Jikandor Citizens Pour Praises On BMMC Operations, Say They Are Disappointed In Their Lawmakers
During a tour of the concession area of Bea Mountain Mining Company (BMMC) by team of independent journalists after the House of Representatives concurred with the Liberian Senate on the ratification of the Restated and Amended Mineral Development Agreement between the Liberian Government and the company.
Some residents who spoke to journalists in Jikandor Town, Grand Cape Mount County have expressed thanks and appreciation to the management of the company for the level of support towards the growth and development in their county, and further cautioned their lawmakers, and their legal team not politicize the cordial relationship between the company and citizens of the area.
The citizens expressing their feelings on misinformation being circulated in public that they are against the operation of the company, and further condemned their lawmakers for not doing much to supplement effort been made between them and the company, and further blamed their legal team headed by Cllr. Benedict Sannoh for derailing the efforts of the company in solving some the challenges they are faced with.
Speaking to journalists the Town Chief of Jikandor Town, Mustapha Parbia, disclosed that despite efforts by the company to provide job opportunities to citizens of the area, their lawyer, Benedict Sannoh was always in the habit to discourage them not to cooperate with the company, noting, “Bea Mountain Mining Company was always available to help us, but our lawyer usually advised us not to listen to what arrangements made between the company and the community; this situation on the part of Cllr. Sannoh continues to derail any progress made by the company”, Chief Parbia in a rather disappointed mood said.
Also speaking to reporters, the dean of elders in the town, Jimmy Kamara buttressed the statement made by the town chief, adding that their lawyer has not been truthful to them regarding their plight, stressing, “Each time we had issue confronting us between the company and us, which could easily be resolved, he always puts out delay tactics, and sometimes caution us not to listen to the company”, Kamara speaking to a team of reporters said.
In continuation of the tour, journalists were also opportune to speak with some elders and senior citizens of Weajoa, Mano Guduah Zone, Eric Fayah, Town Chief of the town extolled the cordial relationship between the company and the residents. Stressing that with the support of the company several infrastructural developments have taken place including the construction of housing units, clinic, vocational institutions and providing loan to the community to help improve their livelihood.
According to information gathered by our team while touring the concession revealed that the relationship between the company and citizens in the area where the BMMC is operating are very receptive and welcome recent decision by members of the National Legislature rectify the restated Mineral Development Agreement (MDA) between the Liberian Government and the BMMC in June 2023, top management of the company in person of the General Manager of Bea Mountain Mining Corporation Reza Karimiyan during a meeting with elders and citizens of Jikandor Town assured the citizens of the company’s support to their welbeing.
Issues that were highlighted included, the construction of a water Tower, build fishpond, repair two hand pumps, repair the road, and further asked the CR Department to liaise with HR Department to increase employment opportunities for Jikandor citizens.
The General Manager also urged the community to hire a team to check their water quality regularly which will be paid by BMMC, after several consultation among the Jikandor Citizens, they appealed to the Marvoh Land Administrators, Boakai L. Taliferro and Hon. Mohammed Daramie to arrange a meeting with their Lawyer Cllr. Benedict Sarnoh and BMMC to finalize discussion.
Responding to the citizens, the Marvoh Land Administrators, told the citizens of Jikandor that they don’t have the authority or jurisdiction to call a meeting with Cllr and BMMC. As Land Administrators, Hon. Boakai L. Taliferro and Hon. Mohammed Daramie said they can only remain engaged with BMMC constructively to address issues affecting citizens of its host communities.
At the end of the tour of the company’s concession, several individuals including heads of the youth and women groups, including elders poured praises on the company for bringing job opportunities to their respective communities, and the provision of health and educational benefits to their respective communities, and further denounced the preaching of division between the management of BMMC and the host communities.