By S. Kannay Ziamo, Nimba County Correspondent
Monrovia, Aug.1 (LINA) – Amid high enthusiasm over the holding of the Nimba County Council Sitting after its last session in 2018, the event has been hit by another snag, this time authorities say it is due to the burial of Montserrado District 9 lawmaker, Munah P. Youngblood, who died in June in the West African nation of Ghana following a protracted illness.
The event was scheduled to be held from August 6-8 in Sanniquillie City, Nimba County after three successive postponements.
With the exception of the latter, the rest of the three have been blamed on lack of funds to host the event and to subsequently implement projects to be earmarked during the sitting, according to authorities of the county.
Nimba County Administration, through the County’s Legislative Caucus, received a cheque of US$1.55 million from world steel mining giant, Arcelor Mittal, as its share of the 80 percent of the company’s required allocation to three counties (Nimba Grand Bassa and Nimba) where it operates.
The news of the disbursement of the money was welcomed by citizens and authorities of the county for which a council sitting was scheduled for July, but later rescheduled for August 6-8 due to unexplained reason.
As it stands, the county has in its coffers a little over US$3 million, according to sources close to the Nimba County local administration.
The council sitting is the highest decision-making body that identifies development projects and allots funding generated from the county development funds given by government as well as social development funds paid by concessionaires operating in the county.
The Council comprises the County Legislative Caucus and local administration. It meets once a year to discuss issues of significance to the progress of the county.
Citizens and officials of the county have been in high gear for the holding of the County Council Sitting beginning on August 6 until the disclosure of the latest postponement was made by County Inspector (CI), B. Mack Gblinwon.
The County Council Sitting, according to CI Gblinwon, is postponed to August 13 due to the scheduled burial of former Rep. Munah Evangeline Pelham Youngblood of Montserrado District 9.
The remains of Representative Youngblood, who died on July 8 in Accra, Ghana, is expected to be removed from the funeral parlours on August 8, and as a way of paying their last respects to their fallen colleague, members of the Nimba Legislative Caucus will form part of the removal, funeral and burial ceremonies.
Therefore, they (the caucus members) asked that the sitting be postponed as it was scheduled to commence the same day of the removal.
This means, the county sitting will now be held from the August 13-15 instead of the previously announced date.
The Nimba County Inspector appealed to citizens who have long waited for the holding of this event to exercise patience, stating: « We can assure our people that this is going to be the last time the sitting will be postponed. »
Gbliwon also assured citizens that during the sitting, previous resolutions derived at will be considered along with the one expected to be derived, adding: « We all know that during the last sitting, our people decided on some priority projects, but we could not implement them due to lack of budget. »
The Nimba CI also challenged delegates of the pending sitting to go to the event with open minds, sincerity, fairness and objectivity as, according to him, whatever they would decide on is what the county administration will use as working tool to drive the county’s development agenda for the next one year.
He asserted that, in time past, delegates at previous sittings have been fair to themselves and those they represent in identifying projects of priority, but rather made decision on sentiments and ego.
This, he stressed, has been responsible for what he termed as “waste of limited resources” in the county.
According to Mr. Gbliwon, delegates in previous sittings have intentionally voted for school and other public facilities to be built in places they (delegates) know very well don’t have the population to utilize those very facilities, thereby leaving them to be used as dwellings for cattle, something he frowned on and said is far from the intended purpose of holding County Council Sitting.