Little did Nimba County Senator Prince Y. Johnson and the Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) know that the youths of Nimba precisely Ganta, would have resisted their recent visitation to the northern part of the country.
Governor Jones had been invited as a special guest of Senator Johnson to dedicate a market building in the Liberia Petroleum Refinery Company or LPRC Community in Ganta, under the Nimba County Legislative project.
Senator Johnson had introduced Dr. Joseph Mills Jones of the CBL, as partner in progress during the dedicatory ceremony when some youths stormed the crowd, carrying placards with calls to their Senator not to commercialize Nimba at the expense of the citizens.
They accused Senator Johnson of commercializing the county at his personal gains, while Nimbaianswho made relevant marks in the Liberian political terrain are left in the dustbin.
The Placards toting youths warned Senator Johnson not to politically sell out to Governor Jones or other politicians ahead of the 2017 elections with no regard to them, the elders, traditional leaders and women groups.
According to them, the people of Nimba should be left alone with their independent minds to decide who to vote for in 2017 rather than the senator committing the entire county to a politician.
The youths through their spokesperson Tokpah Gaye, said the people of Nimba have had worse experienced with Sen. Johnson, especially during electioneering period.
Gaye recalled that during the runoff Presidential election in 2011, Sen. Johnson reportedly received money (US$250,000) from President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on behalf of the county, but did not report a dime to the people of Nimba yet still they overwhelmingly elected him for a second term.
On February 1, 2013, Senator Prince Y. Johnson tipped Central Bank Governor Mills Jones as a possible candidate for the Liberian Presidency. “I don’t want to sound political here, but I am a realist, that you being the first Governor of this Republic Central Bank who has sat and put his mind on the plight of the people”, Senator Johnson had told Governor Jones at the time.
He continued: “There is no doubt in my mind that in the not too distant future, if you decide in any way or manner to exercise your democratic franchise or constitutional right; I think the people of Liberia will not think otherwise.”
But Gaye said though the leader of the defunct rebels Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia or INPFL risked life in 1989 to remove the ‘dictator’ Samuel Doe from power, which led many of his kinsmen to enjoy political, socio and economic freedom, things seem to be getting out of hands in respect to the manner in which Sen. Johnson handles the politics of Nimba, especially during elections.
According to him, the young people of the county have received credible information that Governor Jones has promised huge sum of money to Senator Johnson for the impending 2017 Presidential election, and the Senator was considering vying as running mate to Governor Jones on the same ticket for the Presidency.
Governor Jones has not made an official declaration to contest for the Presidency in 2017, but he has been involved in disbursing loans to citizens across the country under an economic empowerment scheme, which many think is being done with political motive.
In response to these claims by the Nimba youths, Senator Johnson said he invited Governor J. Mills Jones to Nimba to discuss a future merger for 2017. Addressing a press conference in Ganta recently, he said it was unfortunate that the State radio ELBC misinformed the people of Liberia about the true nature of the Governor’s visit to the county.
He said the purpose of the press conference was “to let the people of Ganta and Nimba know through your media that the true purpose of Governor Jones’ visit is non-political but economical.”
According to Senator Johnson, Governor Jones’ visit to Nimba was based on economic empowerment initiatives the Governor had implemented few years ago, such as establishing Rural Community Banks in Karnplay and Sanniquellie, among others.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Edited by Jonathan Browne