12 September 2018

Liberia: Senator Yallah Submits Bill to Divide County for the Creation of 'Bong Range County'

Monrovia — It had been all about rumors until Senator Henry Yallah of Bong County Tuesday, September 11, submitted a bill seeking the division of Bong County to the Senate.

Sen. Yallah, in his proposed bill, wants another county created out of Bong County to be named and styled, "Bong Range County."

Bong County is one of the most populated Counties in Liberia. It comes second to Nimba and third to Montserrado Counties, which is the first and most populated in the country at the moment.

Some citizens hailing from Bong County have joined their Senator's wish to divide the county adding that the separation is necessary in order to bring more developments to Lower Bong, an area that has been marginalized.

He cited the major developments in Upper Bong such as Cuttington University, Phebe and C.B. Dunbar Hospitals, the Central Agriculture Research Institute (CARI) and the Bong County Technical College.

Lower Bong, he said, has Bong Mines Hospital and Tumutu Vocational Institute. In addition, Yallah said, the majority of President George Weah's Cabinet members, who are from the county and others at the local government level are people from Lower Bong.

Lower Bong, which has a population of about 89,000 should be developed. The area, he said, has the same population as River-Gee and other counties in the southeast.

Yallah: "My bill is in the interest of everyone. I know that there will be dissenting views on this but I strongly believe when the bill is passed everyone will see the rationale behind it."

As he had initially anticipated, some including members of the county caucus, believe the bill is unnecessary.

Rep. Moima Briggs-Mensah of District six in Lower, Bong County, disagrees with Yallah.

Rep. Briggs-Mensah called for efforts to be made toward improving the lives of people in that part of the county, through the provision of basic services instead of trying to create a new county.

"I think such thinking is divisive rather than reconciliatory," she further said.

Adam Bill Corneh, who Rep. Briggs-Mensah succeeded, supports Yallah's action.

According to former representative Corneh, an autonomous Lower Bong will be beneficial and it will attract more developments initiatives.

The bill, as usual, was sent to the Committee on Judiciary and Internal Affairs.

The Bill

Immediately after the passage of the Act, the areas comprising Yellequelleh, Sanoyea, Salala and Fuamah Districts, five chiefdoms, including Sanoyea, Fuamah Nyaforquelleh Whlapolu, Yellequelleh and (20) clans, Yeanwuah, Dingmah, Bonkomue, Walawum, Kanoyea, Konowolala, Lorla Doublee, Zulu, Nyanforqulleh, Zaweh-komu, Yarwayon, Menququelleh, Zuli, Zeazue, Zaweh-Komu among others.

Also in the draft bill, boundary description of the proposed "Bong Range County" shall constitute all the geographic areas hereto commonly known and referred to as Lower Bong, which comprise 20 clans.

He further stated that the said county shall be entitled to such senators, representatives and other elected officials to be prescribed and determined in common with other counties of the Republic.

"The said officials shall be elected by the people of 'Bong Range County' under the same conditions as shall appertain to other officials of the Republic. 'Bong Range County' and its districts shall have legal rights and capacity to sue and be sued jointly or separately before any court of competent jurisdiction within the Republic of Liberia."

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