Very crazy, comical, laughable
-Government rejects PYJ death threat claim
By Lincoln G. Peters
The Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Information has rejected a claim by Nimba County Senator Prince Y. Johnson that it has plans to arrest or assassinate him.
Mr. Johnson, a former warlord turned politician, accused the regime of plotting against his life due to his critical stance against it.
Johnson and his Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction Party (MDR) supported President George Manneh Weah in the 2017 presidential run-off.
Last week, MDR said it had received intelligence from a “highly placed source” of an alleged attempt by the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) government to assassinate Mr. Johnson.
The party held a press conference attended by several of its executives including political leader Senator Jeremiah Koung, former political leader Senator Johnson, and MDR Vice Chairman Mensco Wolloh.
The party called on the international community to investigate the alleged threat on its leader.
Chairman Mensco Wolloh said Senator Johnson is an institutional person, who has been advocating for the people of Nimba and there was no reason why someone should go after him.
“We received intelligence from [a] highly placed source that there is an attempt to assassinate Senate Prince Y. Johnson,” said Chairman Wolloh.
Responding to the allegation via the Voice of America over the weekend, Information Minister Ledgerhood J. Rennie described Mr. Johnson’s assertion as ‘crazy, comical and laughable.’
Mr. Rennie clarified that there are no such plans by the government of President Weah to have the senator arrested, or assassinated.
Rennie argued that Johnson has done nothing against the law of the country to get arrested.
Minister Rennie maintained that the Government of Liberia has no interest in arresting the senator, nor does it seek to assassinate him because he has done nothing against the law.
He also explained that the government has nothing to do with the Senator, adding that there is no warrant of arrest, and there is no investigation ongoing against him.
Rennie wondered why the government will want to arrest the Nimba senator.
“To be coming out to the public and the international media to tell them that the government had planned to arrest him is just crazy,” said Mr. Rennie.
“And to speak that is comical and laughable because there is no reason for anyone to do so,” he noted.
Meanwhile, opposition Unity Party (UP) in a press statement issued late Friday evening, 3 February 2023, said it is deeply troubled and concerned about the alleged threat of assassination made by Mr. Johnson.
The statement under the signature of UP National Secretary General Mr. Amos Tweh urged the Weah-led government to speak clearly to the veracity of this grave allegation.
It urged the government to launch a prompt investigation to ascertain the facts and circumstances that gave rise to such troubling accusation.
According to the UP, in less than nine months to the 10 October 2023 legislative and presidential elections, Liberians cannot afford to witness any reversion of the already deteriorating security situation.
The UP statement called on the United Nations, European Union, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and foreign embassies to make appropriate diplomatic interventions.
The opposition party warned that the allegation from the MDR seems very grave and could undermine the peace and stability of the nation.
“The UP notes that threats on the lives of leaders of the opposition bloc are becoming increasingly concerning as these threats create the stage for electoral violence and voter apathy,” the party warned.
The former ruling party also urged President Weah’s government to heed the challenge of Senator Johnson to publish the turnover note the Unity Part government presented when Weah assumed the helm of the Liberian presidency.