Presidential contender Prince Yomie Johnson of Nimba County has back-off on Vice President Joseph Boakai’s bid for the 2017 Presidential election.
Senator Johnson, speaking on Truth FM Radio over the weekend in Monrovia, said speculations of him forming alliance with Vice President Joseph Boakai for the 2017 race are far from realities. On August 5, 2015, Senator Johnson publicly declared his support for the Presidential bid of Vice President Boakai ahead of 2017.
Speaking on the State broadcaster or ELBC in Paynesville outside of Monrovia a few weeks ago, Senator Johnson said he preferred Vice President Boakai among the many aspirants for the Presidency in 2017. Johnson, who is in the process of organizing a new political party, said VP Boakai had the requisite qualifications, experience and education to become a productive leader, if given the opportunity at the ballot box.
According to him, he and his supporters would not pledge allegiance to a young, immature and unqualified candidate for the nation’s highest seat. Sen. Johnson also said that he will not and never be second to any presidential candidate come 2017.
The leader of the defunct Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia or INPFL indicated that it would be demotion and embarrassment for him politically to be second to anyone. The Nimba County Senator, who is enjoying his second nine year-term in the Liberian Senate, noted that in his attempt for the Liberian presidency, he came third, suggesting that he’s loved by many Liberians and that by rendering himself second to anyone, the hope of those who believe in him as a political redeemer will be dashed.
“All about me joining anyone for the presidency is far from truth. I came third in the last presidential election and later became king maker. Why will I now pledge to be second to someone? The hopes and aspirations of those that believe in me to change lives will be dashed.
We’re indeed building political consultations with stakeholders because it is clear that not one political party here cane upright in the 2017 election; but that does not suggest that Sen. Johnson is lobbying for second place. Total lies and falsehood,” he claimed. It has been on the front pages of newspapers that Sen. Johnson and Vice President Boakai were in merger talks for a single-front engagement for the 2017.
In September 1990, Johnson’s supporters abducted President Samuel Doe from ECOMOG headquarters in the Monrovia port district, brutally torturing and executing him in Johnson’s custody on September 9, videotaped and broadcast around the world.
The video showed Johnson sipping a Budweiser beer and being fanned by an assistant as his men cut off Doe’s ear. Johnson later denied killing Doe. Ahmadou Kourouma (who depicted Doe’s assassination in his novel Allah is not obliged) also accused Johnson of war crimes in the form of the abduction and torture of several Firestone executives.
Johnson returned to Liberia in March 2004, following the resignation of Taylor as president and installation of a transitional government. He stated that it was his intention to return to politics, though he briefly left Liberia again on 7 April because of death threats he had received from the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) rebel group.
In the 2005 general elections, Johnson contested and won a Senate seat representing Nimba County. For a period, he served as the Chairman of the Senate’s Defense and Security committee. Johnson ran in Liberia’s 2011 presidential election as the candidate of the newly formed National Union for Democratic Progress party. He placed third, with 11.6% of the vote in the election won by the incumbent, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor – Edited by George Barpeen