YARPAH TOWN, River Cess – Chiefs in River Cess have called on those contesting in the upcoming elections to prioritize road, healthcare, and education.
Paramount Chief Sam Toby told The Bush Chicken that the chiefs in the county have agreed to cross-examine all those running in the elections, including presidential and representative candidates.
“This election, we are not just going to elect anybody just because we want to vote,” Toby said. “We’ve been having meetings with our children, the youth, and the women; and everybody’s talking about schools, hospitals, and roads.”
According to him, any candidate who fails to heed the call of the chiefs for cross-examination and continues to campaign in the county will do so in vain.
Comfort Konway, a resident of Gbloseo Town in the second district, said the decision of the chiefs to cross-examine the candidates is welcoming.
“Anyone who will use our county’s money to build clinics, our schools… is that person we will vote for,” Konway said. “For me, I say I will not vote because you vote, that’s for nothing. Nothing can change.”
“I think the elders are doing the right thing,” said George Cee, a resident of Stewart Town said. “And this is in the best interest of River Cess. They [the candidates] have to convince us that they are capable of addressing these problems before we can give our votes.”
Mercy Zwehgar, a young resident of Kayah in the first district, said the lack of good roads and the poor healthcare system in the district has led to the deaths of many people, especially women and children.
“Pregnant women have to walk four to five hours to go to the clinic because we don’t have roads,” Zwehgar said. “And the painful part is after you walk that long distance, only one pack of tablets or empty paper for you to buy your own medicine.”
The southeastern county has 35,600 registered voters and there are 19 persons vying to unseat Rep. Byron Zahnwea of the second district and Rep. Alfred Jweh of the first district.
Four candidates who attended a debate of legislative candidates organized by the Center for Peace Building and Media Studies promised to improve roads, education, and the health system. They also promised a sustainable management of the county social development funds.
According to a perception survey conducted by the Natural Resource Management and Concession CSO Coalition, voters feel like the county social development funds have no impact on their lives.
Featured photo by Eric Opa Doue