LIBERIA: UNICCO’s Leadership Given 2nd Term Without Elections
The United Nimba Citizens’ Council (UNICCO) based in the United States has given its current leadership another two-year mandate without elections.
At 6:30 PM Eastern Time, Sunday, September 13, 2020, UNICCO Board National Chairman, Mr. Nathan Biah, announced that President Dahn Kepayea Dennis and other officers of the current administration will continue for the next two years without elections.
The UNICCO Board Chairman made the announcement that, “the Board, upon going through several weeks of deliberation, decided that President Dahn Dennis and all UNICCO elected officials will continue to serve for the next two years as their second term.” The chairman continued that after this second term, they will not run for the same office in the next election come 2022. “It was not an easy decision to make”, said the chairman. “This decision was made because of the COVID-19 Pandemic that resulted in the organization cancelling our convention in May that was to be held in Columbus, Ohio”, he continued. The chairman said, not only was UNICCO affected, the pandemic has affected all operations in the world.
Mr. Biah went on to say that several factors were considered in the Board reaching the decision, including the Board’s role to make a decision that will result to a smooth operation of the organization. Other factors considered included the fact that the Dennis administration was doing a great job. The Chairman also pointed out that the Board wanted the project already in place, such as the Women Empowerment Project being carried out by the Dennis administration, to continue without disruption should an interim leadership be appointed.
According to the chairman, the Board also considered the fact that there were no potential contestants for the presidency or other positions, including the VP position, Secretary General Position, Treasurer Position, Parliamentarian position and Chaplin position.
The chairman emphasized that because the UNICCO National Constitution was silent on such extraordinary situation like the one they are facing with COVID-19 Pandemic, the Board as the leading body of the organization, had to come up with what would be in the best interest of the organization.
“There is no doubt in any UNICCO member’s mind including the critics, that the Dennis administration is one of the most popular administrations UNICCO ever had as we see it from our office and Board Chairman Nathan Biah’s presentation in making this announcement was flawless,” the Board declared.
After the question and answer section was completed, Chairman Biah thanked all members for being a part of the decision making. He thanked the Dennis administration for accepting the decision to stay on for two more years and Board members for their hard work in reaching the decision.
For his part, UNICCO President, Dahn Kepayea Dennis lauded the Board and its members for having the trust in his administration to carry on the leadership for two more years. He thanked his officers, stressing the need to continue the good work.
Other officials of the leadership include: Elaine Blanton, National Vice President, James Yormie, Secretary General, Yeah Brown Dahn, National Treasure, Minah Carto, National Financial Secretary, Stephen D Paye, Parliamentary, Rev Dr Bleemie Zoewah, National Chaplain, and Ms. Irene Kaba, National Queen. Appointed officers are Mr. Gounquoi Domah, Chairman, Program and Planning Committee, Dr. SPee Vulluleh, Chairman, Educations Committee, Mr James Harris, National Project Director, Mr. Sam Wogbeh, Chairman, Constitution Committee, Mr Willie Doeleh, National Coordinator, Mr Peter Gaye, Ambassador, Mr Patrick Cole, National Advisor, Mr Augustus Lakpor, Ntional Sport Director, Mrs Mary Gweh Wahlo, National Chairlady, Ms. Koko Duarto, Co-National Chairlady, Mr. Vernon Womein, Chairman, Social Service Committee, Dr Sumo Barseh, Chairlady, Health Committee, Ms. Phelecia Yeeban, Representative –Liberia, and Mr. Edmund Gbarwee, PRO-Liberia.
UNICCO is a United States of America based Liberian Ethnic Association made of mostly the inhabitants of Nimba County, one of Liberia’s political sub-divisions. Majority of its people are of the Mah, Daan, Krahn, Mandingo, Gbi and Kpelle Ethnic Groups. They are located in North Central horn of Liberia. Membership in UNICCO is also extended to all members’ spouses, and their children. Some chapters have extended membership rights to “all persons interested in the welfare of Liberia and Liberians” (Chicago Chapter Article III see page 69 in Nya Kwiawon Taryor, A Kee ZI, Constitution and by-Laws of UNICCO National & Local Chapters 1991).
The five principles and objectives of this organization are described in the Constitution. The organization operated sporadically and separately from state to state from 1975 to December 29, 1979 when all the different strands came together in Atlanta, Georgia to form the Nimba County Students’ Association, which later changed into the United Nimba Citizens’ Council. The history of the formative years, first fifteen (15) years of this organization can be found in a book: Liberia Facing Mount Nimba: (A Documentary History of the United Nimba Citizens’ Council) 1991 by Dr. Nya Kwiawon Taryor, Sr.
The five principles and objectives:
1) To create an environment for fostering better understanding among Nimbaians in America, as well as seeking to improve the economic, educational, and political opportunities for the people of Nimba County, Liberia;
2) To create an atmosphere in which to hold intelligent discussion and examine issues relating to our welfare both in the United States and in Nimba County;
3) To encourage and stimulate scholarly achievement among ourselves and to strive for spiritual enlightenment and moral integrity within our country;
4) To associate among ourselves and to provide for those Nimbaians who may be in need of assistance in seeking the purpose for which they have come to America;
5) To provide for an exchange of ideas and philosophies by sharing cultural and social activities with those from other counties and countries.