By: Staff Writer
As the 2023 Presidential and Legislative Elections draw closer, individuals, groups, and institutions are searching for people who will adequately represent them and seek their interests at the National Legislature. One of such groups is the District Number 4 Community Watch Forum (CWF) in Bong County. Prof. Dr. Emmanuel K. Urey Yarkpawolo’s visit to Gbarnga-Siaquelleh on Saturday, September 17, 2022, was to honor an invitation extended to him by the CWF to attend and observe the CWF regular interactions with community members.
The meeting started with a welcoming ceremony in which the town chief accompanied by his elders and women leaders presented a kola to Dr. Urey Yarkpawolo and his team as well as the leaders of the Liberia National Police that were present. Following the welcoming ceremony, Mr. James N. Lorpukollie, who heads the Community Service Policing Section for Bong County, indicated that the purpose of the meeting was to hear from community members on how the CWF was working with them. He also thanked Prof. Urey Yarkpawolo for honoring their invitation upon a very short notice. “This is a sign of a good beginning” the police chief indicated, while appreciating Dr. Urey Yarkpawolo.
For his part, the Representative Aspirant, who is championing the issue of integrity at the National Legislature, thanked members of CWF for their voluntary services in ensuring peace and security in their communities. He mentioned that gone are the days when young people were used to destroying their own country. “Young people were used to destroy this country in 1990 but today, we are witnessing the complete opposite of that as the same young people are providing security for this country” Dr. Urey Yarkapwolo told the overcrowded town hall.
Prof. Urey Yarkpawolo told the listening audience that there was another group of volunteers, that is ‘Volunteer Teachers’ (VT) that needed national attention. He indicated that when he is elected, he will champion the interests of both the CWF and VT. “We will lobby and solicit budgetary allocations for the CWF and VT. We will also seek support from the County Development Fund (CDF). We also have the ability to do it ourselves in the district by ensuring that money raised from natural resources in the district goes to support some of the activities of the CWF and the volunteer teachers” Dr. Urey Yarkpawolo promised the audience.
For their part, community members thanked Dr. Urey Yarkpawolo for the numerous development projects he is undertaking in the district. They informed the leaders of the Liberia National Police that one of the CWF members allegedly carried on the act of rape in the community and for that reason, they were not willing to work with the CWF unless a disciplinary action was taking against the CWF officer.
The Commander of the Palala Police Deport upon hearing this negative news indicated that although Liberian laws called for innocence for alleged perpetrators of crime until proven guilty, he was suspending the CWF member involved in the alleged act, pending further investigation.
Dr. Urey Yarkpawolo thanked the people of Gbarnga-Siaquelleh for speaking their minds. He also thanked the Police Commander for taking immediate action to ensure justice.