By: Nathaniel Success Topkah

Amid the growing political tensions proceeding the December 8, 2020 Special Senatorial Election, a group known as the Youth Election Dialogue (YED), has bent on the conduct of peace talk amongst youths,  political players as well as other stakeholders in a quest to maintain a peaceful electoral process.

Over the weekend, the One Nimba Movement, a Pro-democracy group based in Nimba invited YED to the county in order to interface with those contesting the senatorial race and also those managing the affairs of the process.

More than 150 young people from diverse backgrounds converged at the Wuo Garbee Tarppia Intellectual Hall in the premises of the Peace Empire Hotel in Ganta.

Despite the huge turnout of young people, none of those contesting in the upcoming Senatorial election attended the occasion.

With that, Mr. Alex Divine, Executive Director of Youth For Change Liberia who is also head of the Youth Election Dialogue team expressed his disappointment over the absence of the main players (politicians) from the daylong peace talk.

Mr. Divine described the absence of candidates as a gross disrespect and disservice to the youth of the county.

” The absence of the politicians here today is a disrespect to me…it’s a disrespect to the young people… it’s a disrespect to the people of Nimba, as a matter of fact.” Mr. Divine asserted.

Nimba County has seven candidates vying for the highest seat in the county.

They include the incumbent, Senator Thomas S. Grupee, Madam Edith Gongloe-Weh and Hon. David Dorr Cooper, two ex-superintendents of the county and former Senator Saye Taaryor Adolphus Dolo.

Nimba County District #1 Lawmaker and Co-chair of House’ Committee on Ways, Means and Finance, Rep. Jeremiah K. Koung, former representative of Electoral District #4 Atty. Garrison Doldeh Yealue and Mr. Taa Wongbe are all in the que for the post.

Meanwhile, Mr. James Alexander Nya Jr., who served as one of the panelists at the ceremony was one of those who was vocal over the absence of the political figures.

” I’m highly disappointed in our politicians today. All of those people contesting have youth empowerment in their platforms, but with what I see here today… I think we’ve to research their thoughts on youth empowerment as preached by them.

How can young people invite you and there’s no one candidate to be here in order to interact with the same people whom you claimed to talk about their empowerment? This is a disservice to all of us as future leaders of this county.” the Chief Executive Director of CHESS-Liberia propended.

Despite the absence of the political contestants, the occasion was well graced by other influential personalities who served as panelists for the nearly six hours discussion.

The President of the Liberia National Bar Association, Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe, Mr. Prince P. S. Howard, CEO of the Alvino Hotel Inc. and Vice President of the Liberia Business Association.

Magistrate G. Milton Paye, Magistrate NEC Upper Nimba, Supt. Augustine Ware, Police Commander of Nimba County, Mr. J. Alexander Nya Jr.,  Executive Director CHESS-Liberia and Youth for Change’s Newon Saye Suah, served as respective panelists.

The discussion was centered around the maintenance of Libera’s fragile peace before, during and after the crucial midterm election comes December 8 this year.

At the end of the meeting, the panelists as well as the attendees affixed their respective signatures to the ‘Nimba Peace Accord.’

The signing of the Accord symbolized that they vowed to make sure to uphold peace during and after the election period in the county.