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Fragmented leadership in Margibi

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Above are photos of members of the Margibi County Leadership beginning from the upper left—Rep. Nuquay, Rep. Fofana, Rep. Kafi, Rep. Zayzay, Rep. Cooper, Sen. Cooper, Sen. Tornola and Supt. Buway Leaders are often stronger together in their duties with a common understanding and love for one another, but division amongst them would mean they will often walk in separate directions, denying their consciences of cordiality as is the current senario in the leadership of Margibi County.

There is no doubt the county’s leadership is completely split as it has been demonstrated by some members in public from time to time.Margibi District Four Representative Ben A. Fofana is on record for publicly and continuously saying the leadership is divided and they are not working in the interest of Margibians, but the chairman of the Margibi Legislative Caucus Representative Emanuel Nuquay clarified that they have tried every effort to get Rep. Fofana onboard to work with them, but to no avail.

It is an open secrect that the county’s caucus is divided into three factions with Rep. Nuquay of District Five heading the largest block, which comprises Rep. Stephen S. Kafi of District Three, Rep. Ballah G. Zayzay of Distrct Two, Rep. Roland O. Cooper of District One and Senator Jim W. Tornola, who lately joined the caucus in 2014 with the support of his block members.

Representative Fofana of District Four is often seen alone and has often claimed that his colleagues of the majority block always have problem with him because he does not dance to their tone, which he says, is not sung in the interest of the people.

Senator Oscar A. Cooper, who became part of the caucus in 2011 with support of the same majority block, has also shown to be walking his own path, and allegedly told a group recently that has carried a letter of invitation to him to attend a unity forum that he is not a part of the other guys, meaning he is a lone soldier.

On the other hand, Superintendent John Z. Buway is often seen convening meetings with the majority block with the absence of Rep. Fofana and Senator Cooper.  Authorities of Margibi do not easily co-exist as they are often heard attacking one another publicly.

Many of the county’s lawmakers are fighting to unseat one another in the 2017 elections with Rep. Nuquay openly saying he would ensure that the Margibi Chairman of the People’s Unification Party or PUP Francis F. Cooper replaces Rep. Fofana of District Four in the impedmign elections.

Fofana too is said to have individuals posted against members of the majority block for 2017 though he has made no public delcaration yet. As for Sen Cooper, he has also pointed at a former aspirant in district four to be his candidate for the 2017 race. Meanwhile, all members of the majority block are strongly behind Nuquay for re-election.

Few years ago, two major issues of development and leadership clearly showed the level of incohesiveness in the county’s leadership. One has to do with the Kakata City Street Road Rehabilitation Project that cost over a million US dollars. During grounds breaking of the project in the main street of Kakata, Rep. Fofana was conspicously absent, but later said on community radio stations there were some missteps in implementing the project, and that Superintendent John Buway, who was told in a meeting with the caucus to spearhead the proceass, did not regard him (Fofana) but the guys from the majority block.

Fofana also threatened lawsuit against Supt. Buway for the way the project was handled, an issue that saw both officials challenging each other in the media. In 2014, the majority block claimed they supported Senator Oscar A Cooper during the 2011 elections with an agreement that he would have joined them to support one candidate in 2014, but on the contrary, the senator supported former RIA Managing Director Edna A. Lloyd against Rev. Jim W. Tornola, who was chosen by the majority block, while Rep. Fofana supported former UL Vice President for Administration Professor Dao Ansu Sonii, who came second to Tornola.

Just recently, two lawmakers of the county seriously engaged words of war at a unity forum organized in the county to reunite the Margibi Legislative Caucus. The forum was organized by a local group under the banner the Liberia United Drivers Incorporated.

The secretary of the group said they have observed members of the caucus were not united or least to say working in the interest of the people of Margibi. But the forum was characterized by bitter exchanges between Representatives Ballah G. Zayzay and Ben A. Fofana, who both disagreed over the purported disunity.

Of the seven lawmakers in the county, only three were represented at the forum though they were all informed. However, Rep. Fofana accused two of his colleagues Nuquay and Zayzay as well as Supt. Buway for being the root cause of the conflict in the leadership, speaking rather in a very angry tone.

He alleged these individuals have planned to marginalize certain portion of the society in the county, but he does not agree with them, something that is bringing the problem. Fofana said he expects Rep. Zayzay, who is the oldest among them to use his wisdom to unite caucus but Zayzay is allegedly supporting the disunity among them.

By Ramsey N. Singbeh, Jr. in Margibi -Editing by Jonathan Browne

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