A Sapo County: What is the Point?

first_imgYesterday’s lead headline sounded a disturbing alarm concerning tensions brewing in our nation’s South Eastern region. Two prominent members of the Sapo tribe, a subset of the Kru, voiced the alleged desire of their tribesmen to form their own county. Their rationale: greater self-determination through freedom from the allegedly domineering Kru majority. Speaking jointly, Mr. Romeo Quioh, Superintendent of Sinoe County, and Mr. Mobutu Nyenpan, former Sinoe Senator, pointed to fears among Sapos that the Krus would reclaim a key Senate seat currently occupied by a Sapo, in 2017. The solution: the establishment of a Sapo county, to maintain the tribe’s direct representation in the Legislature. But is the ‘representation’ of Sapos really the point of this proposition? Our nation was founded by black people determined to be free from oppression, underrepresentation, and economic distress. But, then, our forefathers turned right around, excluding and subjugating the indigenous peoples from the promise of freedom that Liberia offered. The result: nearly two decades of conflict. The same people, who kept the country to themselves for so long, ended up losing it and running right back to America, begging for green cards. And all because they saw our economy as a rigid, crusted pastry, instead of an expanding pie that grows exponentially when everyone gets a piece. But, is that really the scenario at play between the Sapos and the Krus? We think not! In our view, the Sapos and Krus need no separate representation because their needs and desires are the same. Every Liberian has a right to representation in government – on the basis of citizenship, geographical placement, and county population size. Not tribal affiliation. Because we cannot all participate in day-to-day governance, we elect officials to stand in our place, set the agenda and appropriate public monies according our priorities. That is where voting comes in – rule by the majority – because a nation where everyone always gets what they want, simply does not exist. Anywhere. So (ideally) we celebrate our wins, accept our losses, and try to work with those in office to implement our development agenda. And what is that agenda? For most Liberians, they are five simple words: agriculture, education, health, energy (God help LEC!), and roads. Simple. Pray tell, is that any different for the Sapos? Are their priorities really that different from ours? Space travel, perhaps? No. The truth is that this great and beloved tribe is just being manipulated by two power hungry politicians!Of course, this is no new tactic. Politicians, the world over, who lack the moral fiber to earn public confidence and votes, instead use fear, xenophobia, racism, sexism and religious prejudice to garner support for their ambition. Therefore, the proposition of a Sapo county must be given no credence. Or else, such action would set a dangerous precedent, allowing Nimba – where similar issues exist between the Gios and Manos – to follow suit. And what about Montserrado? Should it be reserved for the settlers only? And what of the half of Liberia’s population that resides here? If we allow this mad proposition, we would then have to double the number of counties, allocate the majority of our land to the most populous tribes, and then leave a small village to the smaller ones – which would incite them to anger. This would tear our nation right back into shreds – this time literally as well as figuratively. The thing to remember is that the Sapos and the Krus are one family, with one present and one future. And the solution for them is not separation, but unity around a real leader and a realistic agenda. Whether they elect a Kpelleh or a Mandingo representative is immaterial. What really matters is that their candidate actually works in the best interest of Sinoe, bringing human and infrastructural development (not destruction) to that impoverished county.Meanwhile, we would encourage Mr. Quioh, who is in the employ of the Executive Branch, to exercise some professionalism and at least participate more quietly in county politics. You were hired to supervise development in your county, and to manage the just ended Independence festivities. You failed at that, and must be held accountable. To Mr. Nyenpan: admit that you have failed both the Kru and the Sapos who elected you. You both need to rebuild your credibility through service, not manipulation. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Harry Kane brace keeps West Ham in the mire

first_img0Shares0000Tottenham striker Harry Kane (C) scores his second goal past West Ham goalkeeper Joe Hart during the English Premier League match at The London Stadium, in east London on September 9, 2017 © AFP / Ian KINGTONLONDON, United Kingdom, Sep 23 – Harry Kane struck twice as 10-man Tottenham Hotspur survived a late scare to maintain their perfect away record with a 3-2 victory at West Ham United on Saturday.Kane’s double, taking his tally to six in four games, and a third from Christian Eriksen gave Mauricio Pochettino’s side a three-goal lead on the hour before Javier Hernandez started the Hammers fightback. The home side were helped by the 70th-minute dismissal of Serge Aurier for a second yellow card and were given further hope when Cheikhou Kouyate headed home from Arthur Masuaku’s 87th-minute cross.But Spurs held on to claim a third win in three away games, a record that eases the pressure over their continuing problems in their temporary home at Wembley, where they have yet to win in the league.Tottenham manager Pochettino had taken a 49-strong group of players and club staff out for a mid-week meal at a London steak restaurant to strengthen the bond within the squad.His side needed to draw on all of that team spirit to stand firm when it looked as though they might squander the chance to close the gap on the Premier League leaders.West Ham may have been unable to match Tottenham’s progress in recent years, but they have had the edge over their London rivals on home turf.Twice in the last two seasons, a 1-0 home win for West Ham has brought an end to Spurs’ title challenge.For the opening half hour at London Stadium it looked as though the home side would be capable of once again upsetting Pochettino’s men.The warning signs, though, were there for West Ham in the 24th minute when Aurier was sent clear on the right by Moussa Sissoko.His low cross would have brought the opening goal had Kane not mistimed his forward run.– ‘Sacked in the morning’ –While Tottenham were beginning to assert themselves, West Ham were forced into a reshuffle in the 27th minute when Michail Antonio limped off with a groin problem to be replaced by Andy Carroll.Carroll made an entrance he would prefer to forget, giving the ball away near halfway and allowing Eriksen to start the move that led to Kane’s 34th-minute opener.The Denmark international placed the ball into the path of Dele Alli on the right flank and the midfielder whipped in a cross that allowed Kane to send a glancing header past goalkeeper Joe Hart.Four minutes later, Carroll once again conceded possession near halfway.This time it was Jan Vertonghen who picked out Alli’s run into the box and when Hart saved the England midfielder’s initial shot, Kane was on hand to turn in the rebound.It was all too easy for Pochettino’s team, who continued to apply intense pressure after the break.They extended their lead on the hour when Eriksen stroked in the third after Kane had struck the post from a free-kick.The Tottenham supporters began to chant ‘You’re getting sacked in the morning!’ at Slaven Bilic and things could have looked even bleaker for the West Ham manager had Kane not hit the woodwork for a second time.But West Ham were handed a lifeline in the 65th minute when Hernandez headed in a reply after Jose Fonte had flicked on Aaron Cresswell’s corner.Home hopes were further strengthened when Aurier clattered into the back of Carroll to pick up his second caution in six minutes, leaving Spurs with 10 men for the final 20 minutes.Kouyate’s thumping header set things up for a grandstand finish, but Spurs survived a fractious period of stoppage time to complete victory.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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