Home Governance Appointment ‘Wahala’ Hits Sinoe …As Senator Chea Raises Red Flag Over Nominations

Appointment ‘Wahala’ Hits Sinoe …As Senator Chea Raises Red Flag Over Nominations

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By: Frank P. Martin

MONROVIA: Sinoe County Senator and Chair on Judiciary of the Liberian Senate, Cllr. Augustine Chea, has accused some “elements” in the office of President Joseph Nyuma Boakai of political maneuvering in total disregard for Articles 3, 4, and 5 of the 1986 Constitution of the Republic of Liberia, which calls for “Separation of Power but Coordination.”

Article 3: “Liberia is a unitary sovereign state divided into counties for administrative purposes. The form of government is Republican with three separate coordinate branches: The Legislature, the Executive and Judiciary. Consistent with the principles of separation of powers and checks and balances, no person holding office in one of these branches shall hold office in or exercise any of the powers assigned to either of the other two branches except as otherwise provided in this Constitution; and no person holding office in one of the said branches shall serve on any autonomous public agency.”

Article 4: “The principles contained in this Chapter shall be fundamental in the governance of the Republic and shall serve as guidelines in the formulation of legislative, executive and administrative directives, policy-making and their execution.”

Article 5: “The Republic shall: aim at strengthening the national integration and unity of the people of Liberia, regardless of ethnic, regional or other differences, into one body politic; and the Legislature shall enact laws promoting national unification and the encouragement of all citizens to participate in government; preserve, protect and promote positive Liberian culture, ensuring that traditional values which are compatible with public policy and national progress are adopted and developed as an integral part of the growing needs of the Liberian society; take steps, by appropriate legislation and executive orders, to eliminate sectionalism and tribalism, and such abuses of power as the misuse of government resources, nepotism and all other corrupt practices.”

Speaking via a local radio station in Monrovia over the weekend, the opposition Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) lawmaker indicated that the framers of the 1986 constitution of the Republic were in their right frame of minds to have placed emphasis on the “coordination,” which he said, is an opportunity for key stakeholders within the three branches of Government, including the Legislature, Executive and Judiciary to work together for good governance purposes.

He referenced past governments in Liberia, including the erstwhile administrations of both former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and former President George Manneh that gave ‘Legislative Caucuses’ of the 15 counties of Liberia the leverage to recommend local government officials to the President of Liberia’s Office for considerable and subsequent nomination to positions in Government.

The Sinoe County Senator narrated that President Boakai trended on similar path when he, sometimes ago, met with the Sinoe County Legislative Caucus, whereby an agreement was reached for formation of a local government structure of the county.

But, according to Senator Chea, the discussion backslides when “certain individuals” placed names on the Executive Mansion Website, “outside of our previous discussion” President Boakai held with the Sinoe County Legislative Caucus as it relates to individuals who were to be nominated by the President for local government positions in Sinoe County.

The Sinoe County Senator vowed to remain firmed on the Senate’s decision to halt every activity leading to confirmation hearings of local authorities of county till the “rights things done.”

In April President Boakai nominated Sinoe County Development Officer, Administrative Officer, Finance Officer, City Mayors, Districts and Townships Commissioners and submitted their names to the Liberian Senate for subsequent confirmations.

Among the 163 persons to local positions in Sinoe County, the Senate only confirmed Superintendent Peter Nyenswiah recently.

To date, the status of the nominated local officials from Sinoe remains unclear amidst claims of political maneuvering by some ‘elements’ in the office of the President.

The districts of Sinoe County are: Bodae District, Bokon District, Butaw District, Dugbe River District, Greenville District, Jaedae District, Jaedepo District, Juarzon District, Kpayan District, Kulu Shaw Boe District, Plahn Nyarn District, Pynes Town District, Sanquin District 1, Sanquin District 2, Sanquin District 3, Seekon District and Wedjah District.

The Senate’s action has been greeted with constant protests from individuals believed to Sinoeians, demanding confirmation of their leaders.

Members of the group, under the banner: “Concerned Citizens of Sinoe County” were seen on Capitol Hill, accusing the Senate of undermining President Boakai’s development agenda in the county.

As of the 2022 Census, Sinoe County had a population of 150,358, making it one of the least populous counties in Liberia.

Sinoe has the third-largest area of all Liberia’s counties; it has the second least-dense population after Gbarpolu County. The County was originally a colony in the name Mississippi-in-Africa, under auspices of a chapter of the American Colonization Society as it was created with slaves from Mississippi to Liberia.

There are seventeen districts in the county and it has lower tropical forests which has midsize hills composed of various valleys and water courses. Sapo National Park (180,436 ha (445,870 acres), a National protected area, Sankwehn Proposed Reserve, occupying an area of 80,348 ha (198,540 acres), a National proposed reserve and LTPC Reforestation Project with an area of 154.2 ha (381 acres) are the major plantation areas in the county.

Long settled by indigenous peoples, the county became colonized by more than 300 freed African-American slaves from Prospect Hill Plantation, Mississippi in 1835.

The colony was originally called Mississippi-in-Africa, under auspices of a chapter of the American Colonization Society. Greenville was named after Judge James Green and was established with the freed Black Americans of the society in 1838. Green was instrumental in bringing a group of slaves from the Mississippi Delta to Liberia.

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