Liberian-Origin Habib Tejan Makes Strides in British Politics

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Report by Rodney D. Sieh, [email protected]

London – Twenty-five years have gone by fast for Habib Tejan. Since fleeing the civil war in his homeland, Liberia, the 49-year-old has been paying his dues and making a steady climb of the ladder of British politics.

He is the first of five children from the marriage of a Medical Doctor (Dr Habib Tejan) and Bookkeeper (Laura Miller). From a tender age, he recalled his father hosting political meetings at their home. It was from these early years that his belief in democracy, social justice and the rule of law was cultivated.

His early years were spent in Monrovia before moving to Nimba County, where his father provided private medical service to the local and wider communities. He was a 3rd year BSc Chemistry student, at Cuttington University College when the civil war started in Liberia and spilled over to Sierra Leone forcibly separating his family to avoid the danger.

He moved to the UK in 1993 and settled in Medway with families before meeting his wife and relocating to London for a period. However, his love for Medway (his new home) moved him to convinced his wife (Bridget) to returned to Medway in 2004 with their children (Habib III and Precious).

Last week, Tejan, a member of the Conservative Party, who was elected as a member of Medway council in 2015, was inaugurated as Deputy Mayor for Medway. Whilst addressing the audience at the public ceremony held in honour of The Mayor of Medway Cllr Steven Iles and Deputy Mayor, Cllr Tejan, Cllr Mackness (a cabinet member) and Tejans’s ward colleague for River Ward said that “Tejan is a long-term resident of Medway, and a key part of the community. He said Tejan works tirelessly to ensure constituents voices are at the heart of everything they do in Medway, He also said that he “absolutely had no doubt that Cllr Tejan will work hard in his new role to fulfill the duties required. He said that Tejan “shows his support for a number of voluntary organizations, including work he does for several charity through the Rotary”.

Tejan said that the area they represent (River Ward) has long been neglected for Youth Club provision and is poised for massive development under the stewardship of Tejan and  Cllr Mackness.

As part of their mandate, they have expanded St Mary’s Island Primary, secured £4.3million investment for the regeneration of Chatham High Street and seen work started on the £419m regeneration program at Rochester Riverside. The pair has also committed ward improvement funds to see St. Mary’s Island,  and the Salvation Army Youth club in the center of Chatham flourish and grow, as much needed clubs for young people in our area.

The pair now hopes to work with the New Road Community to see how they may help deliver and support a new community-based youth club and activities in this area of the ward. “We are also working closely with planners to see how Rochester Riverside will better accommodate our young in the Leisure space.”

Tejan, his wife Bridget, and two children (Habib III and Precious) have lived in Medway since 2004.

Professional, he is a company director and with postgraduate qualifications in management. Prior to becoming a Company Director, he worked in the consumer finance industry and achieved several Managerial Awards. His private businesses operate in the consumer finance and medical procurement sectors.

Politically, he has served as Deputy Chairman Political, for Rochester and Strood Constituency Conservative Association. As elected member, he is currently serving on several Committees and outside bodies within Medway Council, including; The Audit Committee, Business Support Overview and Scrutiny, Regeneration Culture & Environment, Planning, Kent & Essex Inshore Fishing & Conservation Authority, Kent & Medway Police & Crime Panel, Chatham Regeneration Board, Medway Sea Cadets, Chatham Charities Trustees and Medway NHS Foundation Trust amongst others. He has a passion for sustainable, efficient and effective service delivery and has facilitated and encouraged investment opportunities into Medway He said that he is committed to working diligently, to ensure that Medway remains a Vibrant and Safe Place.

According to the UK office on National Statistics, 13.6% of the UK population is non-white. However, only 8% of elected Members in the House of Parliament are from an ethnic minority background. Also, out of 52 non-white MP in the UK, 32 are Labour and 19 are Conservatives. The inclusion of ethnic minorities in the Conservative Party is on the rise…Tejan said “that the conservative does not only tolerate diversity but rather embraces diversity”. He said that “the Conservative Party is the first party in the United Kingdom to appoint an ethnic minority Secretary of State for the Home Department (Home Office), and also the only party to ever have a female prime minister. He stated that “the conservatives were enjoying their second female prime minister which is a testament of diversity and long may that continue!”.

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