HARBEL, Margibi – With a new president expected to be inaugurated on January 22, several Margibians are jostling to position themselves to be appointed as superintendent of the county.
Outgoing Superintendent John Zubah Buway has already said he has no interest continuing in the post, leaving the playing field wide open.
Buway thanked President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for the opportunity given him to serve the people of Margibi over the years, describing Sirleaf as one of the best presidents in the history of the country.
As Buway prepares to depart from the position, there are already rumors that the Coalition for Democratic Change chairman in the county, Jerry Varney, is setting his eyes on the position.
Varney, who initially chaired Alex Tyler’s Liberia People Democratic Party, was maintained as chairman of the Coalition for Democratic Change in the county after his party merged with the National Patriotic Party and the Congress for Democratic Change.
However, at least one resident of the country, James David, told The Bush Chicken that even though CDC won the presidential election, Varney would not be a good choice for superintendent.
“He is a controversial and [a] hard-to-understand individual,” David said. “He was embattled many time by partisans of the party for mismanaging funds for the operations of the party.”
Another contender for the post is Owandor Dornor, a strong activist and head of the Muslim Community in Kakata.
Hannah Slocum, who unsuccessfully ran to represent Margibi’s fourth district in the National Legislature, is also seen as someone eying the post. Although she has no experience in government, some Margibians believe that the head of the Planned Parenthood Association can provide a responsible leadership as superintendent of the county.
The Bush Chicken has also learned that the current development superintendent, Joshua Robinson, is lobbying to take over from Buway. However, he may not be a popular selection as residents in Low Margibi have often expressed frustration that Robinson’s time as superintendent produced little impact for them.
Tarr Sackie, outgoing county inspector, has emphasized the need for regional balance in the selection of the county superintendent. He added that, in order to keep balance between Lower and Upper Margibi, the next superintendent of the county must come from the lower end.
That message is resonating with residents of Lower Margibi, who believe that it is their time to occupy the superintendent office.
While Liberian laws give the president the power to appoint superintendents and other local government officials, such appointments are very often influenced by lawmakers of the county.