Liberia: Sen. Dillion’s Development Council Announces Receipt of the Second Half of US$30,000 to Complement Covid-19 Fight
Monrovia – The Montserrado County Development Council set up by Senator Abraham Darius Dillon has acknowledged receipt of the second half of Senator Dillon’s US$30,000 legislative engagement fund.
The Council announced in a press statement on Monday that Senator Dillon’s decision to pick up his share of the money was based on the Council’s advice that the money should be used by the Council to complement the fight against Covid-19 in Montserrado County.
“We cannot allow this government or anybody to keep playing politics on something that can help save lives. Our appeal was granted and Sen. Dillon instructed his Office Staff to sign for the check, endorsed the same with firm instructions that the amount be turned over to the Council,” the development group said in a statement read by its secretary-General, Jimmy George.
“We are pleased to announce that we have the money and will be using the majority of said amount toward the fight against Covid-19 with a small portion used for other interventions. This is no time for politics especially during a public health emergency.”
It mentioned that in the coming days, it will be making donations to clinics/health facilities and reaching out to other needy organizations. The press and the public will be fully informed about these distributions and donations.
The latest US$15,000 ditched out to the lawmakers completes the full payment of the controversial US$30,000 legislative Engagement fund appropriated by them in the Fiscal Year 2020/2021 budget.
Despite the barrage of criticisms and calls to give back the money to the executive to undertake meaningful projects, such as the fight against Covid-19, almost all of the lawmakers refused and almost all of them vowed to sign for the last batch of the money when it is available. Only Senator Dillon apologized and said he will ensure that the money is returned to the government’s coffers. However, it did not happen.
In the statement, the Council said Senator Dillon’s decided to listen to its advice because it was in the right direction, and in line with his previous judgment to support the Montserrado County Health team with half of his first batch of US$15,000 which was gladly received by the team at first before shockingly being given back on the order of Health Minister Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah.
“What shocked the entire country after over a month was the return of Sen. Dillon 7,500.00USD donation by this government through the Minister of Health at the same time accepting money from other lawmakers and even begging other nationals and organizations for financial and material assistance,” the group said.
It said instead of forming a united front to fight COVID-19 that is ravaging the country, the government continues to politicize every good intention of the Senator aimed at augmenting the government’s effort to combat the disease, adding, “This has been the saddest time in this fight against the COVID-19. Even when people are dying, this government continues to play politics,” the Council said.
The Council also termed as misleading information that Senator Dillon is not remitting the US$3,000 from his monthly salary to the Council, adding that in the last three months, the money has been used on the completion of the rehabilitation center promised by Senator Dillon.
“We are very happy that our effort has contributed to the completion of this very worthy cause that will soon be officially dedicated.”