Violence Hangs Over Nimba County Council Sitting

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With less than a week to the prestigious Nimba County Council sitting from 19-21st February in the provincial city of Sanniquellie, there appears to be signs of impending violence from the student community who intend to disrupt the event.

Speaking via community radio in Saclepea on Monday, Nimba Sen. Thomas Grupee disclosed that the university student union under the banner “Federation of Nimba University Students’ Union (FENUSU) is planning to disrupt the occasion, owing to some dissatisfactions.

He said the news of the planned disruption emanated from the decision the caucus reached to allow three students to represent the union as delegates on the council.

Senator Grupee said the county administration reached a decision to consider three students as delegates from the university unions to the council and among the three, two will come from Monrovia while one be a resident in the county.

He disclosed that FENUSU has a leadership crisis where one group is claiming it will oppose and disrupt the event if the other is given the chance to sit on the council.

Senator Grupee, who could not clarify whether the decision to allow three of the students to represent the unions was based on the leadership crisis among the students, urged the students to be law abiding and channel their grievances constructively so they can be addressed.

“We are asking all of our students not to take the law into their own hands by disrupting the occasion, but if they have any grievance, they should channel it to the County Council (which is highest decision making body) for redress,” he said.

The Nimba County Council Sitting is the highest decision making body where decisions on development projects are discussed and their budgets unanimously determined.

In 2013, the council projected over US$2million for development initiatives, including road networks, financial assistance to university students and construction of other infrastructures.

The 2014 council was not held due to some leadership wrangling among the county authorities, including members of the 53rd Legislative Caucus over budgetary issues.

This council is likely to be tough because there is an accumulation of unfinished business that need to be addressed covering almost two years since the last County Council was held, a Nimba citizen told this newspaper.

Among some of the issues that remain cardinal in Nimba includes; the status of Nimba controversial Metal Scrap deal, the status of the PMC Chair Clinton Layweh since his suspension last year, the distribution of students’ financial packages, among others.

Senator Grupee explained that the first day on the sitting on Friday will focus on reconciliatory discussion among county authority and group work before proceeding to the parliamentary part on Saturday and Sunday.

However, Stanley Bain, one of the alleged disputant leaders of FENUSU said his organization is not aware of any plan to disrupt the event as stated by Senator Thomas Grupee.

He said, it was through Senator Grupee’s statement on the radio that he received calls from people in Nimba about the news about the impending disruption.

However, Sen. Grupee reiterated that one of the students, claiming to be the legitimate leader of FUNUSU has allegedly planned to disrupt the occasion, if not selected to the sitting.

Student Stanley Bain expressed concern over the sidelining of Commissioners from being delegates by the Caucus.

Meanwhile, Senator Thomas Grupee has warned the student body to desist from lawless behavior, and address their plights to the Council for redress.

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