What could degenerate into a serious tribal feud is gradually creeping in Nimba County, Liberia’s second most populated county of 462,020 inhabitants (2008 Population and Housing Census) with two prominent officials of the political subdivision seems to be at loggerheads over tribal politics.
The word of war is building up between Senator Prince Yormie Johnson and County Superintendent David Dorr Cooper over which tribes wield political dominance in Nimba.
Senator Johnson, a very controversial but influential leader of the county, says members of the Gio and Mano tribes own Nimba.But Superintendent Cooper disagrees, rallying the support and involvement of all five tribes in the votes-rich county to join his administration for development.
Speaking on a community radio station sometime ago in Nimba, Senator Johnson declared, “Like me tell you today, only the Mano and the Gio ethnic tribes are recognized in this county.”
He referred to the other tribes there as visitors, to the disgust of citizens with swift response from Superintendent Cooper.“My brother, like me tell you today; the development that is going on in the county is not only the two tribes that are involved, but the rest of the tribes”, replies the County Superintendent.
Nimba County with nine electoral districts, has five main ethnic groups, including Mano, Gio, Krahn, Mandingo and Gbei, respectively.Senator Johnson made the claim in the presence of Superintendent Dorr Cooper when both officials had gone to attend ground breaking ceremony for Radio Sehletolwa FM101.1, a community radio station in Ganta City.
Several citizens, who spoke with our Nimba County Correspondent, totally condemned PYJ’s utterance, describing it as not only divisive, but non-productive.According to them, the statement coming from the senator has a potential to create problem among the county’s population.
Our Nimba County Correspondent says Senator Johnson’s comment has caused citizens from Gbi-Dru to say they would boycott a major County Sitting set for Thursday, July 19, 2018 in Nimba.
By Thomas Domah/Nimba— Editing by Jonathan Browne