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Equitable Political Representation is Key in Grand Kru

Grand Kru County assumed its county status in 1984 with the merger of Sass Town Territory and Kru Coast Territory. With a compromise, Barclayville became the County’s capital.

Currently, there are two districts in Grand Kru, namely District # 1 and District # 2.  District # 1 comprises Sass Town, Buah, Dorbor, Fokpo, Jloh while District # 2 comprises Barclayville, Grand Cess, Picnic Cess, Trent.

The power base of the County is concentrated in District # 2. Two senators of the County (Cletus Wotorson and Blamo Nelson), the Superintendent (Roseline Sneh) and one representative (G. Wesseh Blamo) are from District # 2. Representative G. Wesseh Blamo of District # 2 is also Chairman of Unity Party local leadership. In contrast with District # 1, there’s only one representative, Gbenimah B. Slopadoe.

During the 2005 elections, citizens of the county apparently were not fully aware of the implications of their voting power when they picked two senators from the same District instead of one senator from each district.

The current senators hailing from District # 2 are preoccupied with their districts instead of making concerted efforts to bring development to the entire county. Projects visited by the President recently were all in District # 2 and homes of Superintendent Sneh (Barclayville), Senators Wotorson (Grand Cess) and Nelson (Picnic Cess). Most of the areas in District # 1 are not visited to hear concerns or inform the locals about government’s plans to bring economic empowerment and development to the county.

The Government must, however, be commended for making Grand Kru County’s capital accessible as evidenced in the recent Cabinet Retreat.  This effort by the Government should be extended through the Ministry of Public Works to citizens of District # 1 who are allegedly being blackmailed in subtle ways to support an aspiring candidate in exchange for road rehabilitation.

Poverty reduction is inextricably linked to infrastructural development, especially roads. A major road from Barclayville to Nwronkia extends to most parts of the county that are inaccessible.  Recently, the people of Dorbor Statutory District opened their own road with support from other Grand Kru citizens despite numerous requests to County’s Superintendent Roseline Sneh and the legislative caucus.

It is appropriate at this time to let Central Government know that the people of District # 1 can be served better with a senator and a representative, not the other way around with the current two senators, one representative and the superintendent coming from District # 2.  All citizens of Grand Kru must be conscious of the need for equilibrium in terms of political representation.  There must be a senator and a representative from each district to fully represent all ethnic groups in the county.  In this fashion, concerted effort and opportunity for sustained growth and development are assured.

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The citizens of this great county with so much untapped potential must begin sincere discussions on the geopolitics of the county, particularly ensuring that during the upcoming elections the junior senator comes from District # 1.  In similar efforts, we must ensure no district monopolizes the political representation of the Kru and Grebo people in the National Legislature.  Our emerging democracy we so much cherish must be reflected in the political subdivisions of our country, ensuring that political representation be balanced and truly representative of the local constituents. Maintaining two senators from District # 2 makes a mockery of our emerging democracy and sows a seed of discord and disunity in the county.

Moreover, to alter the current status quo of being the least developed county to one that is thriving, providing jobs, better education, health-care and training opportunity for all citizens of Grand Kru, we must be committed to a transformation that will engender a broad-based, people-focused county leadership.  This is a unique window of opportunity to ensure that all citizens of Grand Kru are fully represented in the Liberian National Legislature in 2012 and beyond.

Finally, as we inch toward and prepare for national elections, let us commit ourselves to a sincere and unanimous decision to call a spade a spade by ensuring that the next junior senator from Grand Kru County hails from District # 1. And if we intend to pursue our aspiration for a modern county, then the bold decision is ours to do away with business-as-usual and do the right thing now in the interest of the county.

A key element underlying our much-desired unity in the county is an equitable political representation of all Kru and Grebo people. It’s just simply wrong to impose a citizen from District # 2, whether Sen. Nelson, Victor Keller or Superintendent Sneh, on the citizens of District # 1. The election of any one of them will perpetuate the deliberate neglect of development projects in District # 1, as evidenced during the recent dedication of development projects in the county. Citizens of District # 1 are not in any way inferior to their brothers and sisters in District # 2. IT’S JUST PLAIN COMMON SENSE!
By J. Forkay Sayon Nagbe
Citizens of Trent, District#2

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