Buutuo, Nimba County – It was a day full of joy and great jubilation on Saturday, April 30 when residents of Buutuo Township and its surrounding towns and villages petitioned Nimba heavyweight Nya D. Twayen, Jr. to contest as Senator in the impending 2023 presidential and legislative elections.
The township is situated in Buu Yao District, Nimba Electoral District #5, the home of current Nimba County Senator Prince Y. Johnson, who will be seeking a third nine-year term comes 2023.
Dressed in their traditional attires, organization and school uniforms and holding pro Twayen’s banners and placards, the residents, including elders, youth, women and students, teachers and health workers gave a rousing welcome to Mr. Twayen and his delegation from the entrance of the township and marched through the town square before reading out their petition in the town hall.
In the statement read by Madam Regina Laqua, the citizens said Mr. Twayen’s election as Senator will bring about a balanced and equitable representation in the national Legislature and genuine peace and reconciliation among the people of Nimba County.
“We, the people of Buutuo Township have hereby resolved to petition Mr. Nya D. Twayen, Jr., a son of Nimba to contest the Senatorial seat of Nimba County in the upcoming 2023 General and Presidential Elections in the Republic of Liberia,” the citizens said in their petitioned read by Madam Laqua.
Mr. Twayen is the founder and president of the Nya D. Twayen Foundation, a fast growing charity organization that is in the vanguard of undertaking several humanitarian initiatives across Nimba County, especially in the health and education sectors.
The citizens said, recognizing the selfless and working ability of their son through his numerous contribution with his foundation, they are of the truest conviction that when elected as Senator, he will advocate for the equal distribution of fund and other resources of the county to free them from abject poverty, illiteracy, disease and hopelessness.
Their decision, they added, is derived from the quest to have a people centered Senator that will not abandon them, but will use his oversight responsibility in joining his colleagues to advocate for quality education, clean and healthy environment and good sportsmanship; as well as economic self-reliance regarding the usage of the county’s social development fund.
Mr. Twayen’s Acceptance
In response, Mr. Twayen thanked the citizens for the confidence reposed in him; saying that he wholeheartedly accepts their petition and promised to work with them to make their dreams and aspirations a reality.
He said, if elected as Senator, he will firstly focus on uniting the county. He said the county, in its current state, is divided; something that is posing a major setback to its progress.
“I, Nya D. Twayen, Jr. say to the great people of Nimba through this historic town of Buutuo that I wholeheartedly accept your petition to run as Senator,” he declared.
“If I am elected as Senator of Nimba, the first and foremost thing that I will focus on will be the unity of the county. Nimba is divided and under my leadership as Senator, there will be no Gio Nimba, there will be no Mano Nimba and no tribal Nimba. There will only be one big and united Nimba County.”
In size, Nimba is currently the largest county in Liberia. And with the population of 462, 026 (according to LISGIS’ 2008 Census), it is the second most populous county next to Montserrado. The county’s population has increased giving that it has been more than a decade since the census was conducted.
There have been split opinions on the division of Nimba County. A segment of the population wants the county to be divided into three – Upper, Central and Lower Nimba. They believe the division will lead to efficient governance and spur development; while others are against the idea. Mr. Twayen, Jr.; joining those against the idea, said the division of the county will not be in the interest of the people.
“Let me say this to those who want to divide the county that I, Nya D. Twayen Jr. say Nimba County will never be divided. We will develop Nimba irrespective of tribes. We will respect you and not abuse you. We will be your servant, not your master.”
Buutuo, which forms the border between Liberia and Ivory Coast in the Northeast is well known for being the gateway to the 14-year Liberian civil war. It was through the town that the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) led by Charles Taylor and others including the county’s current Senator Prince Y. Johnson, entered Liberia on December 24, 1989 and launched an armed rebellion that led to the overthrown of the then President Samuel K. Doe and the deaths of thousands of Liberians.
Mr. Twayen said: “Whether that change was a good change or not, Buutuo stills remain an integral part of our history. Today the 30th of April 2022, you, the people of Nimba County through the people of Buutuo have launched another revolution, a revolution that will not only liberate the people of Nimba County, but the one that will bring development, prosperity and unity among the people of Nimba.”
He said traveling across the county through his foundation has afforded him the opportunity to come face to face with the harsh living condition of his people: the deplorable road condition which has cut off their towns and villages from the market, dilapidated schools, and lack of medical supplies at clinics and hospitals, and no opportunities for the young people.
He said while the national government has an obligation to address these problems confronting the citizens, it is the county through its leadership including the Legislative Caucus and local administrative authorities headed by the County Superintendent that should take the lead in tackling these menaces hands on. He promised to work with his colleagues if elected to make these interventions.
“I am well aware of the sacrifices you make every day to make sure there is school for the sanity of the future, that the clinics are opened to save lives. That’s why you people are my heroes. And I promised you from the bottom of my heart that I will not let you down like those who have been there for years and have nothing to show. It is on your shoulders that I will stand to be elected as senator comes 2023.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Twanyen, who is currently on a county-wide tour, is expected to receive several endorsements on his senatorial bid from the people across the county.
Who is Nya D. Twayen Jr.?
Nya Twayen Jr. is an experienced public servant with 15 years of work experience. He served as director of Youth Service, Ministry of Youth and Sports and was later appointed as Assistant Minister for Youth Service – a position he held before leaving for graduate school abroad. He was appointed Deputy Director General at the National Social Security and Welfare Cooperation (NASSCORP) upon his return from studies; a position he held until his tenure was expired recently.
A son of a veteran educator, Mr. Nya D. Twayen, Sr., Twayen Jr. grew up with his parents in Nimba and schooled at the Ganta United Methodist Mission where he gained a name for himself as a student leader, captaining both the basketball and volleyball teams of the school during his time.
He graduated from the University of Liberia as a valedictorian of the graduating class of 2007 with a GPA of 3.76 (Summa Cum Laude). Twayen holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy and a Post Graduate diploma in Public Administration from one of Australia’s renowned universities.
He’s a Specified Policy Analyst and has a number of prestigious certificates from seminars and schools across the world.
In 2021, he launched the Nya D. Twayen Jr. Foundation, which is dedicated to humanitarian initiatives and creating economic empowerment for residents of the county. Since its establishment, the Foundation has donated essential drugs to various hospitals, clinics as well as donation of copy books to school-going kids across the county.
The Nimba Senatorial hopeful, who had a humble beginning said, through its mission to help less fortunate Nimbians (residents of Nimba), the Foundation will seek to increase access and support in the areas of education, and assist local organizations in providing skills training and mentorship to institutions across the county.