Liberia: Electoral District # 16 Development Council Chairman Reacts to CDC Representative Dixon Seeboe’s Claims Of Mismanaging Project Fund
MONROVIA – The Chairman of the District Development Council (DDC) in electoral district # 16, Montserrado County, Reverend Alonso Jet Duncan, has termed as an “unfounded rubbish and lies” claims made by Representative Dixon W. Seeboe that officials and members of the Council allegedly mismanaged funds intended to execute a bridge project in one of the communities in the district.
Rev. Duncan is the Deputy Chaplain of the House of Representatives and the Vice President of the Liberia Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention (LBMEC), while lawmaker Seeboe is representing the people of the Borough of New Kru Town on the ticket of the governing Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC).
It can be recalled that in a report delivered to his constituents recently, Representative Seeboe disclosed that the amount of US$20,000 was given by China Union as Social Development Fund (SDF) for Montserrado County.
He added that prior to receiving the money, he had earlier made available to the DDC the amount of US$1000 and L$288,000 for the construction of a footpath bridge in the Momboe Town Community in the Borough.
In addition to that, he disclosed that the amount of US$2600 was taken from the County Development Fund (CDF) and again disbursed to the DDC for “full payment” to complete the bridge.
“That project was mismanaged and did not get complete even though additional US$2,600 was allotted from the County Development Fund”.
Rep. Seeboe maintained that given the nature of the situation, and to ensure the wellbeing of the people of the Momboe Town Community, he took a decision to directly work with the leadership of the community to complete the bridge in a bid to address the bad road condition faced by his constituents in that part of the district.
“I provided additional US$6000 and extended the bridge beyond the requested previous end point”.
But speaking in a telephone interview with Frontpage Africa over the week end, Rev. Duncan claimed that the lawmaker’s report accusing the DDC of allegedly mismanaging fund when the engineer assigned to the project was unilaterally selected by an individual assigned as Supervisor is totally misleading and false.
He disclosed that the bridge which original plan was four-feet wide was rejected by Rep. Seeboe on grounds that it needed an extension even though he (Seeboe) had earlier endorsed the first plan of the project.
According to him, the CDC lawmaker unilateral took a decision to to extend the bridge by additional three-feet without the knowledge of the DDC.
Rev. Duncan pointed out that the DDC later engaged Rep. Seeboe on the decision taken on grounds that the amount given could not guarantee the bridge completion.
“Representative Seeboe wanted to make his speech long so people can clap for him and so, he just talked rubbish especially when it comes to the District Development Council. If we mismanaged or embezzled the money, let him take us to task. It’s total rubbish”.
“Rep. Seeboe came and did an extension. The bridge was supposed to be four feet wide and he came and made the bridge seven feet wide. As a result, the money could not cover up 7ft. We confronted Hon. Seeboe that the money could not complete the project and he said he has nothing to do with it. That was how I came in to use my own money”.
Aiding the project
The renowned Liberian Clergyman pointed out that following the situation, he decided to use his personal funds to ensure the completion of the project to help alleviate some of the constraints residents of the community were faced with in commuting from one place to another.
Rev. Duncan disclosed that Rep. Seeboe later hijacked the project even though it was at a completion stage.
“I spent about US$400 from my own pocket on that bridge. I still stand my ground that there is nothing from the DDC that was wrong. The man that Dixon Seeboe assigned to us brought their own engineer. I don’t even know the engineering firm he’s from and I have no record on them. They called the man to do the work and he was doing the work; we were just expending money. He-engineer- was the one who did the estimate”.
He added that members of the Council did not interpose any objection to the alleged decision taken by the lawmaker’s office to impose an engineer on the project to avoid being labeled as ones who intend to undermine development in the district.
“When he (Seeboe) came, he said the way we built the bridge was not how he wanted it. So, he took the project from us and said his office will take charge of the project after we completed it about 90%. I bought ten bags of cement, zinc and other materials for that bridge”.
Divisive and confusionist
Rev. Duncan described Rep. Seeboe as a “divisive” lawmaker and a “confusionist”.
He said though members of the DDC remain mute over the decision taken by Rep. Seeboe to unilaterally take a decision to deny the Council from completing the project, he (Seeboe) continues to levy accusation against the character of members of the DDC without any substantive evidence.
“He (Seeboe) has a serious gross for me and he wants to tarnish my reputation and I will not even allow it. I don’t care who you are; if you try to mess with me, myself will mess with you”.
Resignation in the making
Speaking further, Rev. Duncan pointed out that he is contemplating on tendering in his resignation as Chair of the DDC upon the return of his Secretary General to Monrovia.
Meanwhile, Rev. Duncan has urged Rep. Seeboe to “sit down” and desist from tarnishing the character of his constituents who have been given a specific task to perform, and are making sacrifices for the forward match of the district.
“I just want to say to Rep. Seeboe-if he does not have any report to make-please sit down and leave us alone. We are not trending his path or undermining his office. We remain very must supportive to development and the DDC is corruption free”.
For some times now, the DDC Chairman of electoral district # 16 has persistently complained of the alleged usurpation of the functions of the Council by the CDC lawmaker.
Sometimes ago, Rev. Duncan complained that in fulfillment of his campaign promises, development projects were singlehandedly selected by Rep. Seeboe and given to contractors without the consent of the DDC.
When contacted via telephone, Rep. Seeboe emphasized that he stands by his report that the money was allegedly mismanaged by the DDC.
He claimed that the project did not reach about 10 percent when the DDC claimed that the monies provided have finished.
Speaking in an interview with reporters shortly after the presentation of his report, Rep. Seeboe claimed that his decision taken not to take punitive measures against the DDC was to avoid getting in conflict with his constituents.
“It’s not the issue of impunity. You see if you deal with community issues sometimes you have to be careful. Our role we said consistently that we will develop this plan using the community people. So my first stance has been what is more important- What has been squandered or the completion of the bridge project? So my first test now is to make sure that these projects are completed that why I put my personal resources into them to have them completed”
“Everybody talks about corruption in this country, but tomorrow they will say our community. If the community people say we want these people to pay our money so we carrying them to court; the next thing will be the lawmaker carrying the people to court”.