the swift disaster response to restore hope to homeless citizens who lost their properties in a disastrous fire incident within his district.
First Option: Temporary Shelter
Providing temporary shelter was the first thought of the representative of the District #16 where the incident happened. Hear Representative Dixon Seboe: When I heard that this was the situation faced by my people as a result of the fire disaster, my first thought was to find a short term solution to their problem while we work on how to rebuild their houses, so we quickly reached out to churches in the community to help host some of them.
The District #16 lawmaker said it is his responsibility as leader of the district to always intervene whenever they are faced with problems, and to ensure that an amicable solution is found. He however pointed out that due to the gravity of the situation he immediately contacted the office of the president.
He said the presence of the Liberian leader on the scene of the incident signifies government interest in seeking the welfare of its people and he believed that the president’s visit will provide an ultimate solution to the crisis.
Also speaking in an interview, the Chairman of the Popo Beach Community Mr. Eric Thompson thanked President Weah and Rep. Seboe for their efforts made to quickly reached out to the fire victims.
It can be recalled on Friday, April 5, 2019 that about 20 houses were destroyed as a result of fire outbreak in the Popo Beach Community, Borough of New Town in District #16 that left hundreds of people homeless, several injured and millions of properties damaged.