As part of efforts to recognize the service of past leaders in Liberia, Vice President, Chief Dr. Jewel Howard-Taylor has embarked on a series of visits with elderly Liberian statesmen/women and eminent personalities.
According to a released issued in Monrovia Monday, the courtesy visits from the VP’s Office, which began last Saturday, are intended to greet the personalities, sit with them and seek their inputs into the dialogues on how best to move the country forward.
The visits started with Former President of the Interim Government of National Unity (IGNU), Dr. Amos C. Sawyer, at his Caldwell residence, where Dr. Sawyer received the Vice President warmly, according to a press release from VP Howard-Taylor’s office.
VP Howard-Taylor highlighted the prevailing national climate, citing the difficult economic situation, the persistent problem of youth unemployment, as well as the discord in national dialogue.
She told Dr. Sawyer that, following President George Manneh Weah’s lead in encouraging broader participation in the national dialogue, she had come to check on him and also to find out whether he, as an experienced and respected Statesman, had any suggestions to proffer on ways and means to help the situation and move the country forward.
Responding, Dr. Sawyer, who is the immediate past Chairman of the Governance Commission (GC), thanked the VP and stated that he was extremely impressed with this approach of touching base to get inputs. e concurred with the VP that the socio-economic situation in the country was not in the best of shape, noting that perhaps investment should be focused on employment generating types of ventures.
Dr. Sawyer noted that, while the President’s meeting with opposition leaders geared toward getting their input on the issues of governance of the country was laudable, there was a need to continue on such path.
The former GC Chairman intimated that it might be helpful to initiate more intensive and targeted consultations with select groups of prominent personalities at more restricted and exclusive levels behind the scenes.
In a cordial exchange that ensued, the VP and former IGNU President talked about issues of the mounting calls for war and economic crimes court and the ways by which a vice president can best be helpful to the President in fostering national healing and unity.
Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor also reached out to former Vice President Joseph N.Boakai who was received in the traditional style by Honorable Boakai and his wife, Mrs. Kartumu Y. Boakai at their Rehab Community residence.
Chief Dr. Howard-Taylor told her predecessor that she had come to check on him again and to gain from his wisdom as an elderly statesman, consistent with the President’s quest to encourage broad-based conversation on the prevailing national situation.
The release noted that the two dignitaries engaged in a long and cordial conversation covering the history, evolution, and critical benchmarks, as well as challenges of the Liberian State. Former VP Boakai stressed the great need for road network in the country, which he said will have a far-reaching impact on other challenged sectors of the society.
Part of her visitation initiative took the Liberian first female Vice President to the Borough Hall in the heart of New Kru Town to meet with the New Kru Town Governor and leader of the Six Nominative District.
The Borough leaders presented a prepared position statement to the VP, hailing her for the visit pointing out that this was the very first for any sitting Vice President to pay a specific visit to the leaders of the Six Nominative Districts, which was founded and enacted in 1916.
Borough Governor Ms. Alice Weah outlined several challenges, including the issues of salaries for the elders and the provision of schools for street children. She also expressed the urgent need for the VP’s intervention to get one Nimely family to stop obstructing the effort to construct a school edifice, as well as the issue of vehicle for her office to help facilitate their work.
In response, the Honorable VP expressed her thanks and appreciation for the useful dialogue, promising to do her best to help resolve some, if not all, of the issues put forth.