17,000 Fishermen Seek ANC’s Support

first_imgAn estimated 17,000 traditional Liberian fishermen from Cape Palmas, SinoeCounty to Robertsport in Grand Cape Mount County are seeking support from the Alternative National Congress (ANC) political leader Alex Cummings in exchange for their support for his bid for the presidency in the 2017 elections.Mr. Wle Wle Kofa, chairman of the Traditional Fishermen’s Association of Liberia (TFAL), told the Daily Observer after meeting in New Kru Town with Mr. Cummings last Friday that it was a fruitful meeting, the first of its kind for the association.“Despite the many presidential aspirants in the country, Mr. Cummings, who is a ‘just come,’ thought it wise to respond to our invitation to meet and to listen to our request,” Mr. Kofa said.The thousands of Liberian fishermen have decided that Mr. Cummings’ willingness to respond to their invitation in less than two weeks, showed his remarkable sense of concern for a sector that has been neglected by the Liberian government, Kofa said.“Attending the meeting with Mr. Cummings at the Trinity United Methodist Church were three representatives each from seven of the eight counties where Liberian fishermen are concentrated,” he stated. He named the counties as Cape Mount, Grand Bassa, River Cess, Margibi, Sinoe, Grand Kru and Maryland, and Monsterrado.“The delegates were women who represented their husbands at the meeting,” Kofa said, “and they told (Cummings) that they heard about his support to other communities and therefore would be glad if he could see about providing their children with education opportunities.”He said Mr. Cummings sympathized with their request and assured them that he would look into it.Speaking on behalf of the wives of the traditional fishermen’s association was Ms. Jebbeh F. Johnson, who said she supported an earlier statement by chairman Kofa that Liberian fishermen receive the least support from the Liberian government.In previous elections, politicians visited their communities and sought their votes; but after being elected, they no longer returned to fulfill their promises, she said.Reading a statement from the ANC, its chairman Mr. Oracious Gould re-echoed Mr. Cummings’ and the ANC’s avowed support to neglected sectors such as the Traditional Fishermen Association, and promised to look into their request.Meanwhile in an interview, Mrs. Betty Nyanti, head of the women whose husbands are Colonel West, New Kru Town fishermen, said they had decided not to vote in the forthcoming elections because “voting makes no difference in our lives.”“After voting in three elections, we are still poor and we are unable to send our children to school. Our husbands still do their fishing with smaller boats, and their catches don’t improve our lives.“We are tired of voting and except we are convinced that voting can change our lives, we have decided, I mean all the women under me have decided, not to vote in the 2017 elections,” she said. But with Cummings involvement, however, there is the likelihood that a change of mind could take place.The mother of eight children, she said, “Through hard work my husband and I have been able to educate our children. But two older boys followed their father to be fishermen, using the traditional smaller canoe for their work.”“The dangers at sea and their husbands’ safety on the job have been haunting these women,” admitted chairman Kofa, who said it is disheartened that the death of a fisherman at sea does not claim government’s attention as a death in a car accident.There was a report of a man identified as P. T. P. Dweh, an older man who disappeared at sea. His partner was found alive near West Point but could not explain what happened to Dweh, whose family is yet to get closure on what happened to their grandfather.Among the families that spoke to the Daily Observer were those of fishermen Gabriel Sagba and Jr. Kun both fathers of two children, and another with five children. They complained of inadequate financial support to enable them to acquire large canoes that could improve their living conditions. They also complained about the lack of safety measures from government, which makes their job more challenging. They added that they reside in zinc shacks that need to be replaced, and inadequate latrines.Chairman Kofa said with the increasing neglect of the government of Liberia to their plight, and until Mr. Alex Cummings visited them, “We are convinced that there a good number of Liberians out there who are willing to help, and since we had previously decided to consider the sea as our president we now have someone who cares about us.Kofa told ANC’s Cummings that due to inadequate support, a girl born to a fisherman, on the average, gets pregnant at age 12 and 14, which begins a vicious cycle that keeps the family in abject poverty.“That girl child is deprived of education because most of the parents cannot afford the high cost of education and therefore the future of such a child is anybody’s guess,” Kofa said. He said the organization has decided to vote for one candidate in each of their counties of residence. He said the Alternative National Congress’s interest to sit and listen to their concerns gives hope to the more than 17,000 fishermen and their families as having a political party that they can depend on in 2017.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

World Cup 2019: Vijay Shankar responds to Ambati Rayudu’s 3D glasses tweet

first_imgIndia all-rounder Vijay Shankar said he is able to understand the sense of disappointment that prompted Ambati Rayudu to come up with a cheeky tweet after the senior campaigner was dropped from India’s World Cup 2019 squad.Ambati Rayudu who was earmarked for the No. 4 role in the Indian batting unit as early as last year made way for Vijay Shankar in the 15-man squad for the World Cup, starting May 30 in the United Kingdom.Rayudu had produced some consistent performances over the last few years batting at No. 4 but a dip in form combined with some eye-catching performances from Vijay Shankar prompted the selectors to make the tough call of dropping the Hyderabad batsman.Chief selector MSK Prasad highlighted Vijay Shankar’s 3-dimensional attributes when explaining the rationale behind preferring the Tamil Nadu all-rounder over Rayudu.A disappointed Rayudu had taken to social media after his World Cup snub and wrote: “Just Ordered a new set of 3d glasses to watch the world cup.”Speaking to Gaurav Kapur on his YouTube show Breakfast With Champions, Shankar said: “I know for the fact that how a cricketer would feel if they are not being picked. I can understand from a player’s point of view. And I know for the fact that he didn’t mean it to me.”It was just that he put that tweet for the sake of it. I can understand the situation in which he was. It is fine for any cricketer.”Shankar missed India’s first warm-up match of World Cup 2019 against New Zealand on Saturday due to an injury scare. The all-rounder got a hit on his right hand on the eve of the warm-up match.advertisementNonetheless, the Board of Control for Cricket in India confirmed that Shankar didn’t pick up a fracture and is recovering from the knock. He is likely to return for India’s 2nd and final warm-up match against Bangladesh on Tuesday.MS Dhoni’s crucial advice to Vijay ShankarShankar also revealed the impact of MS Dhoni when it comes to being calm on and off the field. The India cricketer, who made his ODI debut only in 2019, has already played some quality innings under pressure which eventually helped him seal a World Cup berth.”To be honest, I learnt it from Mahi bhai (MS Dhoni). He told me like you need to be calm and neutral. He told me ‘just focus on your work and things will take care of itself’. My debut was the Melbourne Cricket Ground. I had never been to such a big ground. I was feeling the nerves. He just came and told me ‘you’re moving the ball, just hit the right length’. He then went away. It was a very simple thing but then at the moment, it was needed,” Vijay Shankar said.Also Read | 2019 World Cup: Relief for Team India after Vijay Shankar’s scans show no fractureAlso Read | Nothing to worry about: Ravindra Jadeja on India’s batting woes after loss to NZAlso See:last_img read more