Sanity has returned among youths of Ganta in Nimba county, following a serious dispute within the Federation of Liberian Youths over the ownership of the Ganta youth center.
The center, which was mid last year built by the government of Liberia through the Ministry of youths and sports, and subsequently turned over to the youths of Nimba on April 7, 2011, was abandoned in last August due to hectic debates between the Youths of Baingar, a district in which Ganta is located and the Federation of Liberian Youth.
The crisis erupted when the youths of Baingarr District accused the Federation of Liberian Youths of not giving them recognition for the use of the center, thus demanding the immediate evacuation of FLY from the center.
The head of the Baingarr youth group, Paye M.Gbozuah further stressed that since the youth center was constructed in their district, they could not be left out of its usage by FLY, a group that the ministry had appointed to supervise the center in collaboration with other youth groups.
This disagreement sparked war of words and threats between the FLY and the Baingarr Youth, prompting the Ministry county Coordinator Joseph Kollie to suspend activities at the center until a probe into the crisis. Initially, the FLY Nimba county coordinator Eddie Gbatu accused the ministry’s coordinator Mr. Kollie of being behind the attitude of the Baingarr youth.
But during the investigation headed by the Deputy Minister for youth development, Sam Hare, ownership tussle and the issue of respect between the Federation of Liberian Youth and Baingarr Youth were discovered to be the problems.
Deputy Minister Hare informed the young people that the Minister Etmonia David Tarpeh was embarrassed by the conflict over an investment which is geared toward developing the minds of the Youth.
He said the Youth centers built did not belong to a particular or specific group of young people, but the entire youth populace residing in the counties. The ministry of youth and Sports in 2010 was successful in building over ten youth centers in ten counties, including Nimba, Bong Grand Bassa, Bomi and Nimba. The centers were built in the county capitals, except Nimba’s. Minister Hare told youths that the decision to built the center in Ganta should not be seen by the Baingarr youths as a district youth center.
He revealed that the Ministry of youths and Sports has targeted the construction of 58 district youth centers in thirteen counties to enable youths in the remote parts of the counties form part the growing development in recreation and education. According to Minister Hare, the centers are part of the Government’s deliverable to the youths of Liberia.
The peace settlement meeting was attended by Ganta City mayor Dorr Cooper, who described the confusion among the youths as something very embarrassing. Mayor Cooper thanked the Ministry for its intervention and cautioned that youths remained united in their strives to take up leadership in a not too distance future.
He said Ganta and Nimba at large belong to everyone, and as such any development in the county belonged to those residing in the county. The conflict that lasted for four months did not need a full hour to be resolved as parties to the conflict shook hands and agreed to work together for the good of the county, promising that they would never again allow themselves to be apart for any length of time.
In an effort to have the centers sustained, the Ministry of Youth and Sports has planned to setup Youth Center management team that will oversee the activities at the centers. Some of the activities, according to the Ministry, will be the provision of materials to generate funds for self sustainability.