Butaw Youths React To Media Report

By Alva Mulbah Wolokolie

Several young people of the Butaw Youth Association in Butaw District, Sinoe County have dispelled media report that they were planning a demonstration to stop Golden Veroleum Liberia (GVL) from operating in the district.

It may be recalled that on Monday, December 23, 2013, the New Republic and Activist newspapers reported that members of Butaw Youth Association were planning a demonstration, to stop Golden Veroleum Liberia (GVL) from operating in the county.

The article which contained the same contents in both the Activist and New Republic newspapers quoted Stanley Nimley and Edward Tarpeh (who are none existing  members of Butaw Youth Association) as threatening to shut GVL down because the company was not committed to the concession agreement it signed with the Liberian Government.

The youth group executives, Mr. Chea B. Blamoh and S. Hamilton Kahn explained to the INQUIRER that members of Butaw Youth Association were not only dismayed about the reportage by the two local dailies, but also disappointed in the reporters and editors of these newspapers for not having the second thought of contacting them for confirmation of such news before publication.

“Today, we have come to inform the people of Liberia and the entire world that no member of Butaw Youth Association has and will never plan to demonstrate, less to mention, stop the operation of GVL in Butaw or anywhere in Sinoe,” Blamoh and Kahn asserted.

Mr. Chea who served as spokesman and secretary general of Butaw Youth Association said the report by the New Republic and Activist newspapers was not only false and misleading, but fabricated by unknown anti-elements of economic growth and development.

The chairman of the group Mr. S. Hamiiton Kahn added that Butaw Youth through its leadership wants to clearly state that those quoted in the report (Stanley Nimley and Edward Tarpeh) did not attend the meeting with Cllr. Brownell and are neither members of the Butaw Youth Association nor are they inhabitants or residents of Butaw.

Chea and Kahn challenged Nimley and Tarpeh who claimed to be members of the Butaw Youth, to avail themselves to justify their membership and tell the leadership of BYA whether they are spokespersons for the organization or not.

The two youth executives clarified that during the 18th of December 2013 meeting with Cllr. Alfred Brownell, the spokesperson of the Butaw Youth Association, Mr. Chea B. Blamoh only told the gathering that the youths of Butaw will engage the Management of Golden Veroleum Liberia to provide response to Cllr. Brownell’s version of the draft MOU within seven days.

Blamoh said the youth group’s statement at the time came as a result of Cllr. Alfred Brownell saying that GVL failed to respond to his version of the proposed MOU, something which he said is the cause of the delay in the negotiation process. But it seems to be unbelievable for GVL to delay in the midst of unfavorable operations in Butaw.

Meanwhile, Golden Veroleum, following the youth engagement has responded to Cllr. Brownell’s version of the proposed MOU in less than four (4) days without any delay. This clearly states that GVL is willing and prepared to bring to a close the GVL-Butaw Land crisis.

“Though, we had an issue or two with Golden Veroleum in time past due to information gap between us and the company, we have understood what we did not know at first. Therefore, we are willing to give GVL more land for the expansion of its operation in Butaw,” the youth group executives said.

As such, Butaw Youth Association and the entire citizenry of Butaw District Sinoe County are calling on Cllr. Alfred Brownell of Green Advocates (our legal counselor) and Deputy Internal Affairs Minister, Varney Sirleaf, UNMIL Civil Affairs, GVL Management and Monrovia-based Butaw citizens to speed up the process leading to the resolution of the issue we have with GVL. The group expressed hope that from now to January 15, 2014, all would be resolved with the company so that GVL can resume full operation latest February 2014.