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Balancing Political Privilege in Ethnically Diverse Counties

first_imgOur Nimba Correspondent Ishmael Menkor last Wednesday sent in a story of a Mandingo rally in Ganta, during which they called for greater inclusion of their tribesmen and women in the county’s administration.We find this both a realistic and reasonable plea. It is realistic because they know that although they are quite prominent in the county’s business sector, they are a minority ethnic group in Nimba. It is reasonable because being a group with considerable economic power, it makes sense to bring them into governance because that may cause them to feel that they have a greater stake in the county’s success story—in terms, not only of political, but also socioeconomic and cultural relevancy. All of the educational institutions in Nimba should strive to recruit talented, ambitious and progressive students from all ethnic groups, because their success tomorrow in the economic, political or social arena would bring credit to their respective alma maters.That is why in many countries across the globe, schools and institutions of higher learning are proactive in their enrollment. They don’t just sit there and wait for students to apply. Many of the leading institutions, especially of higher learning, go out and scout for talented senior high students who represent the vast diversity of the societies in which these institutions are resident. They seek out students from all races, religions, ethnicities, etc., who show exceptional athletic or leadership potential, and entice them with scholarships and other amenities (conveniences, facilities). The motive is that if tomorrow a student becomes highly successful in business, politics or any other arena, such as engineering, literature, sports, medicine, or science—whatever—such a student would not forget the schools that helped him or her to succeed. We see this among Liberians in the Diaspora, especially the United States, where the alumni associations of several Liberian high schools meet regularly, raise substantial sums of money in order to lend a helping hand to their alma maters back home.Graduates of the Booker Washington Institute (BWI) took the lead as early as 1991 when they organized the BWI Alumni Association in North America (BWIAANA). Since that time they have contributed substantially to their school in Kakata, Margibi County. During the civil war, it was primarily the BWIAANA that helped keep the doors of BWI open. Right now there is an ambulance somewhere in Minnesota, purchased by the BWIAANA, waiting to be shipped to BWI in Kakata.Alumni of several other institutions, especially Rick’s Institute, St. Patrick’s High/St., Theresa’s Convent and Bravid W. Harris, are very actively supporting their alma maters here at home.That is as it should be in all of the counties of this republic. A wise politician or administrator in any county would do well to reach out to all ethnic groups in the county, bring them in, and make them to see themselves as an important part of the body politic—a group that truly matters and is to be reckoned with in any county decision making.The Gio is Nimba’s dominant ethnic group, followed by the Mano. The Mandingo come third and maybe the Kpelle, fourth, followed by a tribe that is nearly extinct, the Gbi.The Gios are so numerically powerful that the Manos find the Gio numbers matchless when it comes to elections. That is why a few Mano leaders some time ago were considering the idea of two counties, one Gio, one Mano. But that idea was quickly shot down by even some Mano leaders, who thought the county’s influence nationally could be diminished (weakened) by such a move. As we mentioned in a recent editorial, Nimba is gifted with quite a number of entrepreneurs that have made the county the envy of many others in the country. Many visitors have come from Nimba highly impressed with the county’s progress. The Nimba leaders and people can be sure that should they adopt a philosophy and practice of reaching out to all its people, regardless of ethnicity or religion, the county may soon find itself competing more forcefully with Montserrado, not just in terms of population, but industry, commerce, education, culture and even tourism.We hope that Superintendent Fong Zuagele, Senator Prince Johnson and all the other Nimba leaders would endorse the vision of reaching out to all its people, regardless of ethnicity, giving them unfettered opportunities to excel in every possible area. In so doing, Nimbaians would develop into a creative, dynamic, thriving, prosperous people that would be hard to match anywhere in the republic. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

What you need to know before heading to the Air Show this Sunday

first_img• Acts during the show: Canadian Forces Snowbirds, CF-18 Demo Team, Rob Holland, SkyHawks, Hawk One, Northern Aeros, Jimmy Hrymac, The AV8FX Team plus ground displays and more! • There is a Free Shuttle that starts at 11 a.m. Hop on the bus at the North Peace Arena and take the free shuttle ride all the way to the gates and back home after the show!  The shuttle will be available after the show to take you back to the North Peace Arena.  Here are a few things you need to know before heading to the 2009 Fort St. John International Air Show Sunday July 19th.  For all the details on the show visit www.fsjairshow.com• Show is on Sunday, July 19, 2009 – Gates at the Airport open at 11 a.m., with the show to start at 1:30 p.m.  The Snowbirds will end the show at around 4:20pm • Tickets can be purchased at the Visitor Centre, Petron Communications, Quality Inn Northern Grand, or on- line at www.fsjairshow.com. On the day of the show, tickets will be available at the North Peace Arena before people get on the shuttle and at the gates at the Fort St. John Air Show.center_img – Advertisement -• Parking on site – Parking will be available on site, with a cost of $15 per vehicle.• Driving to the Show – If you have a VIP or Residents Pass: Take Swanson Lumber Road off Alaska Highway, once you hit the roundabout, a flag person will direct you.   For Spectator Access: Take 100 Ave to the Airport or 255 Road.  See www.fsjairshow.com for full details!• No Pets allowed on site, no hard sided coolers, no smoking on site. Do bring a camera, lawn chairs/blankets to sit on, bring cash, not all vendors will be setup for plastic, there will be a ATM on site, bring hearing protection for small children and please ensure all trash is put away in designated areas.  Advertisement • Take the Shuttle and WIN! Northern Environmental Action Team wants you to think green and take the bus to the show! They will be giving away two Enviro-Save Powertrain Protection kits for the average car or pick up.  The average fuel savings is 10% and wear rates are reduced by 50% after this one time application. last_img read more

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