Liberia: Unity Party Spokesperson Backs Sen. Johnson’s ‘Revolution Threats’

Sen. Prince Johnson

— Says there should be no worry if the government does not plan to rig the elections

The spokesperson of the opposition Unity Party campaign, Mohammed Ali, has backed controversial Nimba County Senator Prince Johnson’s remarks of rebellion if the administration of President Weah rigs the upcoming elections.

Ali, who sees Johnson as a strategic ally of the Unity Party Alliance, noted that the Senator’s statement was conditional — something that former Vice President Boakai is not against.  

“Are there expectations that elections will be rigged? Because the man said if elections are rigged. If the elections are not rigged then there will be no need for trouble,” he said. 

Johnson, who is the political godfather of Boakai's running mate, Senator Jeremiah Koung, had earlier this week in a Facebook live video noted that the turnout at the Unity Party Alliance campaign launch on September 17 was a clear demonstration that Liberians want a change of government and that any attempt to change the results would be meet with resistance. 

“First and foremost, let me make it abundantly clear and assure you that any plans or attempts to thwart the will of the Liberian people by stealing these elections will be forcefully resisted by us, the people of Liberia, and the international community, which has invested so much in the peace and stability of this country,” the Senator said.

Johnson, who is a former notorious warlord who has been sanctioned by the U.S.  for his alleged involvement in corruption, is of the strong belief that Boakai, whom he supports, would win the Presidency.

His statement has however landed him in trouble with the country’s joint security apparatus. 

In a release, the joint security yesterday said that it was considering the Senator’s remarks as a threat to national security — warning that Liberia “is a country of law and, as such, aggrieved parties must continue to seek legal remedies, to issues instead of resorting to violence.”

The concept of a single individual anointing himself as judge, jury, and executioner must be discouraged, it added.  

“Senator Johnson must be reminded that Liberians have had enough suffering during our most recent civil unrest and are no more interested in returning this country to its ugly past,” the release said. 

However, Ali, responding to the Daily Observer in an exclusive interview, believes that once there is no plan for the governments to rig elections, there is no need to panic.

“If there is no plan for election rigging, why should Senator Johnson’s statement cause panic? I don’t see any problem with Senator Johnson’s statement.

“If elections are rigged, people will get angry,” he said. “Nobody should have the free will to thwart the will of the Liberian people. So he said ‘if elections are rigged’ — we don’t expect that election should be rigged.”

Johnson, whose position Ali is now supporting, was once an ardent supporter of President Weah and even helped the President to Win the 2017 elections, but ended his support last year. 

He cited Weah's alleged failure to keep his promises by employing more people from his county as a result of discontinuing the relationship.

He is however on record as saying that a victory for the 78-year-old Boakai would be an easy path for Nimba County to assume the Presidency.

He claimed that the former Vice President would heavily rely on his running mate to run the affairs of the country.

Meanwhile, Senator Johnson’s statement re-echoes Boakai’s emphatic declaration of his preparedness to resist any electoral fraud come October 10.

Boakai, who also took some solace in the recent statement made by the US government regarding safeguarding the integrity of these elections, noted that “any plans or attempts to thwart the will of the Liberian people by stealing these elections will be forcefully resisted by us, the people of Liberia, and the international community.”

The former Vice President made the statement at his Unity Party campaign launch in Monrovia on September 17.