Residents of Montserrado County Electoral District 10 have petitioned Liberian journalist Y. Solomon W. Watkins to dethronincumbent Representative Yekeh Kolubah during the 2023 General and Presidential Elections. Watkins was petitioned over the weekend by residents of the Susan Berry Committee in Congo Town, where he attended the school, currently defunct, bearing the name of the community during which he serves as Student Council President in 2007.
The petition statement was delivered by the Youth Chairman of Susan Berry Community, Emmanuel S. Gobah who praised Mr. Watkins for his immeasurable contributions to residents of Electoral District 10 in Montserrado County.
Reading the petition statement on behalf of the community, the Youth Chairman described Mr. Watkins as a humanitarian and man with great vision to serve Montserrado County Electoral District 10.
According to him, since the establishment of the Watkins Initiative Nation (WIN) in 2014, many youths, persons with disabilities, old folks, women and children across the District have benefited immensely.
He highlighted the followings as contributions of Mr. Watkins through WIN to the people of District 10 – providing 100% tuition free scholarship to adolescent young girls, boys and women in Technical Vocational Skills Training Program with the target of reaching 5,000 persons.
He also provided 100% tuition and registration fee scholarship to over 500 women and girls to acquire knowledge in entrepreneurship (business) program; provided scholarship to deserving students at various universities including AME Zion, University of Liberia, A.M.E.U. and United Methodist University UMU); provided financial aid to underprivileged youths, students, elders, women and persons with disabilities; provided scholarships to students attending Elementary, Junior and Senior High Schools; contributed to the rehabilitation of the Congo Town Back Road in 2018; supported the construction of schools in Gaye Town, Peace Island, Tarr Town, Yeakpee Town and Cabral Estate; supported the construction of town halls in Tarr Town and transformer communities; supported renovation of religious facilities in Gaye Town, God Gift, Peace Island and Transformer Communities; and provided donation for roofing of schools in Gaye Town and Peace Island communities.
Mr. Watkins also provided microloan for women and girls in various communities; provided safe drinking water for the people of Divine Town, Gaye Town, Tarr Town, and God Gift communities; donated zincs to storm victims and increased advocacy for support to communities; donated building materials including blocks to fire victims in communities; donated food and non-food supplements to senior citizens in the township; supported the construction of annexes to churches in RC Lawson, Gaye Town, Peace Island, Tarr Town, Divine Town, etc…; promoted youth capacity building and empowerment program; sponsored inter-community quizzing competitions and provided cash prizes to communities worth 100, 000 Liberian dollars; donated food items to mosques, and rain gears, helmets, jackets and gas to bike riders in the township in 2015.
The Susan Berry Youth Chairman also mentioned the renovation of Mosque in Transformer (Behind Kailondo); sponsored and distributed sanitary pads to 300 women and girls in district 10; sponsored and distributed EBOLA preventive materials to residents of the communities and marketers, including residents of Peace Island Community; sponsored and distributed COVID-19 preventive materials to residents of the various communities and marketers in the District including Peace Island; sponsored and donated pampers to mothers to clinic on Peace Island; sponsored and distributed rain gears including umbrella to in school youths attending David Lombel Memorial Institute (DLMI) and the Peace Island Community School in 2021.
“Hon. Watkins has opened and is operating training centers for men, women, girls’ and boys’ empowerment in Peace Island, Gaye Town and RC Lawson Communities in our township to ensure our people acquire requisite technical vocational skills including Chlorax, Tie soap, bath soap, liquid soap, floor cleaner, and tied and dyed. This program is currently benefiting people in our district on a registration and tuition basis.
“Not only that, Hon. Watkins is also providing 100% tuition fee scholarship to 100s of residents who are acquiring skills in the areas of pastry/catering services, interior decoration/African bean design, tailoring and cosmetology/hairdressing.
“Hon. Watkins is a mind builder which makes him a real development hero because the one who builds minds builds nations,” the Susan Berry Community Youth Chairman averted.
Mr. Goboh intoned that District 10 is currently lacking a good leadership embalmed in Watkins as demonstrated by his good works backed by his educational background and long-term experience while covering the Legislature as Legislative Reporter for the Independent newspaper.
Receiving the petition statement, Mr. Watkins promised that if elected as Representative come 2023, he will provide a viable and inspiring leadership by uniting his people and ensuring the District Development Council comes alive which is not the situation currently. Watkins at the same time vowed to provide vocational jobs in-school youths for the growing number of youths in the District.
According to him, job creation, provision of quality education, affordable health-care, youth, women and empowerment for veterans and old folks will be key on his agenda.
Watkins is a candidate for Public Sector Administration Master degree at the Cuttington Graduate School of Professional Studies.
Not only that, his initial degree in Public Administration with minor emphasis in Education was done at the prestigious African Methodist Episcopal Zion University (AMEZU), on 166 Benson Street. He spent several years in the district while growing up and attending the Susan A. Berry Memorial Institute (SABMI), now defunct, and also, the David Lombel Memorial Institute (DLMI), in the Township of Congo Town (Gaye Town Specifically). He is a Technical Officer at the Secretariat of the Liberia Coordinating Mechanism (LCM) of the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB), and Malaria, after serving in several positions of trust at the LCM.
Previously, he worked in the United Nations Systems as Communications Expert to Joint United Nations Program on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS), where he began communication work as an intern. In the media, he worked as reporter and/or editor for some of the biggest and brightest institutions which include: Insight and Focus Newspapers, The Independent Newspaper, Tribute Newspaper, Liberty Radio, Xinhua News Agency (Chinese News Agency), African Standard News/Magazine, and the New Narratives.
With the vision of transforming people, ideas and institutions, he established WIN for change. WIN was set up as a Liberian owned pro-democracy organization that focuses on creating programs and preparing Africa’s youths to become leaders and agents of change in their various communities.
As part of its roles, WIN has helped and continued to help the fight against illiteracy, poverty and diseases which are birthed from bad governance.
Its primary goal is to produce leaders that can advance advocacy for the life betterment of Liberians and those elsewhere. Meanwhile, the community equally gowned and presented to Mr. Watkins with a symbolic political key for a complete takeover of the district come 2023.