Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Brief History Of Nimba County, Liberia West Africa

Nimba History
The Flag of Nimba County: - (Valor, Purity and Fidelity reflected in the stripes)
The Flag of Nimba County: - (Valor, Purity and Fidelity reflected in the stripes)
Photo Credit: NDI
Nimba was part of the central province of Liberia which included Bong and Lofa. It became a full-fledged county in 1964 when president William V.S. Tubman changed the provinces into counties.
Nimba became one of the original nine counties of Liberia. Over the years, other sub-divisions have been added making the total of 15 counties. Nimba is located in the North-East Region of the country. The size of Nimba is 4,650 square miles. In his book, Liberia Facing Mount Nimba, Dr. Nya Kwiawon Taryor, Sr. revealed that the name of the county "Nimba", originated from "Nenbaa ton" which means slippery mountain where beautiful young girls slip and fall. Mount Nimba is the highest mountain in Liberia.
Nimba is the second largest county in Liberia in terms of population. Before the civil war in 1989, there were over 313,050 people in the county according to the 1984 census. Montserrado County is the largest county in terms of population.
Nimba is also one of the richest in Liberia. It has the largest deposit of high grade iron ore. Other natural resources found in Nimba are gold, diamonds, timber, etc.
In the late 50's, Nimba's huge iron ore reserve was exploited by LAMCO-the Liberian-American Swedish Mining Company. A considerable portion of Liberia's Gross Domestic Product, GDP, was said to have been generated from revenues from Nimba's iron ore for several years.
The Flag of Nimba County: - (Valor, Purity and Fidelity reflected in the stripes) (insert flag here)
There are negotiations going on for a new contract for the iron ore in Nimba. The new company, Mittal Steel, is set to take over LAMCO,Yekepa. The terms of the contract are still being negotiated. Mittal Steel is investing over a billion dollars in the mines according to reports.
Nimba has now been divided into five districts for administrative purposes. Each new district has its own assistant superintendent.
Sanniquellie Maan District
Gbehlay Geh District
Zoe-Geh District
Saclepea - Mah Chiefdom
Tappeta District

Major Cities:

The major towns/cities of Nimba are: Bahn,Ganta, Karnplay, Mehnla,Saclepea, Sanniquellie,Tappeta, and Zekepa. Ganta, the second largest city in Liberia is also Nimba's commercial and most populous city. Sanniquellie is Nimba's capital city.

Leaders of the County: District Commissioners, (DC's)
Before Nimba became a county, it was governed by District Commissioners. Here is the list of the commissioners that governed Nimba from 1914 to 1964. (Courtesy of Sanniquellie City- Billboard of History):
Hon. Samuel Smith 1914 - 1917
Hon. Boimah Sandimani 1917 - 1918
Hon. A.R. Draper 1918 - 1922
Hon. David Carter 1922 - 1928
Hon. Scott Montgomery 1928 - 1928
Hon. Samuel Gardner 1928 - 1930
Hon. Joseph Watson 1930 - 1931
Hon. J. Reeves 1931 - 1932
Hon. George Dunbar 1932 - 1940
Hon. E. C. Jones 1940 - 1941
Hon. J.K. Padmore 1941 - 1942
Hon. Oscar S. Norman 1942 - 1945
Hon. Stephen S. Togba 1945 - 1948
Hon. J. Marsh 1948 - 1949
Hon. J. S. Milton 1949 -1950
Hon. Daniel T. Bropleh 1950 - 1951
Hon. Samuel T. Voker 1951 - 1952
Hon. Allen H. Williams 1952 - 1960
Hon. Charles H. Williams 1960 - 1964
Nimba's first Superintendent was the late Hon. Gabriel G. Farngalo. Gabriel was one of the first indigenous Liberians to obtain higher education. He was a product of John Hopkins and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Superintendents of Nimba: 1964 - present:
Hon. Gabriel G. Farngalo 1964 - 1968
Hon. Samuel T. Voker 1968 - 1972
Hon. David G. Dwanyen 1972 - 1974
Hon. David M. Toweh 1974 - 1977
Hon. Fulton J. Dunbar 1977 - 1980
Hon. Robert G. Saye 1980 - 1981
Hon. Joseph N. Farngalo 1981 - 1983
Hon. Gondaa Walkie 1983 - 1986
Hon. Stephen Daniels 1986 - 1990
Hon. Jackson J. Paye 1990 - 1990
Hon. Henry B. Barhn 1991 - 1993
Hon. Princeton Monmia 1993 - 1994
Hon. Edward K. Mineh 1994 - 1998
Hon. James D. Zota, Sr. 1998 - 1999
Hon. S.Yarloh Saywon 1999 - 2001
Mme. Rachel M. Yeaney 2001 - 2003
Hon. Harrison Karnwea 2003 - 2006
Hon. Robert Karmen 2006 - 2009
Mme. Edith Gongloe-Weh 2009 - present
Other interesting facts about Nimba County:
There are five major ethnic groups in Nimba: Maan, Daan, Mandingo, Krahn, and Gbii. We also have Bassa and Kpelle along our border towns in the county.
How the Maans and Daans became "Gios and Manos" and "Garpa and Sein Gbein" became "Ganta and Sanniquellie"-
There were no words such as "GIO" or "MANO" until "Maan and Daan" were corrupted by tax collectors of the Kpelle ethnic group in Liberia. Normally, the Maans refer to the Daans as " Geh-mian" so our Kpelle brothers corrupted the word "Geh" to "Gio". They also added an "o" to the word " Maan" and called it "Mano", meaning the Maan people. Gio also means the people of Nimba who speak Daan or Geh-way.
Ganta and Sanniquellie are called Garpa and Sein Gbein respectively. Here again, our Kpelle brothers added "ta" and 'quellie" to make Ganta and Sanniquellie. "Ta' means town and ' Quellie stands for "quater". Sein Gbein started as a quarter named after "Sein". Garpa and Seingbein have since been called "Ganta and Sanniquellie" respectively. Ganta is also referred to sometimes as "Gumpa".

Stay tuned for more updated facts about Nimba.

Source:  Nimba Development Institute, Inc. 

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