Liberian Government Refuses To Transport Donated Buses To Monrovia
(A Press Release Issued By ULAA)
January 15, 2005
It can be recalled that last year, the City of Dayton in Ohio donated 12 buses to the City of Monrovia through the efforts of the Dayton Sister City Relationship and the City of Dayton, the Dayton Area Liberian Association and ULAA. Since the donation of the buses, the Union has repeatedly called on the government of Liberia to act in ensuring that the buses are transported to Liberia. During the visit of the Chairman of the National Transitional Government of Liberia Charles Gyude Bryant to the United States in 2004, the Union presented the issue of the buses to him. Chairman Bryant assured the Union that the buses would be transported to Liberia. The Chairman assurances yielded no result. The Union again raised the same issue with the Chairman during his visit to the United States later in the same year. Chairman Bryant again assured the Union that the government would do everything possible to transport the buses to Liberia.
It is regrettable that despite the sustained efforts by the Union in urging the government to take responsibility in transporting the buses to our people, the Government has made very little effort in this regard. The buses are still parked on municipal grounds in Dayton. The Union finds the behavior of the Government of Liberia very unconscionable, especially at the time when the same government was very quick in allocating millions of dollars for the purchase of hundreds of luxurious vehicles for its officials. As our people struggle daily for affordable transportation, Mr. Bryant is very comfortable buying bullet proof Mercedes Benzes while at the same time refusing to transport free buses to ease the suffering of the people. The Liberian people are now about to loose the buses due to the failure of the government to transport them to Liberia.
Realizing the importance and utility of the buses to the people of Liberia, the Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas has taken several steps to ensure that the buses get to Monrovia. Officials and member chapters of the Union have agreed to raise money to assist in transporting at least two of the buses to Liberia. Additionally, the Union has entered discussions with the Firestone Plantation Company requesting assistance for the transportation of the buses.
Meanwhile, the Union calls on the Liberia Government to take immediate steps in ensuring that the buses are transported to Liberia for use by our people. The Union further calls on the people of Monrovia to demand that the Government take full responsibility in getting the buses to Monrovia. Further, the Union condemns in the strongest possible terms this callous disregard for the interest of the people, while the Bryant led government is awash in unprecedented level of corruption in the history of our Country.
The Union again expresses special thanks to the Dayton Sister City Relationship, the City of Dayton and people of Dayton, Ohio for their support to the City of Monrovia. Special acknowledgement also goes to the Federation of Liberians in Ohio (FOLAO), and the many hard working members of ULAA for their selfless sacrifices made to the bus project.
Issued by the National Secretariat of ULAA
Wilmot W. Kunney
National General Secretary
Arthur K. Watson