Brief Profile of District #8, Nimba County

BACKGROUND


Considering the various metamorphoses which Nimba county has undergone since it refused to be split when the national leadership at the time desperately need it, it is only prudent for those of us who history has placed at the helm of leadership to keep our people abreast of current realities. I have been moved to undertake this for our county, beginning with my " own Jerusalem", because of the incessant desire of our diaspora brothers and sisters to be brought to speed about current unfolding in our county and nation. With time I shall expand this into a series to inculcate other districts and county. We besiege our God, Almighty, for wisdom and agility necessary for the achievement of such feat.

INTRODUCTION


What is today known as Nimba County Political District #8 was referred as Constituency # 4 up to the 1997 Special General and Presidential Elections after the war. It comprised the clans of Gbannah, Lesonnoh, Lao and Zahn. During the 2005 elections, it's constituent parts formed what was Districts 5 & 6 respectively. Gbannah was annexed to what was then District 6, while Lao, Zahn & Lessonnoh were added to Gbehyi and Yarwain Mehnsonnoh to make up what was then District #5. The original clans mentioned above have been elevated to Chiefdom level with each carrying a number of clans and townships.

In 2011, the chemistry of the constituency was restored with little modification. For instance, the four original chiefdoms where brought back together as District #8.
Added to them were four towns from Gbehyi Chiefdom to make up what is today known as district 8. These towns are Gbehyi Duayee, Duanpa, Gborwin and Nyienyee.

THE POLITICAL ANATOMY OF DISTRICT # 8


District 8 is exclusively situated in Saclapea Statutory District. There are three other electoral districts that enjoy similar fate as far as exclusively  falling within a statutory district is concerned. These are districts 1, 2 & 5 which fall in Sanniquellie-man (1 & 2) and Zoe-geh respectively.

A. Leewehpea Administrative District

1. Gbannah Chiefdom
Gbannah comprises two clans; namely Siateh and Seibain. There is one Township called Gipo Township.

2. Lessonnoh Chiefdon
Lessonnoh has two clans; namely Yarpea and Leepea Clans. There is one Township known as Kpallah Tpwnahip.

B. Meinpea-mah Administrative District

1.Lao Chiefdom
Lao Chiefdom has three Clans; namely zephyee, Slapa, and Meinboryee clans ( the all-Kpelleh clan).There are two Townships; namely Kpain & Zao Townships.

2. Zahn Chiefdom
Zahn has two clans; namely Gbotei- yeah and Zahn clans. There is one township, namely Zahnboie Township.

C. Gbehyi ( Lowee Clan)
The towns concerned are Duayee, Duanpa, Gborwin and Nyienyee. There is no Township in Gbehyi/District 8.

HUMAN RESOURCES


The district is endowed with high human resource base. The following suffices at:

NATIONAL LEADERSHIP

The Chief Justice(Justice Francis Saye Korkpor)


An Assistant minister of Health ( Dr. Saye Dahn-Baawo)


A Relieving Circuit Judge (Cllr. James Geliyenneh)


LPMC Managing Director ( Nya Mantein)


Chief Education Officer/ Lofa ( Nya Tuayen, Sr.)


Deputy Directo-General/ National Social Security & Welfare Corporation (Nya Tuayen, Jr.)


Regional Education Director  for Bong, Nimba & Lofa ( George Wuo)


Regional  Electoral Coordinator for Bomi, Gbarpolu, Grang Capemout ( Paye M. Toekpei )


COUNTY LEADERSHIP


The County Superintendent (Fong Zuagele)


The County Inspector ( Reginald Mehn)


Circuit Judge for Nimba ( Cllr. Emery Paye)


County Attorney (Cllr. Hector   Quoigoah)


Assistant Public Defender


Ganta Magistrate ( Cllr. Nya Ben)


President of the Nimba County Community College (Dr. Yar Gonway-Gono)


Four District Education officers (DEOs) assigned outside of the District (including 2 out of the county):

A. Joe Bunadin Kulah (Sinoe)


B. Clifford Konah ( Maryland)


C. Philip Wuozenneh ( Yarwain Mehnsonnoh)

LEGAL ARENA


In addition to the high profile positions being held by citizens of the District in the the Judiciary, the boasts of a number of legal practitioners, including Cllr. Nya Zigbuo, Atty. Wellington Sendolo, Cllr. Eric Cooper, Cllr. Emmanuel Konah, among others.

NGOs/CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATION ARENA


There are a couple of civil society organizations/NGOs in the county headed by some residents of the district. A few suffices below:


1. Executive Officer of Daughters of Nimba, Inc. --- Mrs. Margaret Kehleay-Korkpor


2. General Coordinator of Zao Development Council -- Sam N. Korkpor


3. Executive Director of Crusader for Peace, Inc.--- Julie Ndee


4. Director of Ganta United Methodist Mission Station--Priscilla Legay-jiaiah

 

 

1. Economic Sphere


The Cocopa Rubber Plantation, one of two active investments in the county at the moment, is located in Gbannah Chiefdom ( district 8), with some parts in other adjacent chiefdoms and clans. It has more than 1000 employees, excluding contractors and other casual workers. Though the company is in transition, there is still stability of employment as former employees of the original owner, Liberia Company (LIBCO), are still maintained by the current care-taker  entity, the Nimba Rubber Incorporated.

In addition to the economic activities at Cocopa, residents of the District are heavily involved in farming. Major crops being cultivated in the district include :  rubber, rice, oil palm, cocoa , just to name a few. Besides agriculture, the district is also involved in commercial activities, including     the holding of weekly market in some big towns. For instance, marketeers from all over the county usually converge in Flumpa , Bunadin, Kpain, Duo and Karnwee . Going hand-in-hand with  these commercial activities are various Susu clubs ( financial saving unions) which help to ensure financial viable of members.

The district also has large number of commercial motorbike riders. This provides substantial means of employment for a large segment of the youth of the district.

 


2. Entertainment World


At least two popular musical groups that have made the most impact in the musical world in Liberia originate from the district. For those who are old enough to know of the 1960-1970's, the names " Music Makers" and " Voice of Liberia" would ring bells.

The founder of the Music Makers Band is Papa Jerome who hails from Tunudin, Lao Chiefdom. Having partnered with the likes of Morris Dolly and Jones Dopoe in the 60's and 70's, Papa Jerome organized a group of talented young men and tutored them into full blown  musicians the rocked the Liberian musician world. Up till the eruption of the Liberian civil war in 1989, this band was the chief entertainer and major part of fundraising activities in the county, especially of Nimbaians resident in Montserrado and parts adjacent. It became customary in most parts of 1987-1989 to have Nimbaaians converged at the Monrovia City Hall on every Friday and Saturday night for fund raising purpose for one clan or another from mainland Nimba.

Famous among the musics this group produced which became talk of the town were: " Tuma, Zekay, Gah- leh-yor, , Sor- leh-beein, Gbaay, etc.". Other famous names in the group are Hallowanga, Ben Yeanay, Amos Mensah, Nya Dokpah. To date, only Nya Dokpah is still keeping up the name of this group in the country; he still being one of the prolific singers of our times in the country. The recent Nimba  Unity songs for Nimba and UNICCO in which he partnered with another so nod Nimba is a testimony to this. Hallowanga and  Amos Mensah are now deceased, while the rest are either retired or are in different occupations.

The main brain behind the "Voice of Liberia" band was the late Henry Garteh of Gbahn Town. As a Staffer of LAMCO, he nurtured the talents of his junior brother, James, and the likes of Cooper Quoibiah, Moses Sayetee, and others into what later became the "voice of Liberia" Jazz Band".  As a disciplinarian and an industrialist, he ensured that it was not only enough to be a singer. Though not a singer himself, he encouraged his singers to take onto other professions. This led James, Cooper and Moses becoming drivers/operators of the LAMCO locomotive/train while still entertaining our county. The group's first music that rocked the Liberian musical scene in the early 1980's was " Izakay-blain" sang by James Garteh. The album also had songs like "kili-kili, the original music of the "jungle Worriors" as they were fondly called. They got the name after their town, Gbahn,which can be literally translated as thick bush (jungle).

Another musical hero who made history in the 90's is Levi Quoi, CKA Zenaway, is a son of the late venerable Clan Chief, Quoi Guandolo of Flumpa, Gbannah Chiefdom. He rocked the musical scene in the 90's having returned exile form Ghana. Though still musically active, he no longer uses music as a profession, having graduated from college with major in different field.

Others currently in the music industry for the industry are Peter Dolo of Duo, Zahn Chiefdom and  Julie Ndee of Crusader for Peace, Inc. and Gbannah Chiefdom.