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Sunday, February 25, 2024

COULD FARAWAY HARPER IN LIBERIA’S SOUTHEAST BE RETURNING TO THE GOOD OLD DAYS?

Date:

A Patriot’s Dairy

With Ekena Nyankun Juahgbe-Droh Wesley

LIBERIA – The late President Williams V.S. Tubman might have been atthe center of opposition ‘shots-fired’ but such was a leader who Monrovia-based Edwin Barclay took for granted in a political sphere but proved towering as it were. Mind you, the same Shad Tubman becamea poor man’s lawyer and took previous administrations to task. Ironically, the locus shift in power – proved humankind’s unpredictability. Tubman came from Liberia’s southeastern Maryland. What should have been a spread of the national wealth equitably – seemed cornered in an ambit of political parochialism.

Shad Tubman built infrastructural monstrosities even in Liberia’s remotest parts termed his private farm. Of course, when the leaders in the West choose to take a break from presidential duties, they do so quite presidentially. Tubman’s farms in Totota, Bong County and Bonike, Maryland County are classic examples of architectural exploits. Such monstrosities, in the post-Tubman era, seemingly are nothing to write home about.

As part of Shad Tubman’s anniversary celebration, he did not leave the kids behind. He constructed what was popularly called the ‘Harper City Merry-go-round’ in the heart of his hometown and coincidentally just opposite his church of worship, the Mount Scott United Methodist Church.

The Merry-go-round was a center of attraction for kids who grew up in the late 60s and early 70s. They had somewhere to go and enjoy an ambiance of fun and make merry. It was like kids growing up in the West – making tours to a Borough or Municipal Park. That was when Harper was at its best. It all unprecedentedly changed.

By the early 80s and leaping into years of anarchy in the small West African nation, the Merry-go-round had sunk into non-existence. Tubman was dead and gone! The commitment to maintain or as it were to sustain another white elephant project fizzled. Hmm! The trappings of political miscalculation borne out lack of adequate research and effective planning. Successive governments could not allocate limited state resources amid competing national priorities.

Realistically, if Tubman meant well for the children of all Liberia, why was the Merry-go-round only built in his hometown. After all, Tubman was president for all of what was formerly the Green Coast. Despite the political mismatch, Shad Tubman will be passionately remembered by the good people of Maryland County – although still particularly adored and idolized by a bunch of people consumed by the trimmings of a patronage system that he employed to keep the population at bay. It worked for him. But that was then! Tubman cannot fit in today’s Liberia amid the evolving political complexities and social and economic rights on high demand.

More than 50 years on, it seems the once sleeping giant of a handsomely endeared Merry-go-round is coming alive in the Port City of Harper – some 500 miles away from the Liberian capital. At least, while President Weah is randomly building sports parks in parts of the nation’s capital – the Harper Merry-go-round is hitting the resuscitation sphere. Perhaps the sports parks should go beyond Monrovia since Monrovia is not Liberia.

Thanks to New Kru Town-born Hon. P. Mike Jurry – the sitting Representative of the Commonwealth District of Harper for his vision to restore a semblance of fun time in the new generation of kids growing up in Harper. Since the wisest of humankind comes from the East, Maryland again has set the pace for others to follow. How we love our Marylander-ness! We are the land of peace – love and sunshine! Reports from Harper say the Merry-go-round is nearing completion. Many thanks indeed, Hon. P. Mike Jurry for reviving hope in our kids to play again and for giving them an opportunity to merry-go-round!

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Smart News Liberia is an online news outlet, a product of Smart Media Group Inc. smartnewsliberia.com publishes a wide range of content including politics, business, sports, and entertainment on and about Liberia. Contact: +231777425285/ 886946925 Email: info@smartnewsliberia.com/ smartnewsliberia@gmail.com

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