PUBLIC FURY ERUPTS -As House Spends $75,000 ON ID CARDS At Retreat

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In a stunning revelation, Representative James Kolleh of District #2, Bong County, has exposed alleged misappropriation of funds within the 55th National Legislature. The controversy centers around a sum of US$75,000, initially earmarked for the procurement of identification cards and electronic locks for the legislative chambers, which was reportedly used exclusively for processing identification cards for staff. The disclosure was made on Saturday, June 22, 2024, at the Farmington Hotel in Margibi County during the Reform Forum of the 55th National Legislature under the leadership of Speaker Foanti Koffa. Representative Kolleh’s vocal criticism targeted the House’s Chairperson on Rules & Order, Representative J. Mavin Cole, who informed legislative colleagues that the entire amount was expended solely on ID cards. “While our citizens are dying due to a lack of medication in government-run hospitals, we see funds meant for necessary security measures being diverted to less critical uses,” Rep. Kolleh declared. He further expressed disbelief and frustration over the allocation, highlighting the dire state of healthcare and public services in Liberia. The reaction from civil society was swift and damning. Martin Kollie, a prominent anti-corruption advocate, took to social media to denounce the misuse of funds. He accused the lawmakers of blatant looting, stating, “Hospitals are out of drugs and medical supplies. University lecturers haven’t been paid. Meanwhile, Speaker Koffa is dishing out US$75,000 just for ID Cards. This is insensitivity and state plunder. The Legislature is looting again. Who suffers? The PEOPLE.” Kollie’s post ignited a firestorm of criticism, with numerous Liberians voicing their outrage over the perceived corruption and wasteful spending. David M. Fehkpolo criticized Rep. Cole, suggesting immediate action if the allegations were proven true. Fasu Kromah questioned the necessity of spending such a large sum on ID cards. Arthur Kolubah Jallah lamented the lack of patriotic leadership, calling for divine intervention. Sylvester Acba Bedell advocated for mass protests to combat corruption. Christon Karnga highlighted the fatal consequences of inadequate healthcare, recounting personal loss due to the failure of medical facilities. Irene Joshua condemned the wasteful expenditure as a “SHAME,” urging for accountability. S Alphonso Siryon and Darius Diada Doelakeh decried the unprecedented spending and called for the suspension of the involved lawmakers. Currently, the Senate Leadership under Pro Tempore and Grand Bassa County Senator Madam Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence is still being heavily criticized by the public for reportedly using over US$700,000 for a retreat held in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County. Though the Senate issued a press release stating US$50,000 was expended, the public remains outraged against their lawmakers. This scandal stresses the ongoing issues of corruption and mismanagement in Liberia, exacerbating the struggles of ordinary citizens. The public outcry demands a thorough investigation and accountability from the Boakai-led government to address these allegations and restore trust in public institutions. As the nation grapples with this controversy, the need for transparent governance and responsible use of public funds has never been more critical. The voices of those affected by these decisions echo a common sentiment: enough is enough. The demand for justice and effective leadership continues to grow louder, urging immediate reforms to ensure that public resources are used for the benefit of all Liberians, not just a privileged few. Source: Socrates Smythe Saywon/smartnewsliberia.com

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