We want a building, reads a placard of the protesting students
During the last part of May of 2015, the students of Cape Palmas High School protested, desperately calling on the Maryland County authorities to have their dilapidated school building renovated. Concerned Marylanders were flabbergasted! So were we at The Perspective. We consequently carried an editorial expressing our concerns and the misgivings of Marylanders. We further pointed out the fundamental problem that hampers infrastructure development in Maryland County: the gross mismanagement of the county development fund by its legislative caucus and officials. In so doing, we mentioned the so-called legislative projects earmarked in various districts in the county and for which elected officials representing the districts had received large sums of money. We stated that, after spending over 1.6 million dollars, the impacts of the money were nowhere to be found. We specifically mentioned the allegation that Mr. Nathaniel Toe, development superintendent of the county, hadn’t been able to give account of $85,000 allocated for projects in Pleebo-Sodoken District. We therefore urged Marylanders to hold their officials accountable.
Below is a comment by a Holford Thomson, “secretary” at the Maryland County Development Office, responding to the embezzlement allegations against Mr. Nathaniel Toe. Secretary Thomson opts not to comment on the grievances of the students of Cape Palmas High School, but he goes out of his way to credit Mr. Toe for completion of development projects that scarcely exist in Maryland County. He insinuates that The Perspective is a “pay agent” for having mentioned the allegations in its editorial. Whatever the phrase means, we stand by our editorial.
Note that we have not taken the trouble to edit Mr. Thomson’s response; but, for the sake of clarity, we have taken on his comment in terms of myth and fact:
Myth: Mr. Nathaniel Toe, the development superintendent of Maryland County, has completed development projects in every district in the county.
Fact: Mr. Nathaniel has not completed a single development project in Pleebo-Sodoken District since he became a development superintendent of Maryland County. Under Mr. Toe, no project earmarked in Pleebo-Sodoken District has been completed--the Commissioner’s Compound in Sedeken, Pleebo market, Gborlorbo clinic, Nehdilloh Bridge, among others. The Pleebo Market, for example, basically remains the same old market it has been. The work on the market is incomplete.
Myth: The Commissioner of Pleebo-Sodoken District has had office in his residence.
Fact: The commissioner of Pleebo-Sodoken District has been running his office in the Pleebo City Hall.
Myth: Mr. Toe can be credited for the high school in Karluway.
Fact: The high school in Karluway was established far before Mr. Toe became development superintendent.
Myth: Mr. Nathaniel has made a difference after past superintendents of the County failed to complete any development projects.
Fact: None of the previous superintendents of the county—including Sie Togba Neufville and Hodo Clark—ever completed development projects. Neither has Nathaniel Toe completed projects in all the districts although he took over when the county had more than $600, 000 in development fund.
Myth: Money for the Neddilloh Bridge Project has just been requested for.
Fact: The Neddilloh Bridge project was approved for the fiscal year 2012/2013. But the bridge has not been constructed. Mr. Thomson claimed that Mr. Toe just put in for money about a week ago. The information was provided after the publication of our editorial and after several Marylanders requested information on how the money allocated for the bridge was used. The $35,000 allotted for the projects in the district is said to have been mismanaged. Not long ago, a Maryland lawmaker raised the issue at a meeting of the Nyanbo Development Association of Monrovia.
Fact: The first county development fund for Maryland County was misappropriated by both the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the county’s County officials, including then Superintendent Sie Teba Neufville. Used and useless yellow machines were later purchased.
Again, we maintain our position that the students of Cape Palmas High School and the people of Maryland must hold their lawmakers and county officials accountable for the funds earmarked for development, including the roofing of the Cape Palmas High School edifice. We also maintain that Mr. Toe must give account of the $85,000 allocated for projects in Pleebo-Sodoken District, including $50,000 for the Nehdilloh Bridge. If the delay is due to the fact that MOPP is committed to building the bridge, then portion of the money must be used to rehabilitate the road leading to the towns beyond the creek since the management of MOPP has refused to do so. Another portion can be used to rehabilitate the Sedeken-Sodoken and Sodoken –Wetchoken roads.
Now, here is the response from the Office of Maryland County Development Superintendent:
Responding to the mis-representation of Nathaniel S. Toe, Jr. whose role as Development Superintendent of Maryland County over the past three years is matchless.
Since 1998, I joined the Local Government as Secretary to the Assistant Superintendent for Development; I have worked with three males and two females before working with the current Development Superintendent.
Before his arrival, Marylanders have been yarning [sic] for the completion for [sic] County Development Project. The children of Harper were anxious to see their play Ground rehabilitated, the people of Spring Hill cried for a Bridge. There was a disconnection between Hoffman Station and Harper City. The People of Jacksonville were walking about minutes to purchase [sic] their commodities.
In Pleebo, the marketers had their palm nuts and other basis [sic] commodities on the ground in an open environment. The District Commissioners of Barrobo, Pleebo, Karluway were all sharing Offices with their families as dwelling places and offices.
The People of Karluway district never had a high school.
Today, Marylanders can proudly say that, Nathaniel S. Toe Jr, is the first Development Superintendent since the administration of Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to have completed County Development Fund Projects in every districts in Maryland County.
In Barrobo District, where the Juluken Town Hall is completed, Gwelekpoken District commissioner office is also completed with the District Superintendent office near completion, Mason C. Goe, an elder of Barrobo, Leronzo Dugbe, the Gwelekponken Distrit Commissioner and several citizens of Barrobo killed a cow last September in appreciation of the Development office for the completion of the Gwelekponken District Commissioner's office.
In Karluway District, Nathaniel S. Toe, Jr, with the supervision of his boss built the first Teacher's Quarter, Today the people of Karluway has [sic] a High School. Two District Commissioners and superintendent of Karluway District are all operating from their newly completed offices under the County Development Fund.
In Pleebo, the Marketers now are selling under their newly constructed market thereby preventing rain from beating them, Pleebo/Sodoken District Commissioner Office and Nemeken Clinic are all near completion.
In Harper District, the Administration Building, Hoffman Station Bridge, the Spring Hill Bridge, Jacksonville market, the Whole Graway roacd [sic] Culverts, Fish Town road Culvert are all completed.
The Martha Tubman Sports Stadium and the Children Play ground are also renovated. I read the Perspective this morning and got to realized [sic] a writer (Pay [sic] Agent) is fighting to submerged[sic] the character of this young man who and his team prevent [sic] EBOLA from entering our County.
The writer (Pay [sic] Agent) did accused [sic] Toe, of not been[sic] able to account for Pleebo Sodoken District Nedorlor [sic] Bridge money.
I wish to inform the reader [sic] of this article that, the Nedolor [sic] Project was approved at the County sitting 2013 April 06, for fiscal 2012-2013, the request for said amount has just been made to the Ministry of Finance about a week ago and the County have not received the 200,000(Two Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) for 2012-2013.
Note that, IT IS BETTER TO ASK THEN [sic] TO LIE.
HOLFORD M. THOMSON