Nimba County’s 5th superintendent under the administration of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was on Saturday, May 13, inducted into office in the provincial city of Sanniquellie.
Mr. David Dorr Cooper’s induction ceremony, which was well attended, was spearheaded by Internal Affairs Minister Dr. Henrique Tokpa, who praised Mr. Cooper for his hard work, starting from his time as Mayor of Ganta and as Nimba County’s Assistant Superintendent for Development.
“You deserved being a superintendent, because your hard works drew everybody’s attention nationwide to you to the extent that some of them want to emulate your good example,” Dr. Tokpa said.
He urged Mr. Cooper not to be selfish and claim everything for himself, and not to use the public office for personal gain – an act Dr. Tokpa said President Sirleaf will not tolerate.
“Let’s hold together as one people to develop our county and don’t allow politics to divide us,” Tokpa advised.
Cooper meanwhile promised that his leadership will foster reconciliation and bring peace to the citizens, which would facilitate speedy development in the county.
“In the absence of peace, there will be no concrete development,” the newly inducted superintendent said. “Put all political differences aside and think about our county.”
Political differences have engulfed the county in the build up to the October elections, with war of words blaring over local radio stations, which has caused divisions among the citizens.
For that, Supt. Cooper cautioned the youth to be constructive in their approach, and not to discuss issues over the radio.
The occasion was attended by some prominent citizens, including members of the 53rd Legislative Caucus of the county, namely: Senator Thomas Grupee, Representatives Larry P. Younquoi, Worlea Saywah Dunah and Matinokay Tingban.
For his part, Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe admonished Mr. Cooper and his corps of officers to listen to their critics, “because those are the people who are interested in what their county’s leadership is doing to improve the citizens’ welfare.”
It may be recalled that President Sirleaf appointed Robert Kamei as superintendent shortly after taking office in 2006. Mr. Kamei was replaced by Edith Weh Gongloe in 2009, who was replaced when she decided to contest for the county’s senatorial seat in 2011.
Madam Gongloe was replaced by Mrs. Christiana Dagadu, whose administration birthed the Concerned Nimbaians Movement that wants to see the full implementation of the Mineral Development Agreement between ArcelorMittal Liberia and the Liberian government.
Dagadu’s tenure was characterized by a violent confrontation between locals and some employees at the Yekepa mine. She was moderate in her approach to addressing issues, until she was dismissed in 2014 and replaced by Mr. Fong Gami Zuagele.
Fong Zuagele’s tenure was considered as a ‘no nonsense’ administration. However, he also suffered a vote of no confidence from the youth, who eventually demonstrated and blocked the railroad connecting Nimba with Grand Bassa County, thereby paralyzing AcelorMittal’s operations.
Meanwhile, there were mixed reactions about the President’s preferment of Dorr Cooper as superintendent of the vote-rich county, with his critics saying he is not educated enough to lead the county, while many believe he is hardworking and wants to see things done to benefit the people.