The newly inducted Acting City Mayor of Ganta, Mr. Benjamin Dokpa, has cautioned local residents of Nimba County to stop preaching sectional, tribal, religious and divisive politics.
Speaking during his induction ceremony held in Ganta on the December 26, he said Ganta being a city of residents with diverse backgrounds does not need anyone to make statements that will bring a division among its people.
Recalling challenges being faced in Ganta, which include water and sanitation problems, construction of streets, roads, a modern city hall, cemetery, market building, among others, he said that what is need is overall cooperation of Ganta residents, in order to ensure development of the city.
“It is our ardent hope that we will work together to achieve what we can to develop Ganta,” he said.
Ganta is one of the leading commercial cities in Nimba. But lately there has been an issue of sectional interest, with some residents reportedly wanting to take control of the city.
He stressed that people who have a stake in the development of Ganta City should not be left out of the decisions that will affect them.
“They must have a say in what they want Ganta to be,” he added.
The question of who will become the next city mayor, following the ascendency of the former Acting City Mayor Dorr Cooper to the position of Assistant Superintendent for Development, brought a great deal of argument among the residents.
All of those nominated, including the inducted city mayor, are natives of Ganta, something which is likely to create division among the diverse residents.
For his part, City Mayor Dorr Cooper told his successor to be patient and focused and not to pay attention to the noise in the market.
He, however, called on the citizens to give the new city mayor the necessary cooperation for the development of the city.
Dorr Cooper took over Ganta as City Mayor from Nohn Tensonnoh and has been working since 2009 to bring change to the city.
The opening of several streets in Ganta was one of the few problems faced by his leadership, but which he has been able to surmount (defeat) and bring improvement to the city.
However, the County Superintendent Fong Zuagele who carried performed the induction urged the incoming Mayor to be cognizant of the constitution, knowing that the city mayor falls directly under the Executive Branch and the supervision of the superintendent.
“Be a leader not a ruler so that together you both can face the lapses the City of Ganta faces”, he said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Dokpa is envisioning a robust city council that will make decisions that will affect all communities and neighborhoods and help improve awareness for development.
He observed that some members of the council have stayed too long in their positions and that committee membership is concentrated in one community, and not represented at the level of the council.
“We want to propose the division of the City of Ganta into 9 wards or zones where each member of the 9 zones will be elected and fully represented on the city council”, he concluded.