-Nimbaians Against Division of Nimba Present Petition To Legislature
By Reuben Sei Waylaun
At long last, the fight to hold Nimba as one county or divide it into two or three counties is taking pace as those against the proposed division of the county have come out to officially present their petition to the House of Representatives.
Two groups for Now:
Currently, there are two groups in the division of Nimba County. They are “Equity’’ and “NADON’’ (Nimbaians Against the Division of Nimba).
The intent of those from “Equity’’ is to maintain Nimba County as one county, but to make Nimba a region with three different sections, namely Northern, Central and Lower Nimba.
The “Equity’’ bloc is claiming that Nimba is being cheated when it comes to the distribution of the county development funds around the country because in their words, despite her mammoth population and huge revenue generation for central government, she in return receive minute share.
‘’NADON’’ counter argument is breaking apart Nimba will diminish her strength as a great county, disunity among the people will gradually creep in and the massive development presently going on in the county will ultimately slow down rapidly.
“Those that are calling for Nimba to be split apart are embarking on this journey only for their own mischievous and selfish interests’’, one NADON’ leaders once described the “Equity’’ faction.
Tuesday July 17, 2018 Petition by NADON:
Dressed into their well-printed collar T-Shirts with face caps as their official regalia, the petitioners presented their petition at the grounds of the National Legislature on Tuesday July 17, 2018. They are under the banner “Nimbaians Against the Division of Nimba (NADON).
According to them, their petition seeks to draw the collective attention of the House of Representatives to the proposed division of Nimba County via legislative enactment either now or soon to be under consideration by the honorable men and women of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Liberia.
Nimba was created as a county in 1964 by Legislative Enactment during the administration of the late President Williams V. S. Tubman.
Article 34 (a) of the 1986 Constitution of Liberia says the Legislature shall have the power to create new counties and other political subdivisions and readjust existing county boundaries. However, the petitioners said this constitutional provision fails to clearly outline those contributing factors which constitute a rationale for creating new counties in the Republic of Liberia; thereby leaving such decisions of national proportion in the hands of few individuals to the larger detriment of the nation as a whole.
NADON said it is inadequate and unconstitutional Vetting that supporting signatures for the proposed Bill, to divide Nimba County were gathered from less than five of the nine statutory districts comprising Nimba County; thereby causing disproportionate and unconstitutional representation of the county.
They also said there is no cost benefits analysis, saying “the proposed Bill lacks what is always required for a major life-changing decision: SWOT Analysis, Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats so as to minimize or avoid costly mistakes with unpredictable consequences.
“Regional decision without national input. The division of Nimba County, Liberia’s economic stronghold for decades and breadbasket should be a matter of National Referendum that allows all voting Liberians to think through and vote on a particular proposed Bill that will directly impact their lives into the future,” the petitioner argued in their petition.
They also said those calling for the division of the county are not taking into consideration, national security concerns. This, they said the mineral-rich mount Nimba being Liberia’s national lifeline since the mid-1960s, dividing Nimba county into three counties as proposed would leave Mount Nimba within the territorial confines of the proposed ‘Upper Nimba County’ and nowhere else in the remaining two proposed counties.
“The very real potential for disagreements and perhaps armed internecine conflicts over benefits from natural resources (Mount Nimba Iron Ore) and likely fallout with a ripple effect near and far should provide ample reasons to not divide Nimba County in any form or shape.
“Disregard for national heritage, a united, safe, secure, educated, developed and healthy Nimba County is Liberia’s source of domestic, regional, national, continental and international pristine glory (fame and recognition on the world scene) because Nimba County is the unsung birthplace of the organization of African Unity, now the African Union springboard of the Tubman National Unification Policy of Liberia in 1959. Substantial source of national revenue according to the Liberia Revenue Authority, National resource Mobilization base; owing to the continued mining industry for over 50 years and laboratory for agricultural self-sufficiency (ready for enactment) indeed Liberia’s treasure trove to be preserved, protected, prepared and promoted for national benefit,” the petitioners authenticated their argument.
They reminded the lawmakers that the ‘Pro-Poor government’ warrants guarding against anything, be it an act of commission or omission that would negatively impact maximum positive results intended for the greater good of all Liberians, particularly the disadvantage and marginalized poor people in the rural and urban centers of the country.
“We Nimbaians Against Division of Nimba (NADON) representing the vast majority of the citizens hereby submit this petition to your honorable body requesting your utmost concern relative to any and all unpredictable fallout from the proposed division of the historic Nimba County; praying and hoping that you individually and collectively prevent enactment and signing into law of the proposed Bill to divide Nimba County. We intend to keep Nimba County and our integrated network of families (blood relatives) together.
“We are fully committed to the sustainable development of the whole of Nimba County for the greater good of all Nimbaians and for the larger benefit of the Republic of Liberia. We regard and celebrate peace, unity, tranquility, sustainability and hospitality within Nimba County to be sine qua non, essential and indispensable recipe for a wholesome functioning and sustainable Republic of Liberia within the comity of nations,” they added.
The petitioners are calling on the lawmakers to defend the sacred heritage and uplift Liberia and all Liberians to nobler destiny.
The petition was signed by S. Roland Trobeh, Secretary, Ambassador Daintowon Domah Paybayee, Treasurer or spokesperson, Jesse Gonmiah, Co-Chairman and Aaron Dayee, National Chairman of NADON respectively.
Meanwhile, receiving the petition on behalf of the House of Representatives, Montserrado County electoral district four Representative and chairman of the House’s committee on Claims and Petitions, Rustolyn Suacoco Dennis thanked the petitioners for the democratic manner in which they are proceeding and promised to deliver same to the plenary of the House of Representatives.