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–PYJ tells colleagues

Nimba County Senator Prince Y. Johnson, leader of the disbanded rebels Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia (INPFL) has asked his colleague senators to elect him to the senate committee on defense, security and intelligence as chair.

He blames the committee for failure to summon the national security apparatus of the state over the disappearances of two boys and four suspicious deaths in the country last year.

Speaking during senate session Thursday, January 14, 2021 at the Capitol in Monrovia Senator Johnson specifically noted that the committee on national defense, intelligence and security did not act when Liberia Revenue Authority staff Gifty Lama and Albert Peters mysteriously died and their bodies were found in a parked car on Broad Street, the heart of Monrovia.

“Those were two married people and if they wanted to cheat on their partners, they would have found a hotel and motel and gone there to cheat but not in an open place right on the street. If I were the chair for that committee, the security apparatus wouldn’t have gone free on this”, he says and adds, “I however urge you all to vote for me [to] chair the committee on defense, security and intelligence.”

Sen. PYJ previously chaired this very committee in the senate during the administration of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

He blames the entire senate for the way things are going on in the country, noting they approved and passed the national budget without performance report from the executive, which should be corrected to ensure accountability and transparency in the usage of public funds.

A supporter of President Weah, Sen. Johnson says the Executive is noted for sending the draft national budget very late to the Legislature for scrutiny and there are attempts to do due diligence to the financial instrument, some of their colleagues in the senate would urge that the budget be passed hurriedly to avoid the public from turning against them, if there were delay.

“Let the public turn against us if we are doing the right thing, but we can’t have a budget sent to us in the last minutes and we pass it without carefully looking at it.

The Executive took off the county development funds, and there’s [no] way for projects to be carried out that’s why most people get voted out. Things that are in the budget are just beneficiary of the Executive.” He laments.

According to him, there’s money allocated in the national budget for the Ministry of Education, but yet most public schools around the country are in bad condition, noting the budget at MOE is being used to pay workers, buy big cars on travels, rather than furnishing and maintaining school buildings.

President George Manneh Weah Wednesday, instructed the Minister of Finance and Development Planning Samuel Tweah to provide 1,000 arm chairs for public schools, following a tour of several school districts in and around Monrovia.

Sen. PYJ says though he is a member of the ruling establishment, he will never be afraid to speak the truth in the interest of the Liberian people, and urges senators who are also part of the ruling establishment learn to speak truth to the President instead of always bowing to him, even when he is wrong.

He recalls that in 2017 when Mr. Weah then Montserrado County Senator wanted to become president, he invited senators to a meeting at Bella Cassa Hotel, Farmington Hotel and Royal Grand Hotel, respectively where they had dinner after which he (WEAH) pleaded with them that he is one of them and they should support his presidency.

It is because of the food the senators ate from President Weah when they pledged their support to him that’s causing them to not say the truth to the President whenever he does wrong, Sen. Johnson concludes.

By Ethel A. Tweh–Editing by Jonathan Browne

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