Liberia: ‘Promise Keeper’: Residents of District Seven in Bong County Hail Rep. Fahnbulleh for Living up to Campaign Promises

Liberia: ‘Promise Keeper’: Residents of District Seven in Bong County Hail Rep. Fahnbulleh for Living up to Campaign Promises

Prior to his election 2023, Fahnbulleh had promised to ensure China Union, a mining company in the district, lives up to its corporate social responsibilities.

FUAMAH DISTRICT, Bong County – In Liberia, it is very difficult to find leaders holding political offices or positions of authority keeping to their promises to the people they lead in less than a year.

By Selma Lomax selma.lomax@frontpageafricaonline.com

However, in electoral district seven (comprising Fuamah and Sanoyea Districts) in Bong County, one man seems to be living above board in terms of keeping to his promises to the people.

He is Rep. Foday Fahnbulleh.

Prior to his election 2023, Fahnbulleh had promised to ensure China Union, a mining company in the district, lives up to its corporate social responsibilities.

Not long after taking office, Fahnbulleh wrote a letter to the Liberian legislature, calling for an investigation into China Union for alleged breaches of its contract obligations, which include paving a modern road in Bong County, hiring Liberians to comprise at least 70% of its workforce, and building a hydro-power plant. 

After accepting Fahnbulleh’s letter, the House Committee on Lands, Mines, Natural Resources and the Environment subpoenaed China Union to offer a formal response to his accusations.

When one of its managers claimed key documents explaining the contract breaches were held in China, the committee ordered him to be detained and post bond.

China Union ‘living up’ to corporate responsibilities

According to Fahnbulleh, pliable roads make a crucial contribution to economic development and growth, while it also brings significant social benefits to the society.

He said high-quality road network is essential not only for connecting key urban centers but for improving the connectivity of more isolated local communities for whom many public transport options are limited or not available.

The Handii to Bong Mines road was becoming a burden to road users for a long time and last received attention between 2007 and 2011, during the time of former Representative Corpo Barclay.

The road was also long characterized by neglect during the past administration of Rep. Papa Kolleh, whom residents described as having neglected the road for political revenge, as it was noted for being an area with “anti-Kolleh people”.

The bad condition of the road had also been reported to have led to the accidents of road users, especially during the rainy seasons, which made residents of Fuamah District to have clamored for the rehabilitation of the road for many years.

It is however, a prayer answered for the Fuamah road users as Rep. Fahnbulleh has finally come to their rescue through his oversight.

The lawmaker paid a visit to the road back in 2023 with a promise to pressure China Union pave the road when elected. 

The promise is at the verge of being kept as China Union has begun rehabilitating the road, awaiting the dry season to have it paved, provision of $20,000 to the Bong Mines School, $50,000 as scholarship funds for natives of the district, and provision of $20,000 to the Bong Mines Hospital.

Residents of the community making use of the road are beginning to heave a sigh of relief, with the assurance that as soon as work is completed on the road, it will be a different story entirely.

According to the lawmaker, when it is completed, “the road would enhance the socio-economic development of the district, especially the people of Fuamah District. “It will address the challenges of moving farm produce the other parts of Fuamah District to Bong Mines and other areas,” he said. 

The commitment of Rep. Fahnbulleh to the total wellbeing of the district, locals say, is second to none. “You often find him saying “we are are not doing politics, we are serving the people,” one local said 

Residents of the district hailed the lawmaker for his oversight, describing as crucial and “complete representation”.

Expressing his happiness, one resident said:” And one opposition will come in 2029 and says the lawmaker hasn’t done anything since he was elected.”

One Pehn-Pehn rider commended the timely intervention of the lawmaker, stressing that it will go a long way to ease the stress they face daily on the road.

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