Mrs. Yei Sokpah-Cooper, a renowned citizen and businesswoman of the township of Kpein in Nimba County, is celebrating a victory, but she still can't believe that only ten Liberian dollars (LD$10) was the difference that made her win over her closest contender, Marthaline Suah, in an intriguing February 20 money contest intended to choose the chairlady of Meinpea-Mah District, situated in electoral District 8.
There were four ladies in the race, each representing a township or clan in the administrative district, which lies along the St. John River.
Wearing the crowns and sashes of their respective clans and townships, the four ladies were escorted by singing groups to be seated before a crowd of waiting dignitaries and citizens who had turned out to support the process.
Moments before the surging crowd starting pouring cash in the women's baskets, the contestants received wild applause as they introduced themselves and revealed their plans to help move the district forward if elected.
A very confident Mrs. Cooper had earlier told the audience she was in the race to win to help with the development initiatives of the district, outlining some specifics of her plan.
At the end of all three rounds agreed upon, Mrs. Cooper received LD58,160 over her closest competitor Madam Marthaline Suah who got LD58,150.
Other contestants were Oretha Y. Ben of Zao Township and Esther Flomo of Meinboyee Clan.
In accordance with the principle under which the contest was held, the losers will return as chairladies of the areas they represented.
The chairlady contest, held in the headquarter town of Bunadin, was part of ceremonies to formally launch the high school and vocational training complex of the government school in the town.
The chief host of the program, Meinpea-Mah District Commissioner Jefferson Saye Gondah, told the audience the high school annex for which the fundraiser was organized will help to accommodate young people graduating from the junior high division of the Bunadin Public School with no opportunity to go out to complete their high school studies.
The skill-training wing, he said, will also provide opportunities for young people yearning for vocational education in the region.
Personalities gracing the occasion included a proxy of Honorable Larry Younquoi, Representative of District 8; Saclepea-Mah Statutory Superintendent Gonkartee Sahn, Saclepea City Mayor Mark Yargian, District Education Officer Hannah Tamba Clark, Mr. Jonathan Paye-Layleh, a senior citizen of Meinpea-Mah District, and an array of chiefs and elders.