Nimba Development Initiatives in Limbo

Sources say the Nimba County Legislative Caucus, headed by Senator Prince Y. Johnson (left), is is not willing to work with Supt. Cooper (right) amid the superintendent's reported ambition to contest in the 2020 senatorial election.

…Due to political wranglings

Nimba County Development Initiatives are now in limbo due primarily to political crisis between the County Legislative Caucus and the county administration, headed by Superintendent David Dorr Cooper, a well placed authoritative source has informed the Daily Observer.

The caucus, headed by Senator Prince Y. Johnson, according to our source, is is not willing to work with Supt. Cooper amid the superintendent’s reported ambition to contest in the 2020 senatorial election, leaving the entire development agenda stalled.

Though Senator Johnson has not openly spoken about the reported division, the Daily Observer gathered that he and some of the Caucus members are of the opinion that Supt. Cooper’s alleged senatorial bid would cause the superintendent to divert the county’s money for his own use to gain public relevance as he goes about positioning himself in the political space.

As a result, members of the Caucus are reportedly hesitant to approve any budget to support any of the county’s projects, one member of the Caucus on condition of anonymity confirmed.
It has been almost a year since the Nimba County Council met and approved over US$3 million for developments, but none of the money was released to the county administration until recently, when the central government released US$1.1 million.

Meanwhile, the money is yet to be used for any project implementation, “because there is deep division among some of the locals and members of the Caucus on the one hand, and the office of the Superintendent on the other, to the extent that some of the locals have lost trust in Supt. Cooper’s leadership ability, fearing that he would divert money for development to his senatorial bid,” one source said.

While the confusion is ongoing, Senator Johnson, a staunch supporter of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC)-led government, has recommended names of some prominent Nimbaians to steer the affairs of the county. Suggesting that Supt. Cooper will soon be replaced by any of the recommended names, Sen. Johnson says “it is the only the new administration that will utilize the county development fund.”

Senator Johnson has insinuated that in the county, Supt. Cooper will be replaced, but will eventually get reassignment at the Ministry of Internal Affairs as ‘assistant minister,’ a claimed Supt. Cooper has vehemently denied.

There are quite a few prominent contenders in the pending single senatorial seat, apart from Supt. Cooper.

Among those who have openly expressed their desire to contest the 2020 senatorial election, include the incumbents Senator Thomas Grupee and Representative Jeremiah K. Koung. Others are Taa Wongbe and former superintendent Edith Gongloe Weh.

Among these names, Supt. Cooper is yet to publicly declare his intention, but on social media and local radio stations, he has been classified by his “supporters” as the in-coming senator, though he has declined to make public comment; something many are considering as “act of political trickery.”

As the arguments continue, there are further divisions among the county leadership and some of the citizens, with many pledging support to the designated name of the person to replace Cooper as the new superintendent, while Cooper’s supporters continue to back his leadership as superintendent.

In another development, there are ongoing district football and kickball leagues to recruit players for this year’s county meet, but an argument has ensued about the selection of players for which Supt. Cooper has complained of being left out of league process as head of the county.

Meanwhile, the feeder road condition across the county has become so deplorable due to lack of road building equipment, since the ones owned by the county have developed mechanical faults, something residents are counting against the government as being “incompetent and weak” in managing state resources.

However, failure by members of both the Caucus and local leadership, especially the superintendent, to cooperate, will likely continue to hamper the county’s development agenda for the long haul.


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