‘No Liberian is more Liberian than another,’ a Liberian playwright has observed. Dr. Joe Gbaba’s comment comes in the vanguard of what he sees as constitutional and security concerns that have the propensity to prolong hatred amongst various ethnic groupings in the West African nation. Dr. Gbaba said if his concerns are not addressed, the restoration of peace, law and order to Liberia would be hampered.
The Liberian playwright pointed out oversights by officials of Nimba County, Liberia’s Ministries of Planning and Economic Affairs, Internal Affairs, and the United Nations Development Programme or UNDP. He cited the Nimba County Development Agenda website as an area that raises eyebrows.
On the Nimba County Development Agenda website, Dr. Gbaba Sr. asserts that pointing out Manos and Gios as two principal ethnic groups in Nimba County is something he agrees with, but what he doesn’t agree with is the exclusion of other tribes of Nimba County such as the Krahns, Bassas, Krus, Mandingoes and Kpelles.
He also made it clear in his article posted on the Federation of Liberian Mandingo Associations in the USA’s listserv that based on traditional historical facts; it can be argued that the Kpelles, Bassas and Krahns have a major claim to lands in Nimba County. “For instance, the word “Ganta” is not a Mano or Gio word; instead, it is Kpelle. This shows traditionally that the landscape also called “Gompa” by the Manos was a traditionally shared territory between the Kpelles and the Manos. To prove this point, Nimba County borders Bong County at the St. John River and the residents of that border region speak both Kpelle and Mano languages on both the Bong and Nimba sides. The Kulahs are an example of a combination of Mano and Kpelle descendants from that region.” He added.
Based on what Dr. Gbaba has said, what is your view? Do you honestly think Nimba County belongs to a single tribal group, if yes why and if no, why not? Does the Government of Liberia have the right to edit content of our websites? How can Liberians work together in the best interest of nation building? Post your views, comments and analysis below.