Daily Media Summary 2018-01-09

The Bureau of Public Affairs

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Monrovia, Liberia


Today’s edition of our summary of the local dailies includes news of President Sirleaf’s letter to members of the House of Representatives and the Senate of the 53rd Legislature to approve at least 13 bills by January 13, 2018, the Public Health Institute of Liberia in collaboration with the Ministry of Health report of  investigating a strange skin disease that has reportedly spread to five counties, afflicting 1,777 persons, the Government of Liberia, through the General Service Agency’s decision to impound government vehicles among others.

Ellen Wants 13 Bills Enacted Before January 13– But, Sen. Sherman says “it’s impractical.”

According to the Daily Observer, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has written members of the House of Representatives and the Senate of the 53rd Legislature to approve at least 13 bills by Saturday, January 13, 2018, but the Chairman on the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Cllr. Varney Sherman, says the President’s idea is “very impractical.” The daily reads that the Dangote Cement Liberia deal in the tune of US$41 million and the extension of the Firestone Agreement top the list of the President’s 13 bills. President Sirleaf has submitted a ‘Matrix of 22 bills with a priority of 13 bills’ to the Legislature to be considered during the 9-day extension, which is already in effect as of Thursday, January 4, to Saturday, January 13, 2018. According to the Daily Observer, Senator Varney Sherman said the 13 prioritized bills submitted by the President is not only impractical, but is “very unlikely and doubtful,” because no amount of ‘rubber stamping and 4G speed’ will allow both Houses to pass the 13 Bills. “It is very doubtful, extremely difficult; there is no time, it is impractical, because the President’s Bills will not only be the issues, there are issues on elections of the President Pro Tempore, Speaker and Deputy Speaker,” Sen. Sherman said.

Strange Skin Disease Affects 1,777-Spreads To Five Counties 

According to the New Dawn newspaper, the Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health is investigating a strange skin disease here that has reportedly spread to five counties, afflicting 1,777 persons. The daily says the plague, which appears like rash on the skin rapidly spreads when scratched, creating panic among locals. Dr. Ralph Jetoh of the National Public Health Institute of Liberia says investigation is ongoing to establish cause of the disease in the country. Speaking Monday on a local radio station, he explains the skin disease has hit Grand Bassa, Bong, and Margibi, Rivercess and Montserrado Counties, respectively, reporting that Montserrado County has the highest infected cases. He says surveillance officers have engaged various infected communities and the counties respectively, but no laboratory test has been conducted. According to him, the affliction could be equated to scabies easily transmitted by clothes or bodily contact, noting that those that are affected will have to get rid of clothes they are now using or disinfect them. However, he says there has been no information of death since the reported disease, assuring that there is no need for panic as the disease will be put under control.      

Related Caption: Skin Disease Infects Over 1,700 in 6 Counties – Concerns Heighten For Intervention (FrontPage Africa)

General Service Agency Embarks on Collecting Government Vehicles

The FrontPage Africa newspaper reads that with less than two weeks to the end of its constitutional mandate, the Government of Liberia, through the General Service Agency (GSA) has begun impounding government vehicles. Since the beginning of the operation in Monrovia, fleets of government vehicles can be seen parked at several locations in Monrovia and its environs including the Vamoma House junction on Tubman Boulevard and the courtyard of the Executive Mansion on Capitol Hill. The exercise, which began early January, is expected to preserve vehicles that may be used by the next administration. 

Related Caption: GSA Impounds GoL Vehicles (Daily Observer)

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Congratulates Weah

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated Liberia chapter, a philanthropic group here urges President-elect George Weah to uphold the trust reposed in him by the Liberian people, which should inspire his efforts in unifying the country. “We the Brothers of Eta Epsilon Lambda Chapter # 206 of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity incorporated want to extend our warmest and heartfelt congratulations on your victory to the Presidency of Liberia”, the Fraternity says. Addressing a news conference Monday, 8th January in Monrovia, the newly elected president of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity incorporated Chapter in Liberia; Nathaniel E. Kelvin congratulates Liberians for going thru a peaceful electoral process. He says President-elect Weah and his Vice President, Jewel Howard Taylor ran an exemplary campaign for which the nation and its people have spoken by electing him overwhelmingly as the 25th President of Liberia. “We are confident that the trust placed in you by the citizens of Liberia will inspire you to continue the important efforts in unifying our country; promoting peace, security within the borders and leading this country to a path of prosperity”, Mr. Kelvin expresses, reports the New Dawn newspaper.

Related Caption: Alpha Phi Alpha Congratulates Weah (The INQUIRER). The Female Journalists Association of Liberia (FeJAL) has also extended congratulations to Liberia's first female Vice President-elect Jewel Howard-Taylor on her impressive victory at the December 26, 2017 runoff election. A release issued on Monday, 8 January by FeJAL Secretary General Antoinette Sendolo says the Association is convinced that Madam Taylor will continue to work for the good of the people of the country, especially serving as a role model for women and girls as she takes on the task as First Female President of the Liberian Senate. According to the New Dawn newspaper, under the caption “FeJAL Congratulates Taylor”, FeJAL expresses wishes that Madam Taylor discharges the duties of her new positions and portfolios with caution and integrity.

Related Caption: FeJAL Congratulates Liberia’s First Female VP-Elect (In Profile Daily)

Liberia-China Wushu School Dedicated

The Liberia National Wushu Association in collaboration with the Confucius Institute at the University of Liberia and the Chinese Embassy near Monrovia officially opened the newly constructed Liberia-China Wushu School and Gymnasium on Saturday, January 6. The president of the Liberia National Wushu Association, Fred J. A. Pratt, said the official turning over of modernized Wushu School marked another milestone in the Liberian sporting arena. According to him, the project was constructed by the government and people of China through its embassy in Monrovia in partnership with the LNWA. He lauded Chinese Ambassador Zhang Yue for his commitment to the exchange of martial arts program to other parts of Liberia. Responding, Ambassador Zhang said martial arts performances between Liberia and Chinese athletes are welcome as they build a strong relationship between Liberia and China, pointing out that the people of China will remain supportive of Liberia’s development and help to strengthen the capacity of the Liberia National Wushu Association, reads the Daily Observer.

Related Captions: China, Liberia Hold Martial Arts Exchange…As New School & Gym Dedicated (Heritage)

Menjay Advises Nursing Graduates, President-elect Weah

The Principal of Ricks Institute and President of the Liberia Baptist Missionary and Education Convection, Reverend Olu Q. Menjay, on Sunday warned President-elect George Weah and members of the incoming government not to lead for themselves, but for the betterment of the country and its citizens, because they are the ones that elected them. Rev. Menjay’s advice was contained in a sermon he delivered on Sunday, January 7 at the Baccalaureate Service of the 14th Commencement Convocation of the United Methodist University (UMU). Rev. Menjay said the CDC-led government should be able to give Liberians the change they have yearned for over the past 12 years to improve their living condition. He called on them to prepare themselves for difficulties ahead of each of them, “because a person who refuses to think is lifeless.” He advised them to think with good judgment, and develop concepts that will move the country forward. Rev. Menjay then encouraged the graduates to think critically, because many Liberian students lack substance and judgments that would put them on the right societal trajectory, reads the Daily Observer.

186 Wheelchair Carts For 3 Counties Disabled Group To Celebrate 10th Anniversary; Wants Support To Distribute Wheel Chairs

To celebrate its 10th anniversary, the Florence A. Tolbert & The Disabled Advocates Incorporated will reach out to disabled Liberians in Sinoe, Grand Kru, and Grand Gedeh counties with 186 appropriate wheelchair carts, according to its executive director, Sam Dean. The Daily Observer reports that the wheelchairs were donated by Mobility Worldwide, a United States international charity enterprise that builds specialized wheelchair carts for those living in the developing world and distributes at no cost to provide the gift of mobility to disabled children and adults worldwide. He appealed to the incoming administration of President-elect George Weah to make support to the disabled a priority. Meanwhile, he said the administration of the Liberia Telecommunications Corporation (LIBTELCO) has furnished a computer laboratory with internet access to the community, for which they are grateful.