QuardouGbondi Citizens Reject LCC Agreement

Lofa County Senator, George T. Tengbeh, has disclosed that citizens of QuardouGboni District have written the central government that they will not allow the management of the Liberia Cocoa Corporation (LCC) in their area.

According to him, Vice President Joseph N. Boakai recently formed an eight-member delegation that recently visited the district and held meetings with the citizens and authorities of the LCC Management to find lasting solution in the land crisis between the Corporation and the citizens.

The Lofa County lawmaker explained that during a tight meeting in the district with delegation from the Vice President’s office, the citizens and authorities of LCC disagreed with the LCC management to continue working in their district, saying, the LCC has failed to live up to the agreement entered into since 2009.

He disclosed that LCC came into the county since 2009 and went to QuardouGboni District to negotiate for some portion of land for investment purposes, but because there was no better understanding between the management and the citizens of the area, the Corporation’s General Manager, Mr. MomoluDukuly Tolbert and delegates decided to go to one community called Sasano Town.

While in Sasano Town, according to the information, citizens agreed to give 600 hectres of land to the management for development, but the Corporation also signed and agreed to construct modern toilets, schools and a clinic within a 2-year period, but to date, they have not build any of these structures.

Senator Tengbeh, former Administrative Assistant to former Lofa County Superintendent Galakpai W. Kortimai, told this paper that before going to the county for the fact finding meeting, he instructed the County Superintendent’s office to find the file which contains the land agreement.

He said it was easy to find and for them to establish what is unfolding between the citizens and the management of LCC in QuardouGboni District, the meeting was scheduled for 3 days, but lasted for 5 days because of the disagreement between the citizens and the management.

The lawmaker disclosed that over 1,000 QuardouGboni citizens attended the meeting and more than 4 buses came from Monrovia with some of their delegates and 8 persons from the Vice President’s office and others representing the LCC management.

According to information gathered, those who attended the meeting resolved to reject the presence of LCC’s management in the district and said that they can relocate if the management agrees with the idea and they can’t continue with such a Corporation in that area where it failed to implement those infrastructural development.

Senator Tengbeh disclosed that the first cocoa pilot project in Sasano Town is being harvested but to date, LCC has failed to live up to the agreement even though the LCC management has started the construction of a school building in the place.

He said according to their report to the Vice President, they recommend that LCC management should be able to implement the agreement signed in 2009,

Senator Tengbeh further disclosed that LCC had violated the labor law by failing to employ the citizens of the district to work on the plantation and no contract was signed between those working on the farm and the management.

The recommendation continued that LCC management failed to meet with the district authorities, but MomoluDukuly Tolbert said that he met with the district Representative twice, but that Rep. Mariamu B. Fofana denied ever seen them at any time to discuss the relocation of LCC since development can’t be forced.

Commenting further, Senator Tengbeh explained that the way forward is for the LCC management to go back to the drawing board and implement all the projects embedded in the agreement which the citizens will add more land to what the Corporation is having at present but in the absence of that, the citizens are discouraged and that they will not allow the LCC management to continue in that area.