Hundreds of aggrieved marketers at the Dualla area along the Gbarnga-Ganta Highway have strongly called on President George Manneh Weah to dismiss Gbarnga City Mayor, Madam Lucia Herbert, for her alleged constant involvement in acts of vandalism against them.
The marketers, many of whom are street sellers, told The INSIGHT that Mayor Herbert lacks the necessary pedigree to serve as City Mayor on grounds that her leadership style is cruel and oppressive.
According to the marketers, Mayor Herbert does not dialogue with them or seek their input whenever she wants to take a decision or action concerning any specific place that they should sell their goods.
They further told the INSIGHT that Mayor Herbert always take actions that seek to undermine the survival and sustainability of their businesses since her appointment by President George Manneh Weah to said position.
“She can just came surprisingly to us and began damaging our businesses indiscriminately,” one marketer, a mother of six, told the INSIGHT.
The local marketers indicated that on Thursday, 25, October 2018, their tables and goods were massively destroyed by the Gbarnga City Mayor.
According to the angry marketers, the destruction of their tables was done on the day that President George Weah visited Gbarnga, Bong County.
“We will never forget this day because all of our goods were also damaged by City Mayor Herbert,” another marketer said in a sad mood.
According to them, Mayor Herbert went to their selling place at 10:30 P.M. and wasted all of their foodstuffs including fish, rice, oil and dry goods that they were selling.
As a result of electricity facilities and the movement of many people along the Ganta High-way, residents along the road usually sell goods at night especially at the Kokoyah road interception.
“Madam Herbert did not give us any notice to stop selling here. She just came here and wasted all of our markets. We are calling on the President to let him know that this is not the first time for this City Mayor to treat us painfully like this. This is why we want her sacked,” Jerry Gbartawee, one of the Marketers further told the INSIGHT.
Gbartawee stated that the action of the Gbarnga City Mayor is not fine. “We are struggling to economically survive and send our children to school. But it is regrettable that the City Mayor has been treating us badly like this,” he emphasized.
“It was only God that blessed that woman because the mind I had for her after she damaged all of my goods, I wanted to hit her with a stick, but God made me to control my mind,” he angrily told our Correspondent.
“Since the President appointed this Mayor, we have not seen anything tangible in terms of development program that she has done, she only obstructs the progress of peaceful citizens, especially local business people. Few months ago, she ordered her city Police to beat one old lady almost to death and this is another problem that she has caused by damaging our businesses,” Mr. Gbartawee added.
He stated that if the President does not listen to their cry as Local Marketers, they will take action within the ambit of the law against the Gbarnga City Mayor.
Annieta Newon Bea, another Spokesperson of the aggrieved Marketers who claimed that more than L$8,000 worth of her goods was recently damaged by the Gbarnga City Mayor, stated that right now, she (Annieta) does not have any goods to sell to enable her send her children to school.
The Mayor damaged all of the foodstuffs that I was selling. “I am very bhurt by her action,” the woman said.
“My mother even went off when the Mayor wasted my business because that is the only thing we are depending on to eat and pay the children’s tuition. Up to now, my mother is still at the Hospital because she was taken there by some of my friends during the situation,” Annieta sorrowfully explained.
She too wants the Gbarnga City Mayor to pay for her market within a week, and the President should have Mayor Herbert dismissed.
When contacted by the INSIGHT’s Bong County Correspondent for comment, the Gbarnga City Mayor, Lucia Herbert, stated that she previously told the marketers to stop selling at the road interception but they failed to listen to her.
“My office has been telling them to leave that place but they have not listened and when they are selling at the junction, it obstructs the free movement of traffic which is very bad. Since they refused to listen, nothing else I could do but to take action,” Mr. Herbert told the INSIGHT.
The City Mayor boastfully stated that whether the marketers’ goods were damaged or not, she does not care about anything.
However, the response of the Gbarnga City Mayor to the grievances of the marketers has caused many people to comment on the issue in Gbarnga with several persons stating that City Mayor Herbert is “not a good Leader.”
Nukai Kpangbai, a human right advocate described the Mayor’s statement as “irresponsible,” maintaining that she has no right to destroy the goods of marketers but to seize them if indeed they have violated any city ordinance and to be investigated for appropriate corrective measure.
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