27 November Press Brief

Monday, 27th November 2006
Press Briefing by: Cyrus Wleh Badio
November 27, 2006

Members of the Press:
  • Welcome once again to another regular weekly Press briefing.

  • The various security Agencies have met and briefed the President on the Sunday morning jailbreak at the Central Prison in Monrovia. The National Security Council will be meeting tomorrow to discuss the issue and inform the President accordingly as to what transpired and measures being put in place to avoid a reoccurrence of the episode.

  • The President has been visiting a number of schools in the Monrovia area and its environs.

The aim for the visits is to set into motion the Presidentís vision for the promotion of education in the country. The thrust is to promote reading in Liberian schools, by encouraging parents and school administrators to introduce vigorous programs to promote reading.

In this light, the President is stressing that it is not enough to simply erect a school, but that efforts be made to include library faculties. A select number of schools will be targeted for libraries under governmentís education initiative.

One of the schools to benefit from the prototype project is the Community Welfare Institute (CWI) in New Kru Town. The President participated in a 6- classroom ground-breaking ceremony of the school over the weekend, and has directed the Education Ministry and Public Works to work along with the authorities of the school to redesign the construction plan to include a library.

  • The President notes with satisfaction and appreciation measures by some citizens and a number of business houses to give their surroundings a face lift, through painting and cleanup initiatives. We want to encourage our citizens to join in the exercise to give their surroundings and the city a face lift in preparation for Christmas.
The President, however, wants to make it clear that the demolition exercise she recently directed is not a blanket demolition of all structures or makeshift centers in the Monrovia area and its environs. The Ministry of Public Works has been given strict instructions of specific targets. The demolitions exercise is targeted primarily at the Boulevard on Broad Street as well as structures erected at Market sites, inhabiting the free flow of movement and ventilation at the sites. Those structures will be demolished.

Additionally, we want to inform the public that The Sites at Omega in Paynesville and Frog Island across the bridge have been earmarked for the development of market facilities for Marketers in those areas. The President is urging citizens not to erect any illegal structures in those areas, as such structures would be demolished. We hope this warning claims the attention of all those concerned.

  • On the recently Consultative Meeting with Political Parties, the President will continue such meetings with Liberian Stakeholders, in preparation for the Stake holders conference in  Washington in February next year, and in furtherance of her efforts to consult with different constituencies on issues of mutual interests.
The President is pleased with the recent participation of political parties and the recommendations advanced to government. The recommendations are being looked into as government concludes the Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Process (IPRSP), in preparation for the Donors Conference. Under the program, the government is conducting consultations with all parties and interests concerned that would set out a realistic and comprehensive nationally-owned medium term economic program.

The office of the President is however, disturbed that some media institutions decided to downplay the essence of the consultative meeting and the consensus emerging, thereof. It is unfair to the parties and their leaders. The reports are a glaring misrepresentation of the intent and purpose for the meeting. It was not a meeting to discuss jobs and did not discuss jobs. One or two individuals raised the issue, it was not discussed. The media institutions, in our view, owe the political parties an apology for the misrepresentations.

I thank you.  I will now take a few questions.