By Joe Bartuah
Reports emanating from Liberia indicate that the campaign of former Nimba County Superintendent, Mrs. Edith Gongloe-Weh is increasingly attracting a coalition of Nimbaians of diverse backgrounds, political persuasions, age groups and multiple interests, who are leaving no stone unturned to ensure that a capable and congenial Senator is elected in the 2014 mid-term elections.
Even though no campaign has been formally launched yet, the Team Edith coalition continues to receive statements of unflinching support and loyalty from various segments of the county. The concurrence among the groups gravitating towards Mrs. Gongloe-Weh is that her 22-month tenure as Superintendent witnessed unprecedented development in the county and as such, they are convinced that when elected to the Liberian Senate during the mid-term elections, she would vigorously collaborate with her legislative colleagues to restore the dignity of Nimba County.
One of such statements, in the form of a petition, was recently presented to Mrs. Gongloe-Weh by a group identifying itself as the Progressive Youth for Development (PYD) during an elaborate ceremony in Karnwee, Leesonnon Clan, Sacleipea-Mah Chiefdom in central Nimba County.
In their statement, the youth, largely from Leesonnon Clan and other surrounding areas, decried the perennial “leadership crisis” in the county, as exemplified by the persistent “disagreements” among lawmakers from the county and noted that following their keen observation of the dismal leadership vacuum in the county, they have no doubt that former Superintendent Gongloe-Weh has “the acumen to deliver the deliverables in the county as far as producing leadership that will seek for the growth and development of its people.”
The PYD further noted that as living witnesses of the pathetic leadership deficiency in the county, they as youth of Nimba, feel obliged “that it is now our duty to turn a new page” by seeking “leadership that can ably and adequately serve the people and put the county second to none in the Republic of Liberia.”
Lamenting that in spite of its abundant endowment with mineral and human resources, coupled with its nearly unsurpassed production of cash and food crops, “Nimba has been dormant on the political landscape of Liberia since the beginning of the post-war political dispensation”, because some political leaders of the county “only think about themselves”, instead of their constituents, the young Nimbaians expressed their conviction that Mrs. Gongloe-Weh has “the required leadership characteristics so needed at this time in the history of our county; to keep the people in peace and keep National government in check through the three cardinal responsibilities of a law maker, which include law making, oversight, and representation.”
Encapsulating some of the progressive achievements of Mrs. Gongloe-Weh, the Nimba youth cited her administration’s completion of over 25 projects, including the construction of bridges, rehabilitation and opening of roads, construction of commissioner compounds, schools and clinics, among others.
Former Superintendent Gongloe-Weh’s reconstruction of the three historic palava huts in which Presidents Kwame Nkrumah, Ahmed Sekou Toure and William V.S. Tubman initiated formation of what is now known as the African Union (formerly OAU) in 1959; the provision of US$130,000 “worth of financial aid to the many needy and struggling students” of Nimba County from the Arcelor Mittal Social Development Funds, double winning (in kickball and football or soccer) of the National County League trophies on two occasions as well as the electrification of Sanniquellie during a successful hosting of Liberia’s 165th independence anniversary were some of the convincing evidence of Mrs. Gongloe-Weh’s public service competence cited by the young Nimbaians for which they prevailed on her to seek the open senatorial seat.
“Realizing the vision you have to transform the leadership of Nimba County into a respectable, responsible and dignified leadership”, the progressive youth insisted that if elected senator, Mrs. Gongloe-Weh has the capacity to swiftly redeem the image of the county, which they observed, has for the past nine consecutive years, been severely tarnished by what they termed as “ill-representations.”
In response, Mrs. Gongloe-Weh said she was immensely humbled by the kind sentiments expressed by the young Nimbaians. She noted that the youth being an epitome of the future of any given society, the PYD petition would serve as an impetus for her to vigorously strive for the restoration of the county’s dignity.