BY MARK S. DAHN
GANTA – Yourpea Old Town in Kparblee administrative district, Nimba County, over the weekend was a scene of attraction as some citizens of the area trooped in numbers to honor one of their proud sons.
Hon. J. Jackson Paye, former deputy Minister for Rural development at the Ministry of Public Works, was on Sunday, 31st January honored by his kingsmen for his many contributions to the district.
The colorful event was organized by a group of citizens from Kparblee, dubbed: “Movement for the success of Kparblee District(MOSKAPD).
According to D.K. Wonserlea Diah, one of those who organized the exercise, it was in recognition of the former Minister’s efforts in developing the district.
Mr Wonserlea said they felt the need to hail him for his role played over the years in bringing road connectivity to Kparblee district.
The program characterized by gowning, was among other things geared towards propagating the goodness of the ex – deputy Public Works boss for booking their district’s space on the national map of development in the country.
Bad road condition is an age old problem in Liberia that governments, both past and present are yet to overcome.
Every year farmers across the country including Nimba find it difficult in transporting their produce from farms to markets during rainy season, thereby making the cost of living almost impossible as approximately 85% of the Country’s population survive and educate their school-going kids through farming activities.
Citizens of Kparblee district have regularly complained of marginalization and total neglect by leaders of Nimba for reasons they say are yet to be known.
But amid these challenges, the district is enjoying one of the best feeder roads connectivity within the county through the efforts of Hon Paye.
According to citizens of the area, the road from Gray Township to Behwalay around the Ivory Coast border was paved through the advocacy of Paye.
During his stay as deputy Minister of Public Works for Rural development during the second tenure of Ex-president, Sirleaf back in 2016.
Amongst his contributions to Kparblee district, the citizens said he will forever be remembered for the road connectivity.
D.K. Wonserlea in his remarks earlier said:”if we have ten of Min. Paye in Nimba, I think we will be getting somewhere”.
He added that: it’s good to give the man his flower while he’s still alive.
“I traveled throughout in Nimba County during the election and I can tell you for free that no district has good road compared to Kparblee.” he explained.
He didn’t say whether the program was politically motivated, but others are insinuating that it is intended to pave way for the former Minister comes 2023.
His activities go far back from 1980-1982 when he served as Assistant Minister for Civil Work at the Ministry of National Defense during the presidency of late Samuel K. Doe.
He became deputy Minister of Defense for operations from 1983-1989.
After his return from the US due to the civil war, Hon. Paye was appointed Assistant Minister for Rural development, Ministry of Public Works during the 2nd term of Madam Sirleaf, a position that afforded him opportunity to play more advocacy role that resulted to road construction in their district.
He left office in 2018 due to change in government, but Hon. Paye revealed that he pen down his signature on documents for pavement of the road from Behwalay to Gblordiala in Lower Nimba County.
The first segment, from Behwalay to Zodru is undertaken by the 21st Century Construction Company, while the one from Zodru to Gblordiala is being done by B& Son construction company according to the information.
In a statement following the honoring, the former deputy Minister lauded citizens of the district for their farsightedness in recognizing his efforts.
He expressed high level of gratitude for his preferment among other prominent sons of the district to get such an honor saying, “I owe a lot to you.”
Serving as keynote speaker, Hon. Christine M. Dowah admonished citizens of the district to unite in order to allow development to the Kparblee.
In his deliberations, Hon. Dowah asserted that the only way the district can move forward is to have oneness of mind.
He urged them to put aside their individual differences and embrace the spirit of growth and development.