GRAND BASSA COUNTY – The National Civil Society Council of Liberia (NCSL), Grand Bassa Chapter says its attention is drawn to the failure of county leadership to implement the 2018 approved local government law of Liberia.
Addressing a press conference on Saturday, February 18, NCSL’s Chairman K. M. Barley Togba stressed that the full implementation of this law is cardinal to transparency and accountability and will increase people participation, thus, will also cause the acceleration of national development, especially at the local level.
“Our main focus is on the implementation of the Local Government Act with specific reference to section 2, which speaks about the establishment of the County Council,” said Togba.
Below is the full text of NCSL’s press statement
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen of the press, we are honored to have you at this important Press Conference. Today, we will focus our attention on a couple of trending issues in our beloved county-Grand Bassa.
As you are aware, the success of every nation is based on upholding the rule of law-this is a fundamental principle for national development and national unity. This is why we have always spoken regularly and continuously on these grave issues of concern to our county.
Our attention is drawn to the failure of our county leadership to implement 2018 approved Local Government law of the country. The full implementation of this very important law, which is cardinal to transparency and accountability, will increase people’s participation, thus, will also cause the acceleration of national development, especially at the local level. Our main focus is on the implementation of the Local Government Act with specific reference to section 2, which speaks about the establishment of the County Council.
Again, as you may be aware, one key function of the Civil Society Council in our county is to make sure our laws are upheld irrespective of who you are. However, we are worried that we continued to witness the blatant violation of these laws by people at the helm of power in the county.
This is very concerning because people who are not respectful of the law cannot continue to lead; this is because public officials are role models of society.
We want to use today’s conference to call on the county leadership for the full establishment of the County Council; which is the engine for county development, transparency, and accountability. The Local Government Act supersedes the budget law as ruled by the Justice-In-Chambers, Jamesetta Wollokollie in the case filed by Bong County Civil Society against their county’s leadership.
In Bassa, we are mainly concerned because this is an election year; and with information that our own Superintendent will be contesting a legislative seat in the county makes the establishment of the County Council even more imperative.
Five years now, there has been no audit of our finances in the county in violation of the PFM Law. This, therefore, makes the formation of the County Council more demanding. The new Local Government Act, particularly section 2, abolishes the National Budget Law, Section 10. This presupposes that the leadership of the county lacks the legal authority to expend county funds without the full establishment of the County Council.
In view of the above, the Civil Society Council of Grand Bassa County will not sit idly and allow local government officials who are supposed to be protectors and upholders of the laws of the nation, to continuously violate them. We remained unbending and unrelenting in protecting the rights of the people of Grand Bassa County.
In so doing, we want to announce our intention to take the leadership of the county to court for failing to uphold the laws of the country-particularly the Local Government Act. We, therefore, rally the support of the suffering masses of Grand Bassa County and believers of transparency and accountability to stand with us in these very important times of our struggle.
Thanks very much.
Signed K. M. Barley Togba
Chapter of the Grand Bassa County-Civil Society Council