Politics Impeding Development of Nimba County

BY D. Franklin Doloquee/Nimba

Reports coming in from Nimba County say several development projects that were being undertaken by the county’s administration have come to a standstill, as political bickering amongst officials, especially members of the Legislative Caucus, takes center stage over the general social, economic and infrastructure interest of citizens.   

Renovation or construction works on several projects across the 17 Administrative Districts, including, the Presidential Palace and the Superintendent’s Compound, in Sanniquellie that were being carried out by the office of Superintendent Dorr Davis Cooper, have been stalled due to infightings among county officials.

Furthermore, as a result of the political differences between the county officials, concerns are being raised over the non-functional condition of some twenty-two (22) earthmoving ‘yellow machines,’ purchased from the County Development Fund, by members of the 53rd Legislature, particularly, the County Caucus. Most farm-to-market roads are said to be in very deplorable conditions.

The equipment were brought into the county solely for developing and maintaining a pliable roads networks, including opening of all streets in the six cities in the county, which have all grounded to a halt for more than a year.

The situation is being further compounded by Senator Prince Johnson’s accusation against Superintendent Dorr Cooper, that he (Cooper), is engaging in illegal political campaign activities, ahead of the 2020 mid-term Senatorial Election across Liberia. Sen. Johnson further accuses the Nimba Superintendent of using government vehicles assigned to the county to campaign.

But prior to Senator Johnson’s assertions against the Superintendent, he had publically endorsed Nimba County District #1 Representative, Jeremiah Kpan Koung, as a Senatorial Aspirant on the ticket of his opposition Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MDR), for the 2020 Election.

In a recent live local radio studio appearance, Johnson mandated lawmakers of his MDR to rally support for his unilateral decision to support Rep. Koung, who will be climaxing his two six years terms as Representative of Electoral District #1.

At same time, incumbent Senator, Thomas S. Grupee, has accused Superintendent Cooper of protractedly abandoning his official office in Sanniquellie City, which is the county’s administrative seat, for his ill-fated senatorial campaign adventures, ahead of the 2020 election, using government vehicles assigned to his office.

Grupee himself is seeking re-election to the relatively lucrative and much coveted post.

However, when contacted for comments on the accusations levied against him,  Superintendent Dorr Cooper told our Nimba County Correspondent that since he assumed the office, he has not received any funding from government through the County’s Social Development Fund to enable him to complete the projects.

According to him, some members of the Legislative Caucus, who are regularly expressing interest in contesting for the soon to be declared “vacant Senatoral seat,” are the ones playing political games with the County’s developmental agenda.

The Nimba County superintendent who is referred to in the county as “development king” lamented that central government is yet to remit the US$ 1.5 million owed by Arcelor Mittal, a multi-million dollars British iron ore mining concessionaire, operating in the county.

The Nimba County Superintendent disclosed, government has failed to reimbuse said fund since it was taken from the country development fund more than four years ago.

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