By: Nathaniel Success Tokpah (Nimba Correspondent)
A batch of Nimbaians under the banner “Nimba Citizens Initiative” headed by Attorney Lawrence Sua is calling for the immediate dismissal of Youth and Sports Minister, D. Zeogar Wilson, by President George M. George.
The group is presently soliciting signatures from Nimbaians in order to have their call on the agenda for discussion at the upcoming County Council Sitting slated for August.
According to the group’s petition statement, the action is predicated upon what they consider as an “insult rained on the county generally” by Minister Wilson at a joint news conference following the controversial 2019/20 National County Sports Meet final involving Nimba and Grand Kru lately January of this year.
The group also alleged that the Minister referred to Nimbaians as “dirty people” in Sanniquellie during the 2018/19 County Meet when Nimba hosted the official opening ceremony. They have also accused Mr. Wilson of calling Nimbaians rebels during the same year when a percentage of the gate intake collected during the preliminaries in Sanniquellie was not given to him (Min. Wilson).
Mr. Sua, reading the group’s petition statement at a news conference over the weekend in Ganta, said if Min. Wilson is not dismissed, the group will move that Nimba back-off from the County Meet for three consecutive years.
He further announced that over three thousand citizens have affixed their signatures to the document which indicates that the people of Nimba are in full support of the move.
It may be recalled during the previous edition of the County Meet, Nimba abandoned the final of the tournament at the SKD Stadium owing to order from the team’s officials especially the Team Manager, Mr. Musa N. F. Kromah.
Nimba were down by a goal to nil before the first half break, when Rufus Kennedy sent the Kru boys in front by converting a penalty against Emmanuel Topoe into a goal. After returning from the break, with nearly 15 minutes into the second period, a second penalty was awarded to Grand Kru, this time, Emmanuel Paye wash fouled in Nimba’s box by Pascal Harris, who later won the tournament’s best defender award.
Howbeit, because of the controversy attached to the penalty, the Nimba team felt disenchanted and immediately walked out of the field as a sign of protesting Referee Hassan Corneh’s decision.
Nimba County’s action was a violation of Article 19.1 of the regulation guiding the tournament which states that “any county team that behaves rudely on the field of play and brings a match to a halt or disrepute, according to the match official’s report, shall be fined the amount of One Thousand Five Hundred United States Dollars (US$1,500.00).”
In keeping with the rules and regulations, Nimba was fined US$1,500.00 with the head coach, Mr. Mouctarr Fofana, and team manager, Mr. Musa N. F. Kromah handed a two-year ban each from all sporting activities directly or indirectly organized by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, in keeping with Article 16.5 of the same rules.
During the joint press conference held by the Ministries of Internal Affairs and Youth and Sports on January,28,2020, Min. D. Zeogar Wilson, described the action of the Nimba team officials as “hooliganism and incitement.”
However, Grand Kru County were eventually crowned champions for the fifth time, making them the highest carriers of the most followed sporting event in Liberia.