The board members of the Movement of Reconciliation and Reunification of Sinoe Citizens, with headquarters and operations in Sinoe County, in a unanimous and uncompromising voice, have frowned on Senator Mobutu Nyenpan and Superintendent J. Milton Teahjay for one trying to use his tribe against the other for political gain—at the expense of Sinoe Citizens.
The secretary-general of the board of directors, Rev. Joe Theyetee Jarwlea, Founder and executive director of the Movement, told the Daily Observer in an exclusive interview, that the two political leaders have been cited by the Movement; the duo (two) are expected to clarify the claim of each, that the other is sowing enmity (hostility, bad feelings) between the two tribes they represent.
Rev. Jarwlea said the board’s membership cuts across denominations and tribes, and even has Iman Musa Kieta, is its chairman. And because ethnicity should be subordinated to the interest of the collective, some senior citizens of the county are “furious and embarrassed over how far the Senator and the Superintendent have let their political interests take them, it has been observed.
Other members of the board include Jacob Teah, William Slebo, Alice Karmo, Emma Wesseh, Saywon Wah and Joe Domowou.
The two opponents have not been told how soon they will be allowed to state their cases before the Board.
The Movement became concerned following a story in the Daily Observer article that trumpeted “Tribal Tension in Sinoe County.
A reporting team had just returned from Sinoe County, and the consensus (agreement) was that the county was on the brink of a tribal conflict—courtesy of Senator Mobuto and Superintendent Teahjay, who were pointing fingers at one-another and creating tension between the ‘Kru-Section’ and the ‘Sarpo-Section.’
Rev. Jarwlea confirmed the formation and existence of the two sections but argued that they are pre-occupied with promoting unity, development and peace, amongst the tribal groups.
“We have four major groups; each group is organized and has its head; the Kru, the Sarpos, the Grebo and the Americo-Liberian. However, there isn’t tribal tension and we will not allow Senator Nyenpan and Superintendent Teahjay to spoil the peace we are enjoying,” Rev. Jarwlea declared.
“Over the years, we have been championing reconciliation, transparency, accountability, non-violence, unity and peace — and we made headways; but it seems our efforts are been dashed to the ground with this tribal disunity that our two honorable men— Senator Nyenpan and Superintendent Teahjay—have been stirring up”
The Secretary of the Movement said that plans are on the way, for a “county conference,” to foster reconciliation and unity amongst the citizens of Sinoe; that, it was pointed out, does not suggest that there are tribal tension.
It may be recalled that Sinoe Superintendent J. Milton Teahjay, a Kru man, confessed being responsible for the reactivation of the ‘48 Kru Sections,’ but clarified that it was wrongly perceived. He claimed it was intended to foster peace, development, and unity among the Kru tribe.
“Compared to past Superintendents, my office is the epitome of tribal equilibrium, but because of pervasive politicking by Senator Mobutu Nyenpan and Rep. Matthew Zarzar, tribal disunity is hurting the county,” Superintendent Teahjay told our reporter.
A widely reported rumor said Sen. Nyenpan and the late Nelson Wah Bah secretly told the Sarpos in 2005, not to vote for a Kru candidate; that is supposed to have paved the way for Sen. Joseph Nagbe to emerge as Junior Senator. They also argued that prior to the elections of Rep. Zarzar of District #3, who replaced the late Rep. Bah, Rep. Zarzar promised to reconcile the Krus and Sarpos. He failed to do so after getting elected.
Senator Nyenpan, a Sarpo man, refuted the rumor and Superintendent Teahjay’s allegation and labeled him the “virus of the county.”
He told the Daily Observer that prior to the appointment of Superintendent Teahjay, the people of Sinoe were peaceful and united, but the emergence of Teahjay brought disunity among the tribes.
Despite the heating up of the in-fighting between the Sarpos and Krus in 2011, Sinoe County Police Chief Superintendent Lloyd B. Togba said there has not been a major standoff.
“There is no tribal disunity though there are Kru and Sarpo Sections, and we believe they are there for development,” Police Supt. Togba said.
A group of youths, under the umbrella, Concerned Citizens of Sinoe County, admitted to the tribal division in the county, but argued that the Kru section also referred to as ‘48 Kru Section’ and the Sarpo section, called ‘Six Sarpo Section’ were established to promote unity, development, and peace among tribal groups, but interferences by political actors have overshadowed the status quo.
Edward Kanmoh, secretary of Concerned Citizens, and three other members, Nelson Myers, Jlakon Blamoh, and Bill Wleh, said that the seed of tribal disunity was planted by Senator Mobutu Nyenpan, and Representative Matthew Zarzar.
This allegation was denied by Curtis Jackson, Elijah Doe, and Alexander Wah, members of another youth group—Youth United for Development, who accused Superintendent J. Milton Teahjay of igniting and promoting disunity among Sarpos and Krus in the county.
For his part, the president of the Tatweh Youth Group, who is also the head of the Federation of Liberian Youth branch in Greenville, Hilary Quiatoh, also confirmed the division among the two major tribes.
“The Kru and Sarpo Sections depict a division, but we want to suggest peace conferences and meetings for the sake of bringing peace to our people,” Mr. Quiatoh said.