By: Emmanuel wise Jipoh
Former Liberian warlord, Senator Prince Yormie Johnson of Nimba County says U.S. sanction has done him no harm while arguing that he has done nothing wrong therefore, the storm of sanctions from the United States of America does not frighten him.
“I’ve done nothing wrong; America knows my record and I am a better off person. That storm intended to implicate me is weak. It cannot move me from here to go anywhere”, the 71-year-old senator says defiantly, adding “You say sanction; America’s sanction is not a storm for me. I’m standing strong,” Senator Johnson tells worshippers at his Christ Chapel of Faith Ministries in Paynesville.
Speaking on the theme: “Walking through the storms of life” with text from Psalms 23:4- 6, the rebel general turned evangelist states that a storm over Liberia has been removed, but Liberians are still beating war drums against one another.
“Now the storm of war has been removed, but Liberians are still looking for trouble; they are still beating war drum, looking for trouble when there’s no trouble.”
He alleges that United States sanctions against him were initiated by those he describes as Americo-Liberians, arguably slamming Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) Political Leader Alexander Cummings, political commentator Henry P. Costa, and Human Rights Activist Cllr. Jerome Verdier, as few of those persons that used America to implicate sanctions against him.
Cllr. Verdier, a former chair of Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission indicted PYJ and other former warlords as people who committed heinous crimes and crimes against humanity, recommending for their prosecution.
The storm of life has been broken, but there are still people, looking for fuss on people whose lives have been delivered and Liberated. They’ll go and they implicate people; I know some American-Liberians who came here, running for President, and wanted our support, but we have taken it and given to who we wanted to give it, so they went and joined some of their gay friends in America to implicate us. I know Cummings, he did that to me; I know Costa and Verdier”, PYJ rages.
He notes that Nimba County has had the worst of storms in Liberia, as there came a time when government viewed the county as enemies of the State.
“They killed Nimbians in numbers when the government referred to Nimbaians as enemies, where bodies of Nimbians were on one side and heads on the other side, and people didn’t want to affiliate with Nimba County. But we did not have the right to our own self-defense,” he recalls, referencing Nimba to the conflict between Israel and Palestine, when Israel had to brave the storm to defend themselves.
PYJ: “Storms can sometimes bring you closer to God, storms can discourage you, dishearten you, but you have to be strong to overcome that storm, Nimba County has faced the hardest storm in Liberia and we have overcome it.”
According to him, though the physical storm that brought Nimba into conflict to defend itself is over, there have been false accusations against the people of Nimba.
The United States sanctioned Senator Johnson in 2021 under the Global Magnitsky Act for his alleged involvement in pay-for-play funding with government ministries and organizations for personal enrichment.
A statement issued by the U.S. Embassy near Monrovia said, “As part of the scheme, upon receiving funding from the government of Liberia, the involved government ministries and organizations launder a portion of the funding for return to the involved participants.”
“Johnson has also offered the sale of votes in multiple Liberian elections in exchange for money,” the statement read.
But PYJ denied and has challenged the United States Government to produce evidence. Editing by Jonathan Browne