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GeneralLiberia news

PYJ insists on demands

–Vows to feature presidential candidate

By Lincoln G. Peters

Liberian ex-warlord Prince Y. Johnson says he will field a presidential candidate through his Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MDR) party to challenge the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC).

The Nimba County Senator supported the presidential bid of Liberian ex-soccer icon George Manneh Weah in 2017 against former Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai.

Weah won the presidential polls at the run-off, and over the past five years, Johnson appeared to have wine and dined with the ruling establishment.

But as Weah’s first six years term gradually ends ahead of a presidential and legislative elections due this October, the long-serving Nimba Senator has been agitating for demands he said the CDC did not meet to maintain his political support.

In a statement he issued late Tuesday evening, 24 January 2023, Senator Johnson alleged that the CDC-led government has over $7.5M United States Dollars for the people of Nimba.

Over the last five years, he alleged, Nimba County officials have been sincerely approaching this government with all diplomatic means to pay their money.

He claimed that they have been diplomatically engaging the government for the money so that they can be able to pay their children’s school fees and undertake major projects that will benefit everyone in the county.

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But Johnson noted that the CDC government has deliberately refused to give what belongs to Nimba and her children.

“This Government has also refused to give top governmental positions we previously discussed and agreed to be given to our sons and daughters of Nimba,” he alleged. 

He claimed that the people of Nimba have been denied top ministerial positions, managing director and ambassadorial positions.

He warned the ruling CDC that the political battle has just begun.

He told his supporters and partisans that they should withdraw their support from the CDC. 

“The political battle has begun. And, on the battlefield, threatening words will come, betrayal will come too and the worst of all … abusive languages will also be heard,” Johnson told his supporters.  

But he also admonished his supporters not to panic about the words that they will hear, and the betrayal that will come.

“Let us continue to believe in ourselves and face the fight for victory,” Senator Johnson urged his partisans.

He said now that he and his supporters have withdrawn their political support from the CDC, they have decided to take one of their sons to contest for the presidency.

“Now that we have withdrawn our support, we have taken one of our sons to contest the presidency, but they are threatening our lives,” Johnson alleged. 

“They are calling us all kinds of names and putting our innocent children against us all because of petty cash that cannot feed them,” he continued.

The Nimba Senator has contested in presidential elections twice while sitting as Senator. But the Nimba senate seat has always been his fallback position each time he lost those elections.

This time when another nine years in the Senate will be expiring in October, it would be a big gamble for Senator Johnson to abandon his re-election bid and stand in a presidential election.

There is no clear sign now that he can beat President Weah or his closest opposition presidential hopefuls.

Johnson and 14 other members of the Liberian Senate who are seeking re-election will have to stand in the October 2023 elections.

He has won two successive nine years senatorial terms in Nimba and has also swept large support across the Nimba in his two unsuccessful presidential bids.

He told his supporters that he is not afraid and will never be carried away by alleged threats from the CDC government because Nimba County deserves better for her children.

He boasted that the government is going about begging them in corners for their support, but at the same time it has people against them on the radio and in public places insulting.

He alleged that those people are now threatening his and his supporters’ lives, even though they still want them to find a common ground.

“Meanwhile, we have heard in the news that Minister Wilfred Bangura and others pledged the MDR Political Party’s support to the CDC re-election come October of this year,” said Johnson.

He said Minister Wilfred Bangura is not the official spokesman for the MDR Political Party, adding that his statement represents himself and those that believed in him, but not the party.

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The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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