GANTA, Nimba – Following months of media war between the Ganta Mayor Benjamin S. Dokpa and the Friends of Samuel N. Brown Network in Liberia, the city has finally made available more than eight acres of land for the political group to construct a city hall.
The decision was approved by the city council.
In January of this year, the organization formally requested that the mayor’s office provide 4.5 acres of land for the construction of a multi-purpose city hall. Two months later, the organization held a press conference where its leaders accused the mayor of delaying to honor its request.
In return, the mayor also called a press conference to inform the public that the Friends of Samuel N. Brown Network was misinformed. Mayor Dokpa said, having received the communication, his office had requested the organization to make available further documentation to allow the city to make an informed decision.
“Our letter requested them to provide us with the blueprint of the city hall,” Dokpa said. “Our letter requested them to provide us with the bill of quantity, the estimated cost of the project, the source of funding and the quantity of land they need.”
The friction between the two parties prompted Rep. Jeremiah Kpan Koung of Nimba’s first electoral district to call for an amicable solution to the situation.
“We must all embrace developments that come to the district,” the lawmaker said.
Notwithstanding, both parties appear to have now reached a decision on the location of the proposed City Hall.
“We have not fallen to any pressure as a council and our resort to granting this parcel of land should not be seen by our people as intervention from the [Nimba County Superintendent] Hon. Dorr Cooper, as perceived by our people and the influencing of these decisions by our Hon. Jeremiah Kpan Koung, the district representative,” the mayor said, as he officially announced the city’s decision.
“My fellow citizens, the land in question is available and will be given while we complete the other essentials that will make the process legal.”
The parcel of land granted was previously occupied by the UNMIL peacekeepers.
Following the presentation, Amos Gbatu, who heads the city council, called on all parties to work collaboratively for the project. He also called on other citizens to support the construction process.
“This is no one person business,” he said. “We all are here to work together.”
Representing the Friends of Samuel N. Brown Network was Borris Barlea, who expressed his delight over the granted parcel of land.
“We are happy that this land has been given to us to take ownership,” he said. “We want to say that we wholeheartedly accept it and we thank the people of Ganta, the people of Nimba County, and the people of Liberia.”
Barlea informed members of the council and the citizens that the organization would shortly announce a day for the groundbreaking ceremony that would be preceded by the planting of a billboard, showing the blue print of the project.
Meanwhile, Dokpa has said that the decision to grant the organization the land was based on fact that the technical blueprint of the construction and its bill of quantity were presented to his office on July 31, 2017. Other documents are expected to follow later.
Featured photo by Arrington Ballah