The controversial Senator of Nimba County, Prince Yormie Johnson (PYJ), has “prophesied” that, in order for President George Weah to maintain his grip on power, he will have to rig the 2023 general and presidential elections.
Speaking on Thursday, October 31, when he toured his school construction project in Ganta, the commercial hub of Nimba County, Senator Johnson that the 2023 elections would be rigged by the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) or else they would fail at the polls.
The Senator, a former rebel leader of the disbanded Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia (INPFL), who is now a “minister of the Gospel,” said he sees “chaos, destruction before President Weah can reattain state power, due to may other factors.”
Though the office of the President is yet to respond to Senator Johnson’s prophecy, the Senator maintained: “My statements were inspired by God.”
Johnson further said that the Weah Administration is not doing much to address the citizens’ plights, especially the payment of salaries to civil servants; the issue of unemployment and rising crime rate.
Senator Johnson, along with several opposition politicians, endorsed the CDC in the second round of the 2017 presidential elections, which catapulted the CDC to power.
Johnson said his endorsement of Weah was in keeping with the Ganta Declaration signed in September 2016 in which then opposition leaders committed to ensure a victory for a “change” in the 2017 elections to unseat the ruling Unity Party. That year, he called on members of other opposition parties to join him to defeat then Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai, who aimed to succeed his boss, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, as President of Liberia.
Senator Johnson founded one of the country’s rebel groups, the INPFL, when he broke away from the then leader of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), Charles Taylor. Taylor eventually became President of Liberia in 1997 on the ticket of the National Patriotic Party (NPP) of Liberia at the “end” of the country’s first civil war between 1989 and 1997.
Johnson could be seen in a 1990 video presiding over the capture and mutilation and death of former President, Samuel K. Doe, who bled to death, but he helped to bring (now-imprisoned) former President Taylor to power after the 1997 election.
Prince Johnson has often criticized President Weah for the choice of Charles Taylor’s ex-wife, Jewel Howard Taylor, as his vice president.
Ex-President Charles Taylor is currently serving a 50-year sentence in a prison in the United Kingdom, after having been tried for aiding and abetting crimes against humanity in The Hague.
It can be recalled that Senator Johnson recently informed his congregation that he would be traveling to Nigeria to consult his “godfather” whether he should continue supporting President Weah or not.
Prior to the runoff election in 2017, in which President Weah won a landslide victory for the presidency, he and Senator Johnson attended a church service at T. B. Joshua’s Synagogue in Nigeria, where the Pastors Joshua and Johnson offered prayers for Weah to succeed.
In an August 2019 sermon delivered at his church in Paynesville, Senator Johnson warned, “You’re now the President, but your regime from its beginning is characterized by so many demonstrations. Are we asking ourselves why is it so? Country Giant moving, opposition give way. The people are now calling us the devil. Why?”
Johnson used his pulpit to tell President Weah to “stop witnessing Chelsea and Barcelona games, because you have been scheduled.”
He said the people who overwhelmingly supported and voted for Weah feel betrayed, because they feel he has neglected them, “even from being in the photo.”
The Nimba County lawmaker, a former warlord, who is on record for saying that if Weah is elected President, the country would return to war, did not mince his words on the pulpit when he said ‘God’ gave me a vision that if Weah is not careful, Liberia would experience the Ivory Coast’s Ouattara-Gbagbo scenario.