Tension In Nimba

-Aggrieved NRI Workers Threatened To Block Polling
The peaceful conduct of tomorrow’s Representatives and Presidential elections is said to be seriously threatened in Nimba County, where aggrieved employees of the Nimba Rubber Incorporated (NRI), are demanding their just benefits before the elections.  The situation with NRI started in 2000 with the then former workers of LIBCO (Cocopa Rubber Plantation) now known as the Nimba Rubber Incorporated (NRI).
Following series of protests and legal battle, the government of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf reportedly accepted to settle the arrears, but yet failed to actualize her promise despite selling the farm to NRI.
Speaking with our reporter from Nimba, the Secretary General of the aggrieved NRI workers, Amos Dolo said they are totally inpatient and demand that government settle its arrears with the aggrieved workers.
“We are totally disappointed in this government we elected. We have been denied of getting our just benefits from the Cocopa Management / the Government of Liberia. This matter was carried to court and government promised to pay us and are tired waiting. Is it that we are peaceful?” he wondered.
In an effort to iambically settle the matter, Mr. Dolo said they officially communicated with President Johnson-Sirleaf, Vice President Joseph N. Boakia, House Speaker Emmanuel Nuquay, and Madam Christine Elder, US Ambassador accredited near Monrovia but said nothing has been done to resolve the matter.
In addition, he told this paper that the aggrieved workers also communicated with officials of Nimba County, specifically Senator Prince Johnson, lawmakers from the county including D. Dorr Cooper, Superintendent, Nimba County as well as the Police Commander in Nimba, adding that said communications is yet to yield results despite several years of peaceful negotiation.
“What is more disappointing is that all of our communications, none of the above names have made positive impacts for us to receive our benefits. But as soon as we took the road this morning, our Government ordered her ERU and PSU to come with their tear gas to be used on us, and also have us arrested only because they are in power today forgetting to know we were the very ones that elected them,” he indicated.
He however assured government that the aggrieved employees will not rest until their benefits are provided, saying “we suffered and work for this money.”
Meanwhile, our reporter in Nimba is hinting that the some of the aggrieved NRI employees are calling for a mass protest in the county.
Our reporter said while it is true that the NRI workers leadership is fighting to discourage violent process, several of the aggrieved workers are threatening to set a major road block along the Ganta-Saciepea highway during the day of the election.
As result of the threats, the NRI workers union is asking its members not to engage into violence while advocating for their just benefits, something our reporter said is not resonating with several of the work force.
According to our reporter, a mass meeting organized by the worker’s union to discourage protest on Tuesday ended in misunderstanding.
When contacted, Police in the county confirming hearing the information but called on citizens not to panic as the LNP is in full control of security.
Meanwhile, the aggrieved workers have expressed disappointment in the Vice Presidential candidate of the opposition Liberty Party, Harrison Karnwea, Sr. for willfully ignoring the plight of the workers despite several communication to his office.
Karnwea once served as General Manager of the Cocopa Rubber Plantation during which the management refused to pay the arrears.
“Karnwea is seeking our vote, but treating us let we are animals. We assure you that if our benefits are not given, our Wives, husbands, Children, Grand Mothers, Grand Fathers, chicken, dogs, cats, will never ever, vote for the Liberty Party and we will continue to demonstrate until we receive our benefits. So let Madam President keep sending the ERU and PSU on us,” he stressed.
The LP vice Presidential candidate has maintained over and again that the situation with NRI is not an individual problem but rather a national problem that must be addressed by central government.

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