Liberia: Margibi County Student Union Rejects Ex-Minister McGill’s Senatorial Bid

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KAKATA, Margibi County – The Margibi University Students Union (MARUSU) has expressed their opposition to the senatorial bid of US-sanctioned former Minister Nathaniel F. McGill.

The former Minister was one of the three top officials of the Weah-administration recently sanctioned by the United States Treasury Department for their alleged roles in public corruption in Liberia. 

He, along with the other two, Bill Twehway, former Managing Director of the National Port Authority and Cllr. Syrenius Cephus, former Liberian Solicitor General, resigned amid sustained public pressure. 

Following his resignation, rumors emerged that he was eyeing a senatorial seat in either Bong or Gbarpolu County. The Ex-minister’s attention later turned to Margibi County, but his quest has met a staunch resistance from residents of the county including Representative Tibelrosa Tarponweh and Senator J. Emmanuel Nuquay. 

Addressing a team of journalists on Wednesday in Kakata, MARUSA called on all citizens of the county to reject the sanctioned ex-minister senatorial bid.

The student union said they believe that the sanction against McGill and others has impeded the implementation of major developmental projects in the county, among them the pavement of the 7.8 kilometer road and the reconstruction of the C.H. Rennie Hospital promised by President George Weah. 

The students accused the former Minister of paying and trucking individuals from Monrovia on NTA buses to stage a “borrowed crowd” petitioning event in Margibi.

“Let it be made clear that Margibi is not a political dump site for a political waste like McGill or anyone who steals from the people for personal enrichment. Margibians are people with integrity,” they said.

“This disgraced former Minister who doesn’t have any connection with our county has been paying thousands and trucking them into our county to stage petition gathering to present like Margibians are supporting him. No! We, Margibians cannot support an international thief. We believe that McGill’s involvement in corruption in Liberia is a major reason why the pavement of 7.8-kilometer road and the speedy rebuilding of the CH.”

“Rennie Hospital promised by President Weah have not been implemented. Liberia has suffered for too long because of official misconduct. The university students’ body of this county calls on all solidarity forces to join ranks as we collectively pursue this struggle to a logical conclusion,” the union said in the statement read by its chairman Ramsay Mulbah.”

The Union also called on the National Elections Commission to not accept a “dime from McGill and the others who were sanctioned and are having the ambition of contesting the 2023 general election”.

Nathaniel McGill and two other officials of government (Syrenius Cephas & Bill Twehway) were sanctioned by the United States of America for engaging into corruption including misappropriation of state assets, bribery and taking private assets for personal gain, among others. 

The US Treasury said, during his tenure in government, McGill received bribes from potential investors, and accepted kickbacks for steering contracts to companies in which he had interest. He also manipulated public procurement process in order to award multi-million-dollar contracts to companies in which he has ownership, including by abusing emergency procurement process to rig contract bids and other offences.

Under the sanction, all properties and interests in properties of the three officials in the US were blocked and reported to the US Treasury, while people who engage in any transactions with the officials may be subject to sanctions as well.

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