Mayor Koijee slams people spreading falsehood about Omega Market

MONROVIA – The Mayor of the City of Monrovia and Co-chair of the Special Presidential Committee for the comprehensive cleanup exercise of all capitals of Liberia’s 15 counties, including the City of Paynesville, Jeff Tamba Koijee, has slammed as being “evil geniuses, those he said are spreading misinformation about the government-implemented Omega Market project.

In July, the Executive Mansion announced that President George Weah, in consultation with local government authorities, had appointed a Special Presidential Committee for the comprehensive cleanup exercise of all county capitals and the City of Paynesville, with Public Works Acting Minister, Ruth Coker-Collins, being appointed as chair, while Mayor Koijee was appointed to serve as co-chair.

The Committee is charged with the mandate to effectively implementing a 90-day action plan, which commenced Friday, 16 July 2021, with the Executive Mansion indicating at the time that the Committee’s 90-day action plan is part of the Liberian government’s reform measures on the efficient management of market grounds in the country, with an initial focus on the grounds of the newly constructed Omega Market in the City of Paynesville.

The Special Presidential Committee, as per its mandate is to ensure that the sale of table tickets by any person or institution at the newly opened Omega Market is suspended for three months with immediate effect; and that there is no selling of space or any parcel of land to any person or marketer and that no marketer shall pay any sum of money for any space or land at the newly constructed market facility.

The Committee is also mandated to make sure that all marketers leave the Red Light grounds and relocate to the Omega Market in a peaceful and orderly manner; and to also ensure full compliance with the Special Presidential Committee’s mandate at all times for the success of the 90-day action plan

Howbeit, at a press conference Thursday, at the Monrovia City Hall, Mayor Koijee stated that there are some individuals that are spreading misinformation and disinformation about the Omega Market, making specific reference to false rumors of selling land and prioritizing foreigners over Liberian businesspeople.

He stated that Liberians need to take note that at no point in time, the Special Presidential Taskforce has ever requested that anyone pays for land at Omega.

“We want to reemphasize and echo, most eloquently – the Liberia people need to take note, as co-chairperson of this Presidential Taskforce, we want to inform you, at no point in time we have asked people to pay for land at Omega,” said Mayor Koijee, who is hopeful that in the not too distant-future, additional market structures at Omega would be completed.

“So, let the word go forth, this committee, has not received a dime from anyone, and got absolutely no intention to sell any piece of land, said Mayor Koijee, who averred that President Weah takes closely to his heart, the Omega Market project.

“As co-chairperson of this Presidential Taskforce, we want to inform you, at no point in time we have asked people to pay for land at Omega,” Koijee stressed, slamming those making contrary assertions as those circulating information that are misconstrued, adding, “and I think it is a working of evil geniuses – the President’s interest is to allow Liberianization to take preeminence, as we engage.”

He added: “We also want to say to you that the speculation and the perception being driven that yes indeed, the Omega Market, the spots are being given to foreigners, we want to say that is impregnated with falsehood.”

He stated that anyone engaged in the sales of land at Omega Market is doing so at his or her own risk, warning those he referred to as the ones who believe in wheeling and dealing and trying to work through the backdoors, not to pay money to anyone in exchange for land at the market facility.

He said as a way to avoid creating chaos, the Special Presidential Committee has calved out procedures in giving out land at Omega.

Mayor Koijee stated that as a committee, the Special Presidential Taskforce will develop a trusteeship, wherein, parcel of land will be given to individual Liberian entrepreneurs, saying, “You cannot purchase it, but you can use it – and there will be document given to you. So, as long as you fail to develop that land for the period of a year, government can come back and claim that land.”

He said President Weah’s mandate to the Special Presidential Taskforce states that within the first 90 days of its work, the Liberia Marketing Association (LMA) should desist from the collection of table fees from marketers.

“So, we want to reemphasize, and let the marketers be aware [that] under the President’s mandate, he has requested with immediate effect, no person, under any guidance or disguise, should request the marketers to pay what you call table fees – anyone who is engaged into that, we think that is criminal [and] such a person will be dealt with in accordance with the law – and we hope, if anyone is imagining attempting to do that, you have the opportunity now to refrain from such an attitude,” he said.

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