The Superintendent of Grand Bassa County, Madam Etweda Cooper, has been elected and inducted as the chairperson of the Superintendents Council of Liberia.
Superintendent Cooper takes over from former Sinoe County Superintendent, J. Milton Teahjay, whose election to the Senate, about two months ago, created the vacancy.
With the aim of restructuring the council, the 15 Counties’ Superintendents, along with their lieutenants held a retreat in Buchanan on January 30 and 31, during which the new leadership was elected. The restructured Superintendents’ Council brings aboard all county assistant superintendents as full members.
The Council seeks the welfare of its collective constituents and provides a medium to share experiences to enhance not only individual performance but national development goals.
The new leadership was inducted by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Wednesday February 18, in the Gbarnga City Hall, in Bong County. The occasion coincided with the launching of the National De-concentration Platform (NDP).
President Sirleaf told the Superintendents that their induction did not guarantee that they could not be changed if the need arises.
She told them that maintaining their positions will depend on their ability to carry out well their jobs, to maintain the policies and procedures and ensure that the government achieves its development objectives.
As government begins the full decentralization process, Superintendents’ responsibilities will increase considerably and they must be up to the task with a high level of integrity.
President Sirleaf demanded integrity in managing public resources that would be allocated for specific purposes. “We require all Superintendents to manage these resources with efficiency, honesty and a deep sense of responsibility,” she told the Superintendents.
The President urged them to exercise commitment to government’s development agenda and loyalty to the country in everything they do.
She also appealed to them to build strong relationships with the various traditional leaders, development partners and other stakeholders in the communities and share knowledge of activities in their counties.
“We expect that they will work with traditional leaders and with all of those in the society that share in the responsibility of maintaining peace and development; that they will show respect for and work with authorities in the Legislature and the Executive, with whom they have to work and take guidance from them in carrying out their functions effectively,” she stressed.
In her induction remarks, Superintendent Cooper said the Council would continue the vision of the President’s development programs in order to leave behind a responsible legacy.
Superintendent Cooper said it was a challenge for her to assume the helm of the organization at the time that the reform process of national development is taking a new trend.
“The de-concentration platform will require that enormous financial and other logistical support be available to local officials to drive the process into an irreversible course,” she said. Superintendent Cooper further noted, “We will need the support of the Executive and the Legislative as well as the development partners in this process.”
She urged Ministries, Agencies and Corporations (MAC) to see the de-concentration as an historic opportunity for better service delivery to the people of Liberia.
The Grand Bassa Superintendent meanwhile pleaded with all stakeholders not to ignite rivalry for power and control between leaders of MAC on one hand, and superintendents on the other.
Those inducted also included the Superintendent of Lofa County, Mr. George Dunor, vice chair for administration; and the Assistant Superintendent for Development of Grand Cape Mount County, Mrs. Tenneh Kpadebah, vice chair for Operations.
Others are the Assistant Superintendent for Development, Bomi County, Mr. Ernest Gray Davis, secretary-general; Assistant Superintendent for Development, Nimba County, Mrs. Dorr Cooper, financial secretary; Superintendent of Bong County, Ms Selina Polson Mappy, treasurer; Superintendent of Montserrado County, Mrs. Florence Brandy, chaplain; and Superintendent of Sinoe County, Thomas Romeo Quiah, advisor.