UNIFICATION CITY, Margibi – After being evicted by property owners for failing to pay the office’s rent, Mboo Statutory District’s officials have received a reprieve after former House Speaker Emmanuel Nuquay covered the payment.
Last Friday, Nuquay presented US$2,000 to the leadership of the statutory district to acquire a new office.
Since the beginning of this year, district officials have operated temporarily from a private property.
Administrators of the Soko family estate claim that the district has owed them since the tenure of former district superintendent Besus Davis, even though the Davis administration was given US$2,500 for rent by the current representative of Margibi’s second district during the 2016 election campaign season.
The district’s current superintendent, Charles Kallon, had earlier called for help, as he drew attention to what he said was an empty bank account inherited from the past leadership. He also said the district had not received any allotment in the national budget or the county development funds.
Kallon praised Nuquay, currently the director general of the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority, for his gesture.
“Let me appreciate Hon. James Emmanuel Nuquay, who has made available to us US$2,000 cheque just to rescue Mboo. It was submitted to us and we have deposited it in the bank,” he told reporters.
He criticized his predecessor for not settling the office’s rent despite receiving money to do so.
Many residents of the district have also criticized county leaders, including members of the county’s legislative caucus, for failing to appropriate any funds to the district.
Christopher Wleh, a resident of the district, while acknowledging Nuquay’s contribution, blamed the former representative and other former and current lawmakers for not including the district in the national budget since 2013.
“As chair on Ways, Means, and Finance for almost eight years, Nuquay failed to provide that oversight that would have enabled the district [to] be captured in the budget,” Wleh said.
He said personal donations are not effective as a long-term solution to the problems of the district.
Mboo Statutory district hosts major investments, including the Roberts International Airport, Farmington Hotel, and Firestone’s rubber plantation.
The district was established by an act of the legislature in 2003, but became effective when its first leadership was appointed by former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in 2013. The then superintendent, Henric Marcus Speare, operated the office with little support from the county leadership. He was removed a few years later and replaced by his assistant superintendent for development, Besus Davis.
Recently, President George Weah appointed Charles Kallon as superintendent and Emmanuel Stevens as assistant superintendent for development.
Featured photo by Zeze Ballah