Controversial Nimba County Senator Prince Johnson, says he regrets supporting the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change during the 2017 Representatives and Presidential elections.
The Senate standing committee on Internal Affairs had invited Nimba County Superintendent-designate, Nelson Korquoi for confirmation hearing Tuesday, February 18, when Senator Johnson voiced his disappointment about President George Manneh Weah’s handling of the appointment of local officials without the knowledge of legislative officials.
Speaking in the chambers of the Liberian Senate, he says it was wasteful of his time and resources to have supported the candidacy of Mr. Weah for the presidency because he lacks governance skills, specifically frowning on the manner in which the President nominate citizens from Nimba without consultation with senators from the county, which he describes as unacceptable and total disrespect.
A former rebel leader, Johnson pledged support to the CDC both during the 2005 and 2017 Presidential elections, but laments that the President’s handling of the state of affairs particularly; Nimba County, is disrespectful and unbecoming.
Nimba is the second political subdivision with highest number of registered voters, and Senator Johnson brands himself as political godfather for the county.
He is widely known here as kingmaker, having lending support to the candidacies of both former president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and current President Weah.However, Senator Thomas Grupee of Nimba disagrees with Johnson, saying he’s in the know of the hearing for Korquoi but not through the presidency.
Grupee counters that it is not mandatory that the presidency informs the legislative officials of a county before nominating local officials, instead, the Constitution mandates the President to carry out nominations and the senate shall consent.
He explains the Liberian government has three branches, which are separate but coordinate and function shall be respected accordingly.Grupee says he is baffled with the nomination, but notes the error did not come from the nominee, instead, the higher power, in this case, the President.
Adding his voice to the drama, Maryland County Senator James Gbleobo Brown, who chairs the committee on Internal Affairs, reveals both senators were consulted prior to the confirmation.
He notes that the best and expedient practice in the coordinating spirit of good governance, senators should be consulted before pronouncements on confirmation of nominees are made, assuring that his committee will work along with all nominees from the Executive and the best candidates will be presented to the plenary of the Liberian Senate in due course.
Relations between President Weah and Sen. Johnson have been strained for sometime despite Johnson’s Movement for Democracy and Reconciliation being a member of the President’s ruling Coalition for Democratic Change. By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Editing by Jonathan Browne