Liberia: Erick Giko, the CPP’s Candidate in the Maryland County Senatorial Midterm Elections Upbeat about His Chances
Pleebo, Maryland County – Eric Giko is upbeat about his chances in the upcoming Midterm Senatorial elections. In Pleebo, Maryland county this week, the candidate running on the ticket of the Collaborating Political Parties candidate accepted the endorsement in hopes of staging an upset against his rival opponents, the incumbent Dan Morias and James Biney.
For Giko, the odds stacked against him are no stumbling block in his quest to win a seat in the Senate. “I am the underdog. But what sets me apart is the fact that I have never worked in government and I have clean record. I have brought relief to the county numerous times. Relief ranging from educational, medical and agriculture. The pressing need now is medical need in the county.”
Giko, 50, says his candidacy is being driven by issues of healthcare, education, agricultural, security & infrastructure development, the core focal points he says the county is desperately in need up at the moment.
Giko’s seeds are deeply rooted in the county.
His father, James Kla Giko, hais from Tanbo, Gbolobo in Pleebo Sodoken District, Maryland County while his mother, Mrs. Alice Wleady Giko, affectionately called Sissy Wleady, hails from Yederobo Wissiken in Karluway District.
As a young man, Giko attended the St. Francis High School in Pleebo City, Maryland County. He graduated from the Zion Academy in Monrovia in 1989 and briefly attended the University of Liberia before the civil war.
In 1994, Giko traveled to the United States of America and settled in the state of Rhode Island. There he graduated from the Community College of Rhode Island with a degree in Nursing and obtained a second degree from the University of North Carolina Charlotte with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science with minor in Public Health.
From 2001 to 2010, Giko worked as a Registered Nurse with the State of Rhode Island in the department of Mental Health Retardations and Hospital.
He relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina and worked for the Carolinas Healthcare Systems, now Atrium Health the second largest Healthcare facility in the America, from 2011 to 2019. He resigned and moved back to Liberia to contribute to the rebuilding process. Married to Helena Sieh Giko, Union blessed with four daughters and two grandkids.
“I am the underdog. But what sets me apart is the fact that I have never worked in government and I have clean record. I have brought relief to the county numerous times. Relief ranging from educational, medical and agriculture. The pressing need now is medical need in the county.”– Erick Giko, the CPP’s candidate in the Maryland County Senatorial Midterm elections
Cardinal Platform Issues
Located in the southeastern part of Liberia, Maryland has two districts – Harper serves as the capital with the area of the county measuring 2,297 square kilometres (887 sq mi).
As of the 2008 Census, it had a population of 136,404, making it the seventh most populous county in Liberia.
Named after the State of Maryland in the United States, the county was an independent country as the Republic of Maryland from 1854 until it joined Liberia in 1857. The most populous city happens to be Giko’s stronghold, Pleebo, with 22,963 residents.
For Giko, the issue of healthcare is key. “I believe that good health surpasses all riches,” and given my background as a trained professional Registered Nurse from the United States, I recognize the importance of good health care delivery services.”
If elected, Giko says he will lobby to enhance government policies on preventive healthcare. “I will empower Community Health Centers throughout the county and make sure more trained health care workers are employ to staff these health centers.
Will lobby for mobile clinics to commence the delivery of healthcare to remote areas in the county.”
Giko is also aiming to provide scholarships to deserving students in the county to attend Tubman University College of Health Sciences in Harper and says he will lobby with partners to enhance ambulance service throughout the county to transport critical patients, who cannot be treated at the health centers, to J. J. Dossen Hospital in Harper.
On education, Giko says he will strive to build a vibrant formal education sector by working with parents, teachers, owners and operators of schools to build a solid education foundation from pre-K to 6 grade. “I will initiate a need-based scholarship program for students who demonstrate excellent academic achievement, but lack financial support.”
Giko says he will also work with the Ministry of Education to hire trained teachers in each subject area. “I will lobby for science equipment for a functioning science laboratory in the county for high school students and will provide a fully equipped library with internet access.”
Additionally, he says he will work with partners to provide a television station which will be based at the campus of Tubman University and work with central government for a vocational school.
On agriculture, Giko asserts the importance of food security and a degree of self-sufficiency being points for emphasis. “We need to grow far more of what we eat. With the slogan; “He who controls your belly, controls you,” Will work to reactivate the Liberia Agricultural Development Bank. I will routinely work with partners to distribute seeds and agricultural tools to small family units.”
On security, Giko says given the current trend, if elected, a community watch team will be capacitated. “They will be the first-line of security and will augment the work the national security apparatus.”
The candidate is also keen to invest most of his effort in the Senate on infrastructure development. “We will explore a sister city relationship with cities and states outside Liberia and push for reliable transportation using our waterways in order to explore and mitigate the yearly inconvenience of bad roads particularly during the rainy season.”
Giko says he will also work toward encouraging greater commitment by the central government to work rapidly to complete the all-weather road and the coastal highway and lobby for a micro Loan program to be initiated to help small scale marketers access low interest loans, to grow an existing business or start a new one.
For Giko, the role of the underdog is a feat he hopes to use as a motivation to surprise his opponents and score an impressive victory in December. “I am confident of victory,” he says.