By Kadiker Rex Dahn, MA, Med, PhD
Since Nimba County came into being in 1964, there was once a man who repeatedly caused trouble for the people of the County. The man in question who in fact died years back and his death, though sad but brought relieve to the people of Nimba County was Jerry Gonyon, once a Paramount Chief and an Assistant Minister at the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Another man like Gonyon, and in fact, who in our opinion is more than Jerry Gonyon is Prince Johnson. Though once admired by the people of Nimba, because of his heroism in the Liberian civil war, this “hero” seems nowadays to have lost popularity, because of his transactional politics, and undermining citizens of the County.
Considering the activities of Prince Johnson, and at the same time, appearing to make himself like an angel in the eyes of President Weah, and his government is very scary.
We write this article with two things in mind: first, remind President Weah and his government to be very, very vigilant and careful with Prince Johnson, and second, Prince Johnson’s close association and utterances supposedly in favor of CDC may undermine President Weah’s standing at the international stage.
Prince Johnson is a character in the Liberian body politics known by almost every serious person to have been manipulative, inconsistent, unreliable, divisive and treacherous. His utterances are meant to entice and deceive leaders and people, especially when he is targeting to accomplish certain goals.
The late Samuel Doe is a clear example when Prince Johnson said to the President, “you see, I can fool people; I fooled you, and I catch you.”
Considering Prince Johnson’s words quoted above, one can deduce that his utterances of recent, especially when he spoke of changing the Liberian Constitution for President Weah to remain perpetual is intended to entice the President because, closely watching and analyzing Prince Johnson’s utterances, one could conclude that he is desperately needing a favor from President Weah; that favor in our opinion, amounts to this: Do not sign the War and Economic Crime Court for Liberia. The issue of the War and Economic Crime Courts, brings international actors’ eyes on Liberia, specifically the presidency.
When the international community is ready for war and economic crime courts in Liberia, President Weah and his government will find it difficult to resist, and shield Prince Johnson, because he is a member of collaborating political parties.
When world’s leaders collectively, speak on a given issue, whether delayed or not, will come to pass. The international community has power to enforce decisions.
Take for example that last year, the United States’ Congress unanimously adopted a resolution for the Government of the United States to ensure the establishment of the war and economic crime courts in Liberia; that decision passed and sent to the Senate for concurrence.
In this instance, if the mighty United States takes the lead, who can oppose such a measure? Prince Johnson’s close association to the Liberian Presidency while at the same time, this “collaborator” continues with reckless statements against the United States, may equally taint President Weah and his government on the world stage.
No country or man can mess with America. Remember that Prince Johnson is just a former soldier, and now a senator, who cannot travel to any Western Country.
Charles Taylor, who eventually became the President of Liberia, was his commander and that commander and former president is in The Hague for 50 years.
Besides, Mohammed Khadaffi, who invited Taylor and his men, fed, lodged, trained, equipped, and dispatched them to Liberia, is not in The Hague but dead. Some of us may not have voted for President Weah, but he is our President and President for all Liberians.
We ask, what actually are those benefits if any since presidential election is over for continuously having Prince Johnson by the President’s side? This may be one of the worst mistakes President Weah and his government continue to make.
The President aligning himself with an individual, who in reality, is sitting on a time bomb, and who continues to make reckless statements, as if he is honestly seeking the interest of the President, may not august well for President Weah and his Government. Be careful with Prince Johnson.
We also argue that the President should be vigilant and careful with Prince Johnson, because cleverly, Prince Johnson is indirectly undermining the President.
Consider this: In His Excellency’s address upon taking state power, he told Liberians that election was over and that he was President for all Liberians not just political parties.
In his speech to the nation during his inauguration, President Weah proffered and actualized government of inclusion.
He demonstrated this by appointing Emmanuel Nuquay, who was a vice running mate to former Vice President Joe Boakai. This was an excellent move by President Weah to heal the nation after a tough election.
However, the likes of Prince Johnson continue to undermine the President’s efforts. If the President cannot reconcile Liberians regardless of our political differences, who takes the blame?
Certainly, it is not Prince Johnson with his borrowed time, but the President whom Liberians of all persuasions, elected as their leader.
Prince Johnson, according to Front Page Africa, on July 3, stated that any citizen from Nimba County wanting to work in the CDC’s led Government must join his political party. This statement in itself undermines fundamental multiparty democratic principle embedded in plurality, and a violation of Article 18 of the Liberian Constitution.
In order words, Prince Johnson is saying to Liberians that all political parties in the country should be dissolved, and only collaborating parties should exist.
What an undemocratic stance by a man claiming to be a democrat, but whose languages are not in line with who he claims he is.
Here, we salute President Weah on positions given to Prince Johnson, and his party, MDR-based on the endorsement arrangements.
The President’s thinking we want to surmise is that since Prince Johnson is from Nimba County, positions allotted to him and his Party will equally be given to the sons and daughters of the County.
What the President did not perhaps know also about Prince Johnson, is that he is a transactional politician. The President and leadership of the CDC can agree with us that Prince Johnson is a politician, who abuses and exploits his people’s votes.
He allegedly does this by selling positions intended for Nimba citizens to non-Namibians. It is alleged that President Weah made real of his promise to Prince Johnson by giving him five ministerial positions, seven deputy ministerial positions, five ambassadorial positions, 11 Assistants ministerial positions, and an undisclosed number of directors at government ministries and agencies.
It is also alleged that Prince Johnson sold almost all of these positions to individuals whom he falsely claimed to have been members of his party from Nimba, except few loyalists.
In this vein, when the people of Nimba are not in the CDC’s led government as compare to the Government of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, it is not President Weah, but Prince Johnson, because of greed, egoism embedded in “I” and no one else.
WE MAINTAIN THAT IT IS ABOUT TIME THAT THE PEOPLE OF NIMBA RETHINK WHETHER IT IS PRUDENT TO CONTINUOUSLY HAVE A CHARACTER LIKE PRINCE JOHNSON AS THE LEADER OF THE COUNTY.
Be as it may, Prince Johnson continues to make himself relevant to President Weah by his comments that undermine our unity has a people. We urge President Weah to distant himself from Prince Johnson, because failure may taint his character and government.
We also urge President Weah to be very, very vigilant and careful with Prince Johnson, because he has shown himself to be inconsistent, unreliable, divisive and undemocratic.
Case in point, he once talked about changing the Constitution for President Weah to remain perpetual, but is now lambasting the CDC and the President of plans to rig 2023 elections.
He once talked about President Weah of being the best, but his claims to go to Nigeria and consult T.B. Joshua to withdraw support from the Weah led government demonstrates his unreliability.
Inconsistency and unreliability are the true characteristics of Prince Johnson.
PRESIDENT WEAH AND CDCIANS, BE VERY, VERY CAREFUL!!!!!
About the author: Kadiker Rex Dahn holds two Masters and a PhD in Historical, Philosophical and Social Foundations of Education from the University of Oklahoma. He formerly severed a Deputy Minister of Education and Deputy Director General, National Commission on Higher Education. He is a member of the North America Scholar Consortium, membership with the Highest Honor. Contact: [email protected]