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Confessions of Senator Prince Y. Johnson

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Datelined Monrovia, Liberia, May 23, 2013, the New Dwan reported that “PYJ” (as the Senior Senator from Nimba County is widely called by friends and admirers) “confesses” to a litany of electoral, political transgressions in the Nimba County, senatorial elections of 2011. The Senior Senator, now former Flag Bearer of the political party, National Union for Democratic Progress (NUDP), is quoted as saying that some Nimba County, members of the NUDP, Independents and National, Political Notables/Heavy weights were closely involved in this electoral fraud, including the former chairman of the NEC, the Honorable James Fromayan.

Our commentary/intervention is as much a reflection on past confessions/revelations, the facts of history of our recent past and the prevailing, political shenanigans in our country.

The Commentary

During and after our civil war tragedy, I wrote several articles (including such articles as The Legacy of a Rebel Leader, Gbala on ULIMO Ethnic Feud, etc., in the Democrat) and condemned, consistently, not only the NPFL insurgency, adventure that threatened our nation and people with military dictatorship, but also, that the NPFL insurgency targeted specific ethnic/tribal groups for elimination. In response, the NPFL, its supporters and sympathizers (they were many in high and low places in government, as we were to learn), noting that I am a member of the ethnic/ tribal group (Krahn/Madingo) so targeted who dared to raise the issue, rose in up arms against me, beginning with character assassination and demonization, including plans for my elimination.

Along these lines of approach, as a matter of fact, I was arrested, with 12 others of my Krahn tribal kinsmen, on September 18, 1998, during President Taylor’s infamous, Camp Johnson Road “Surgical Operation” against the “Krahn” people.  We were “tried, convicted” and sentenced to 20 years on the “one-size-fits-all”, politically-motivated and trumped-up charge of Treason. After three, agonizing years at the Monrovia Central Prison, we were released on July 21, 2001, due to political, economic and diplomatic pressures brought on President Taylor by the Liberian people, the UN/International Community and others, led by the United States. We learned later that plans were under way for us to be taken out of the prison compound and executed, under the pretext that we were killed in a shoot-out with security forces during an escape attempt.

Upon release, President Taylor invited me (a friend of ULAA days USA, and former president of ULAA) to the Executive Mansion to apologize; in response, I told the President that there was   no need for an apology, because I harbored no hard feelings; prison, to a committed/dedicated politician, is graduate school is the same as graduate study to a determined student.

Thomas Woewiyu’ Open Letter

Some five years later, while I was in the United States, the Honorable Thomas Jucontee Woewiyu wrote and published an “Open Letter to Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf”, dated August 30, 2005.

In this letter, the former, Grand Bassa County senator, former defense spokesman (Defense Minister), powerful leader/head of the NPFL fighting forces and above all, the No. 2 person (Mr. Charles Taylor being No.1) in the NPFL hierarchy, “confessed” and revealed it all – spine-chilling political intrigues – a tale of meetings, planning, conspiracy, deception, double-cross, assassinations, murders, etc. that reads like a page from  Reflections of A Political Assassin by a retired or reformed CIA, MI5, or KGB international spy operative. The Honorable Thomas Woewiyu is, also, former President of the Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas (ULAA) and member of the ULAA cadre of the late G. Moses Duopu, Charles McArthur Taylor, the late Tambakai Jangaba, Siahyonkron Nyanseor, Bai Gbala and many, many others.

In my commentary on Tom Woewiyu’s “confessions”/Revelations (Little Did We expect, September 20, 2005), I held that “No reasonable Liberian, especially one who suffered and bears the scars of the NPFL atrocities, will regard Mr. Woewiyu’s confessions as a mark of contrition, patriotism and/or courage. For, in his Open Letter, he admits all of the horrendous acts committed against the Liberian people and nation. Moreover, the story of their deadly exploits in the name and under the banner of “freedom fighters”, as told by the Honorable Woewiyu, will eventually come out and catch up with all of them. The fact of Mr. Charles Taylor’s battle with extradition to face the UN-backed Court in Sierra Leone is a case in point”. Indeed, that prediction came to pass with the conviction and long-term, prison sentence handed to Mr. Charles Taylor at the Hague.

I rejoiced from Honorable Woewiyu’s “confessions” because the revelations supported and vindicated me. In that, the “confessions” disclosed the involvement of nationally-distinguished characters that constituted the cast of this deadly, political-power play. According to the Honorable Thomas Woewiyu, the cast included Liberian Political Notables –  with names, dates, places, roles, conditions of involvement, etc., etc.  –  who were the brains behind the NPFL insurgency. Although there were the usual denials of “wrong-doing” and threats of court actions, but nothing of the sort materialized, up to this writing.

The PYJ “Confessions”

Similarly, today, May 2013, the “confessions” of or revelations by the Honorable Prince Y. Johnson, Senior Senator and former Standard Bearer of the NUDP, explodes on the political landscape of the Republic. Of particular concern/interest to and personal, specific vindication of me is that the revelations were and are by one of the major, political party leaders, and that the former chairman of the National Elections Commission, the Honorable James Fromayan was involved in electoral fraud during the 2011, national elections.

Significantly, “as a public servant, observer/commentator on and consistent advocate for reform/transformation of our socio-political order”, I wrote  a searching, information essay on the constitutionally-defined and prescribed powers of our presidents, entitled, “The Power of the Liberian President”, detailed a “listing of the heads or individuals of ministries, agencies of government and state enterprises that are appointed by and serve ‘upon the will and pleasure’ of a president, one person who is answerable to no one, in accordance with the doctrine of our unitary-structured government”.

To capture the essence and critical impact of this power on the individuals so appointed, I gave examples, such as judges, the police and related law enforcement agencies of government, including the National Elections Commission (NEC), a powerful, public policy administrator that referees the acquisition of the nation’s presidency, the most powerful position of the land. On this, I wrote (specifically) that “Indeed, the electoral process is seen by Liberian people as being manipulated and controlled by ruling, political parties. The recent, unusual and un-ceremonial abandonment of his position as chairman of the Nation’s National Elections Commission and the secret, un-announced departure to the United States by the Honorable Fromayan, while in the midst of several allegations of electoral fraud is a case in point.  What happened, and why?”

To this, the Honorable James M. Fromayan, former Chairman of our nation’s NEC, took exceptions and submitted a Rejoinder, an attempted rebuttal/denial, basically, vicious, false and irrelevant allegations.

Today, this day, the PYJ “confessions”/revelations support and vindicate my contentions. The ball is now in the courts of the Honorable James Fromayan and supporters.

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