Senator Grupee Says ‘Nimba Cannot be Divided Along Tribal Lines’

BAHN, Nimba – In response to calls to divide Nimba along tribal lines, Sen. Thomas Grupee of Nimba has called the move counterproductive to the unity and developmental goals of the county.

Speaking at a student council induction ceremony in Bahn over the weekend, Grupee was quick to point out that he had “no support” for the division of Nimba.

“To begin with, let me tell you, I am totally against the division of Nimba,” Grupee said. “Especially so, I am against the division of Nimba County on the [basis of] tribal lines. In my observation, traveling the length and breadth of Nimba County – the Gio, the Mano, the Gbi, the Mandingo, the Krahn — we are so intertwined —especially so, the Gio and Mano.”

Grupee said it would be impossible to divide the county because there is not a single line one can draw that would keep all Mano (Mahn) areas separate from the Gio (Dan) areas.

“In the Doe administrative district, we have a Mano Town called Dumpa,” he said. “Dumpa is within the middle of the Gio settlements. You have Kpaytuo on the other side, you have Gray on the other side; you have Zuah Town on the other side and Dumpa is right within there; [so], how do you partition Dumpa—where will Dumpa stay if you divide Nimba County [along] tribal lines?”

Similarly, he said in Upper Nimba, Zorgowee was a Dan settlement surrounded by Mano settlements.

“The biggest question has to do with Mt. Nimba,” he added. “How do we divide this ‘National Cake’ of Nimba County—Mt. Nimba, how do we divide that?”

Grupee joins Nimba’s other senator, Prince Johnson, in opposing the division of the county. Both senators are from the Dan tribe.

Johnson earlier took a stand over the petition to divide Nimba, saying, “Nimba will never be divided.”

Following the December 26, runoff elections, a group of Nimbaians had taken to Facebook, propagating their push for Nimba’s division and at the same time, soliciting support in the process. The group is expected to submit a formal petition to the Liberian Senate in the coming days over Nimba’s division.

According to Grupee, the Senate will give an official statement to the petition, should it surface at the upper house of parliament, as the petitioners planned.

Meanwhile, Grupee has commended Nimbaians for conducting themselves peacefully during and after the October 10 general elections and December 26 runoff election.

“Let me first and foremost thank you, the peace-loving citizens of Nimba County, for your peaceful participation in the just ended elections that produced President George Manneh Weah as president of the Republic of Liberia,” he said. “You discharged your patriotic duties.”

A Unity Party member, Grupee called on Nimbaians to put aside their political differences to support the developmental drive of the new government, now under the leadership of the Coalition for Democratic Change’s George Weah.

Featured photo by Arrington Ballah

A resident of Ganta, Nimba County, Arrington has a background working with credit unions and other organizations dedicated to rural finance.

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