Nimba County Senator, Thomas Grupee, has termed as a complete mess the local governing structure of the country.
Senator Grupee said that the system is a complete mess in terms of structure, constitutional violations and is not clearly differentiating between the council of elders and chiefs.
Senator Grupee, who chairs the Senate committee on Internal Affairs and local government, indicated that Article 56 section B calls for the elections of local chiefs, but according to him, this process has been ignored, something he said is responsible for the mess within the system.
“Our President Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said the educational system is a mess, and I must say here that the governing system in our country is a complete mess. It is a mess in terms of structure because of constitutional violations, and it is not clearly defining the difference between the council of chiefs and elders and our constitutional chiefs,” Senator Grupee noted.
The Nimba County lawmaker asserted since the end of the 14-year civil unrest in the country there has been no election for local chiefs. “But since the war Liberia has had two successive elections leaving the election of local chiefs and elders which is a violation of the constitution.”
Senator Grupee voiced that the tenures of most of current chiefs within various counties have since expired, but they are still serving due to the lack of elections in those counties, noting that they have all ran out of ideas to provide proper leadership for these counties.
The lawmaker argued that some of these chiefs have died, resigned and retired but are still receiving government salaries while those who have replaced them are not on government’s payroll.
He also claimed that there are chiefs who are making very low salaries that cannot take care of their families in the midst of wasteful spending within government. “This situation needs urgent attention.”
Meanwhile, Senator Grupee used the occasion to call on the Ministry of Internal Affairs and all chiefs within the country to work with the legislature to bring hope to the traditional people of Liberia.
By Jackson C. Clay, Jr.