By Othello B. Garblah
Nimba County’s current longest-serving Senator Prince Yomie Johnson affectionately called PYJ has gained his voice of late as a bitter man.
The Senator has been hoofing and puffing lately- spewing venoms at President George Weah and his Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) Government, signing off his messages with threats to dump him (President Weah) ahead of the 2023 general and Presidential elections.
PYJ has gone beyond just threats and has become personal as demonstrated in his message to supporters last week in Nimba: “No matter the amount of monies you paid to bring crowd, I tell you this, if you f**k with me, I will dump you!”
Now, the crowd referred to in this passage by PYJ has to do with a planned program organized by Cdcians in Nimba for the re-election of President Weah in 2023. It is claimed that US25K was doled out to the local chapter to organize the program ahead of the President’s visit.
There were reports of crowd being transported from nearby Bong County to add to the momentum.
However, as it turned out President Weah was not in attendance. Rather, Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson Koijee, CDC’s new secretary general represented Mr. Weah.
Why is PYJ so angry with Weah?
PYJ is bitter that President Weah never kept his promise to appoint citizens of Nimba to key positions in government as part of an apparent deal that consummated his 2017 support to the CDC. He considers President Weah a betrayer and wants nothing to do with him unless he complies with his demands.
That is not all. The Senator has also roped in Arcelor Mittal Liberia’s US$7.5 Million Social Development fund. He says the Weah’s administration has failed to remit the money to the three counties-Bong, Bassa and Nimba for the last six years but has chosen to spend money on rallies for his re-election bid.
But there is more
Over the years, politicians desiring to capture state power have considered Nimba, the second most populous country or region, a go-to place. This is where PYJ gains his notoriety as the King Maker.
In both the 2011 and 2017 elections that ushered in Mrs. Sirleaf’s second term and President Weah’s first term respectively, Senator Johnson played crucial roles in making sure his compatriots voted for Mrs. Sirleaf’s UP and Weah’s CDC following his endorsements but not without a commitment in return of the overwhelming support.
In the instant case of President Weah, Sen. Johnson has repeatedly accused the former of not keeping his promises to his people. In one case, he described the appointment of Cllr. Cooper Kruah at the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication is a non-lucrative portfolio. It is nothing to count on while demanding appointment of more Nimbains in lucrative positions in government.
But this is the man Prince Johnson, he says one thing and does another. It is possible that there is more hidden agenda under the new posture of the controversial Senator-conned Evangelist than one could read from his recent public utterances.
There are many conspiracy theories about this. PYJ’s bitterness against the Weah regime started to creep in the public glare following the US sanction Pay for Play.
It is possible that he blamed the CDC for not protecting him. “They threw me under the bus,” he could claim.
This could be analysed in his latest statement against the Weah regime: “No matter how much monies you paid to bring crowd, I tell you this, if you f**k with me, I will dump you!”
Another conspiracy theory suggests that PYJ is broke and he needs money for his upcoming Senatorial Campaign and is therefore using blackmailing tactics against the CDC government to get what he wants. But Weah appears not to be playing along for now.