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Dillon Clarifies Salary Cut …Supports Dual Citizenship For Liberians, Rejects Abolishing By-Election

By Alex Yomah
Montserrado County’s newest inducted Senator, Abraham Darius Dillon, has vowed to campaign against President George Weah’s proposal that seeks to abolish by-elections.Last week, President Weah organized a two-day retreat with members of the 54th Legislature at the Farmington Hotel in Margibi County with an objective of appealing for the amendment of Article 45 which provides for the filling of vacancies created by deaths, resignation, expulsion through by-elections; among other bills.
Article 45 provides that a vacancy created by death, resignation, expulsion or otherwise, shall be filled by appointment by a dully elected county council within 90 days from the time the notice of vacancy is made known to the County Council by the presiding officer of the Senate or House of Representatives.
Dillon, in his first interaction with legislative reporters on Monday described the said ‘proposition’ as undemocratic and vowed to use his influence to oppose the cancellation of by-elections.
“We were summoned to Farmington Hotel to look at few propositions for consideration in order to amend the Constitution through a referendum. One of the key propositions is to undo the by-elections where vacancies will be filled by County Councils and that is bad economy,” Dillon said.
“We will not punish our constitution for an economic that we are creating on our own hands. If, because the economy is bad and that is what we want to change the constitution and deprive the people of their authorities and power to determine who they want to represent them- let’s fix the economy, and leave the constitution alone on that proposition,” Dillon said.
“I will campaign against it, I will use every weight that we have together to campaign against that proposition because in a democracy in any serious election like ours where citizens elected officials are not working to their dreams and aspirations, this is the only hope the people have to determine who they want to represent them. We will not leave it with the handful of people in a country where the Executive Branch has an overbearing impact on the activities especially in government,” Dillon explained.
Meanwhile, Senator Dillon has clarified that his office will receive salary in full but his office through his Chief of Office Staff of (COS) will establish an extra account to be controlled by his office and leaders that will be decided by the county for the purpose of transparency.
During his induction while declaring his assets, Dillon announced, “During my campaign I announced that we will fight to reduce our salaries. I announce today that considering the current economic situation in Liberia, I, Senator Abraham Darious Dillon, of Montserrado County will only accept a salary of US$5, 000; any amount over this will be deposited in an extra account to go towards the social development of the county.”
“I know we make more than $5,000. I know somehow our budget is little over $10,000 or $15,000. But I will take $5,000 to keep me and my family up and keep my office going and the remaining even if it $15,000, I will take out only $5,000.” he amplified his promise.
“Then we will have meetings the 17 districts to decide who will be the signatories along with my Chief of Office Staff,” the newly inducted senator said.
He said, his COS will be a signatory so as to know when the county or district will be in need of anything relative to a district or the development of the county.
Commenting on the Dual Citizenship proposition, Senator Dillon indicated that, “The proposition on Dual Citizenship needs to be looked at carefully. I hold the view that once a Liberian; is always a Liberian.”
Dillon said he supports the provision in the Dual Citizenship if only it is narrowed down to being only a Liberian citizen by birth.
According to Dillon, most situations faced with the Dual Citizenship is tied to Liberians themselves, stating that “We Liberians are the ones always giving up our citizenship.”
“Once you were born a Liberian, there is no situation that should cause you to lose your citizenship. Once you were born a Liberian you should remain a Liberian,” he asserted.
“We should narrow this Dual Citizenship Bill to only Liberians identified by birth from now and leave this non Liberians thing out,” he indicated.
Dillon also used the occasion to call on Telia Urey to reject President Weah’s dialogue meeting with her and her major contender.
“The President is calling for a Dialogue between Telia Urey and Abu Kamara to sit down with them. I would think Telia should not attend that dialogue meeting until President George Weah retracts the statement made against Telia that as long he is President and his name is George Weah, no Urey will ever be elected in this country,” Dillon reminded government.
“He should retract it. That statement puts the lady’s life in harm’s way with his people; he puts her happiness and safety at danger with his people,” Dillon roared.
“And we will use all our influences that we have so that Telia Urey will also never sit with George Weah until he retracts that statement he made against Ms. Urey,” Dillon averred.
“We condemn the act of violence across Liberia, especially Montserrado County, with specific reference to the electoral violence in District #15. We condemn the act and call on the President of Liberia to begin to exercise leadership over this country. The act in district #15 is totally unacceptable. This one will not go unnoticed or unpunished, the peace will act,” Dillon sounded caveat.
“The people want result- they want to know who responsible and the only person who we can hold responsible and all of these elections violent is President George Weah,”
“The man is divisive; he is bitter; he is petite and he needs to grow. We keep saying that President Weah is not president for CDC or for the satisfaction of few CDCians. Hope he can realize that he is ‘The President’ for all Liberians” Dillon picked bones at President Weah.
Meanwhile, the Liberty Party’s Senator condemned the recent violence action meted against Telia and is calling on President Weah to take the leadership role.
Earlier, the Deputy Presidential Press Secretary, Smith Toby announced that President Weah has instructed his Chief of Office Staff, Nathanial F. Mcgill, to summon Telia Urey and Abu Kamara to resolve the ongoing electoral impasse in District #15.

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