Bong County - Esther Walker, who served as Gbarnga’s City Mayor from 2002-2005, has now been tapped as the next Superintendent of Bong County replacing Selena Polson-Mappy.
On Monday, Esther Walker expressed appreciation to President George Weah for appointing her to the post.
“This is the long waited day God has made for me because I have long wished to serve my people and I have been given the opportunity now,” said Walker, National Chair of the Women’s Wing of the Coalition for Democratic Change.
Walker promised to ensure that social development funds coming to the county under her tenure would be used for its intended purpose.
She also promised to finish incomplete projects she inherited including the pavement of streets in Gbarnga City.
“We have a lot of unfinished projects in the county and under my leadership as superintendent I will make sure that these projects are completed,” she said.
Walker, a 1980 graduate of the Booker Washington Institute in Kakata, came to prominence when former President Charles Taylor appointed her as Gbarnga’s first female mayor.
Before that, she served as aide to Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor, when she served as first lady.
Walker has been a confidante of Howard-Taylor since 2005 when the vice president announced her candidacy for the senatorial seat.
Howard-Taylor acknowledged Walker’s support during an intercessory service held after the CDC won the 2017 runoff elections.
“I want to use this medium to thank Madam Esther Walker for her selfless contributions to my political sojourn since 2005,’’ Howard-Taylor said. She has not only been a friend to me, but a truth worthy person who I can rely on for anything.”
During the event, the vice president promised to ensure that Walker reaps the dividends of her sincerity and her commitment to the struggles in making the CDC wins the presidency.”
Walker’s appointment drew mixed reactions from Bong citizens. Some citizens said the superintendent’s position should not be based on political affiliation, but based on skills and experience. Others say Walker is qualified.
Jerry McGill, a resident of Gbarnga, said Walker learned a lot about the job because of her closeness with the vice president and her experience as mayor.
“Ms. Walker’s tenure as City Mayor of Gbarnga brought a lot of development to the city and I strongly believe that she can bring similar ideology to the position of superintendent,” he said.
Mamai Kiazulo, a marketer at the Gbarnga central market, lauded President Weah for appointing Walker.
Kiazulo said disagreements between previous superintendents and lawmakers of the county stalled a lot of development.
She hopes Walker will develop a smooth relationship with the county caucus.
Joseph Peabody, a Pehn Pehn driver, disagreed with Weah’s appointment.
“I am disappointed by the appointment of Madam Walker,’’ he said. Positions in government should not be given or partisanship, but competence,” he said.