Link several prominent Nimbaians for ‘secret support’
Former candidates who vied for election in Nimba County District #5 have found themselves into a group strongly opposed to the division of the county as currently being propagated by Representative Samuel Kogar (District #5), who the opposition has described as a self-appointed advocate seeking to divide the county.
According to a press release under the signature of Dr. Kadiker Rex Dahn, secretary general and spokesperson of the anti-Divide Nimba Group (ADNG), Representative Kogar has not delivered on his campaign promises of providing better roads, well-equipped health centers, and functioning schools, but has chosen to propagate the division of the county.
Additionally, Dr. Dahn and the other former candidates in District #5, have said that Rep. Kogar, along with his alleged surrogate supporters, are now aiming to divide Nimba County for their “selfish” political aggrandizement.
The anti-Divide Nimba Group accused other prominent sons and daughter (not named) of the county for secretly canvassing to divide the county.
The release, which was signed by five persons, including Joseph G. Wehyee, Dahn Nyanway, Kadiker Rex Dahn, Railey G. Myers and Joe K. Touah, said the accused persons are bent on disuniting the once united people of Nimba County, “because they claimed that the two senators currently in Parliament are both from the Dan (Gio) ethnic group, and so others feel marginalized, and are therefore sowing the seeds of disunity based on tribal grievances.
Dr. Dahn explained that Kogar and his alleged backers have a collective hatred for Senator Prince Y. Johnson, who they say is wielding enormous political influence and gaining popularity within the county.
Dr. Dahn said that the advocacy of Rep. Kogar against Sen. Johnson is “unfortunate, because Sen. Johnson was responsible for the political development of Rep. Kogar, who was his protégé in the county.
“We wonder why Rep. Kogar and his allies cannot make themselves more relevant to the people of Nimba County and diminish the political influence and popularity of Sen. Johnson, but want to divide a biologically, culturally and intertwined group of people,” the release said.
However, ADNG noted that besides these few dissatisfied individuals (in disguise), majority of the people of Nimba County are also strongly opposed to the county’s division, seeing such a division as a recipe for weakening the political and economic foundations for which the “Fathers of Nimba shed their blood.”
ADNG concluded by calling for dialogue to be held in the presence of the people of the County for resolution that would prevent the proposed division exercise, so that the county can remain “numerically, socially, and politically strong.”
Rep. Kogar recently told a radio audience in the county that he has received a petition from registered voters to introduce a bill to divide the county. “I am not doing this in my own name, but in behalf of Nimbaians who believe in development,” Kogar is said to have told Radio Saclepea and Karn Voice of Peace.
It can recalled that the hotly debated idea to create multiple counties out of Nimba surfaced at the Legislature.
Meanwhile, Rep. Kogar has said that his office has received a petition calling for the division of Nimba. He said the petitioners largely originating from Lower and Central Nimba want to “ensure that development reaches the people much faster.”
Kogar said the petitioners noted that the division of the county is necessary, because of its increasing population growth.
“This petition insists that there should be Lower Nimba County, Central Nimba County, and Upper Nimba County,” he said. “Lower Nimba County will be comprised of Kpablee, Tappita, and Yarwin-Mesonnoh, and as well as Gbi and Doru.”
Kogar added that the petitioners asked that Central Nimba be comprised of Zoegeh Statutory District and Saclepea-Mahn Statutory District, while Gbelay-geh and Sanniquellie-Mahn Statutory Districts would be considered Upper Nimba.
The petition, according to Kogar, believe that in spite of a large land mass and population, Nimba continues to suffer from underdevelopment in terms of road connectivity, infrastructure, and human resources. The petitioners also noted that the people affected the most are those residing in the central and lower parts of the county.
Kogar said though he has received the petition, he will not act upon it until consultations are done with his constituents, but on the contrary, he said the petition to divide the county remains the “constitutional right of the people, as prescribed in Article 17 of the Constitution.”
It states, “All persons, at all times, in an orderly and peaceable manner, shall have the right to assemble and consult upon the common good, to instruct their representatives, to petition the government or other functionaries for the redress of grievances and to associate fully with others or refuse to associate in political parties, trade unions and other organizations.”
“If you read also Article 34 (a) of the Constitution, it also gives power to the representatives to create counties and new boundaries,” he added. “I think the citizens in their own minds were very much objective, and that is why they [gave] me their petition.”
It states, The Legislature shall have the power to to create new counties and other political sub-division, and readjust existing county boundaries..”
Despite the petitioners’ aim of pursuing holistic development, Nimba remains one of the more developed counties. The 2016 Household Income and Expenditure Survey ranked the county as having the fifth highest literacy rate of the 15 counties. Nimba also has the sixth lowest rate of poverty, and is an agricultural powerhouse, being first in the production of rice, the (country’s stable food) and cassava (county’s stable food) respectively.