“We Are Sorry” – Residents Tell Sime Darby

By: Jackson C. Clay, Jr.

Residents of the Project Affected Community within which Sime Darby Liberia operates in Grand cape Mount County have offered sincere apology to the company for recent protest.

It can be recalled that recently, some youth of the PAC in Grand Cape Mount County stage a protest against Sime Darby in demand of school buses to transport students to and from school.

The protest which lasted for several hours brought to a standstill normal working activities at the company head office in the county but was brought under control by the Liberia National Police (LNP).

But during a ground breaking ceremony for the first modern PAC office in the county and gowning of SDPL General Manager, David Parker, the resident openly told the company that they are sorry for the action taken by their children.

Speaking on behalf of the residents, Madam Bendu Zarzar said that it was not the intension for them as elders and adults of the areas for their children to stage a protest against the company, adding that certain persons among them led the children into what they did against the company.

“Mr. Parker we want to say here on behalf of our children that we are very sorry for the incident but it was some people who took the children into what they did against Sime Darby, so we say again, we are very sorry.

Also, the PAC youth leader, H. Mohammed kaiwu said he was very happy that the company would undertake such a project for the communities, revealing that all along the PAC has been operating from their bags.

Kaiwu termed the project as a new beginning for the seventeen affected communities, noting that they have never had such opportunities since been working with the company.

“I am very happy today. I see today as a new beginning in the lives of the people of the seventeen affected communities. All along for the past years, we have been working with Sime Darby we only have field office but our offices are just in our bags passing around,” Kaiwu admitted.

He however appealed to the management of the company to make available a bus to enable school going kids get to in time, stressing that they walk long distances in order to acquire education.

For his part, Sime Darby General Manager, David Parker disclosed that the cost of erecting the structure is being put at twenty-five thousand United States dollars (US$ 25,000.00) and the work is expected to get underway this week.

Parker asserted that prior to the completion of the building, the company would ensure that would be staffers of the propose building would have to undergo about two to three months intense training in order to prepare them to be able to properly manage and maintain the structure.

The SDPL General Manager indicated the company remains open at all time to the community for a dialogue so as to move the both the community and the company forward for the better good of all sides.

“We have to work together, respect each other understand each other, if we want to go far and not quickly. We respect for each other and mutual understanding for each other, we can together do better,” Manager Parker told the gathering.

He noted that this is intended to ensuring that everybody of the two counties has access to the information, thus, with this every person can be aware of what and what not to expect from the company in terms of it social corporate responsibilities.

At the same time, Bomi County Senator, Sando Johnson has warned the residents to stay away from violence against concessions companies in their various areas

Senator Johnson said that violence can lead to so many negative things, something he believes can thwart the growth and development of the areas.

“To you our citizens, do not demonstrate, stay away from violence because every time you demonstrate lives will be destroy, properties will be damaged, so all of us must live like civilize people which we are,” Sen. Johnson warned the his people.

The Bomi County Senator at the same time lauded the present Management team of the SDPL headed by David Parker for reaching out to the people, something claims previous management did not do.

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About Cholo Brooks 13336 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.