Liberia News: From Wives To Widows

:The leadership of Concerned Widows and Children of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) has
given President Joseph Nyuma Boakai a deadline to address their lingering concerns or they will sit and cook in the streets of Monrovia in their numbers. They gave on or before March 15, 2024 for their issues to be settled.

These women whose husbands died in cold blood during the Liberian Civil crisis in defense of their country have since been engaging previous administrations for their benefits, while some of them unfortunately met their untimely deaths in the struggle.

Addressing a team of journalists Monday, February 19, 2024 at their Star Base Office on the Bushrod Island, the Chairperson of the Concerned Widows and Children of the AFL, Madam Mary Allison recounted that former President George Manneh Weahspent at least 10 days in office in 2018 when he arranged a meeting with their leadership.

She added that said engagement was arranged through former Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson T. Koijee, adding that the ex-Liberian leader tried possibly by settling each of the over 2,000 children in late December, 2023 with L$20,000 and promised to have paid the widows their benefits if he had won the 2023 presidential election something that was not successful thus ushering Ambassador Joseph Nyuma Boakai to the presidency.

Madam Allison indicated that each of the widows is to receive US$1,000, adding that the amount was negotiated with former President Weah to be reduced from US$1,500 due to the financial constraints the Coalition for Democratic Change administration was faced with.

The widows’ chief spokesperson pleaded with President Boakaito create a space for them to get involved with agricultural and other commercial activities across the country to be self-dependent and help their families by providing their benefits.

She urged Vice President Jeremiah Kpan Koung and Senate Pro-tempore Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence to meet with the Liberian Chief Executive to sit around the table and discuss the way to pay their benefits so as to lay the matter to rest.

“Please, I’m appealing again from now till next month the 15th, please call us on a round table to see how best to settle the AFL widows, from now till March 15, please, I’m appealing to your office President Boakai, call your cabinets y’all go  meet to see how best to settle the AFL widows. Let this thing finish so we can go into agriculture. I want you to put us into agriculture Mr. Boakai and see whether we will not produce,” she stressed.

Madam Allison further called on the President to cater to the widows and pay no ear to rumors about them from outside, noting that their total membership is 2,500 excluding the children who had already been settled by former President Weah.

Weah already put the children out, we are talking about living widows on earth because he [Weah] settled the 2,200 children while the 2,500 widows left for you to handle them,” she averred.

According to her, despite the Liberian government owing each of them US$1,000, the President can meet with their leadership, use his own discretion and make something available to do something productive for themselves.

However, Madam Mary Allison threatened to mobilize all of the 2,500 widows to troop into Monrovia with their cook pots, sit and cook in the principal streets in demand of their benefits.

“Even if he does not have the time to see us, he should send his Vice President or whoever. We just want to see him but if we don’t see him, we will only have the last press conference to have and the next one, I will call all my women [widows] from all over the country then we all sit down in the streets and cook palm butter there now,” she stressed.

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