Home Politics “Protesters Were Hired” -Say Women of Nimba

“Protesters Were Hired” -Say Women of Nimba

by newsmanager

YEKEPA, NIMBA CO: With a unified voice, representing Nimba County and the women, several women in the county have unequivocally distanced Nimbanians from the recent protest that took place in the county, which affected the operations of Mittal Steel.

The women also revealed in a press release that “the protest was orchestrated by a small group of people who were hired” from some communities in the county who they believed are not from the county but people who lost control of part of the mining communities allegedly acquired illegally in 2019 and their recent actions are imposing blemish on the county.

The women made the pronouncement when they addressed a news conference in the county recently.

Speaking on the recent situation that has caused chaos in some of the communities in the county, the women mentioned that they stand firm in rejection of the call by the alleged paid group, calling for ArcelorMittal Liberia to depart from the county.

“The recent protests, purportedly led by a faction under the guise of traditional people representation, do not reflect the sentiments of our broader Nimba community. We firmly assert our distance on these matters vital to the future of our county,” the women said.

According to the women, they have always tried to keep the peace since Liberia overcame the sad past of the 1980s and 90s.

The women also described local daily, Wednesday, May 8, 2024 publication titled “Nimbaians Want ArcelorMittal Out” as misleading and well-concocted and as well distanced the people of Nimba from such publication.

“We wish to unequivocally distance the people of Nimba from the recent disruptions orchestrated by a small, hired group from some communities within our beloved county, which was supported by disgruntled individuals who lost control of a part of our mining communities. Even more concerning is that these individuals are not from our county; however, their actions are imposing blemish on all of us as a county. We stand firm in our rejection of the call by that paid group calling for ArcelorMittal Liberia to depart from our county. The recent protests, purportedly led by a faction under the guise of traditional people representation, do not reflect the sentiments of our broader Nimba community,” the women maintained.

Additionally, the women stated that Nimba has long been a beacon of resilience, cooperation, and progress, making it the most economically vibrant county in Liberia only after Montserrado County.

Acknowledging the fact that there have been some valid concerns regarding ArcelorMittal Liberia’s operations in the county, it has never reached to the point of asking the company to pack its bag and leave the county, the women mentioned.

The women affirmed their unwavering commitment to dialogue and as well ensure transparency, and accountability in addressing those concerns.

They highlighted that it is imperative that all stakeholders engage in constructive dialogue to find sustainable solutions that would prioritize the well-being of the county and respect the rights of all parties involved.

While noting their discrepancies, the women also acknowledged the contributions made by ArcelorMittal Liberia to their local economy and development initiatives, including the ongoing US$40 million Ganta to Yakepa road project, annual support to Nimba County University, relocation of the G.W. Hardley Hospital in Sanniquellie, partnership for the recent dedicated Gbapa Clinic, local and international scholarships to Liberians, construction of playgrounds in several communities for the children, significant relocation payments to farmers, ArcelorMittal Training Academy which is giving high-level skills to children, and as well the additional over US$48 million paid to the government of Liberia as County Social Development Fund to the three host counties including Nimba County, among others.

“Today, these planted disruptive activities have distracted our attention from the most urgent challenges that faced our county including the ArcelorMittal US$7 million paid to the former government which is yet to reach the county to address our urgent developmental needs,” the women added.

The women believe that the partnership between their communities and ArcelorMittal has been integral to their shared progress and they remain committed to fostering mutually beneficial relationships with other responsible corporate entities.

“In times of challenge, unity, and solidarity are our greatest assets. We call upon all stakeholders, including government authorities, civil society organizations, environmental advocates, and concerned citizens to come together in a spirit of cooperation and understanding to work together, so that we can address our grievances, uphold justice, and safeguard the future of Nimba County for generations to come. Let it be known that the women stand united in commitment to building a prosperous and sustainable future for our county. We reject division and strife, opting instead for dialogue and cooperation and together we can overcome challenges and chart a path toward a brighter tomorrow,” the women said.

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