‘Nimba Godfather’ and ANC’s Rep. Younquoi exchange invectives over the opposition party’s right to hold national convention in Ganta.
There is brewing tension between Nimba County Senator Prince Y. Johnson (PYJ) and the county District #8 Representative Larry P. Younquoi, with exchanges of invectives due to the two men’s opposing views over the pending national convention of the opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC) to be held in Ganta, Nimba County.
The ANC convention is scheduled from May 3-4, 2019.
The exchange of invectives between the two elected officials of Nimba County started when Sen. Johnson held a press conference which he alleged that the county Legislative Caucus have not received any communication from the ANC or its county leadership concerning the party’s pending convention.
Johnson said while it is true that authorities at the National Elections Commission (NEC) give all parties the right to assemble at any place of their choice in the country, “it was also necessary to inform members of Nimba caucus, particularly him as the chair, because ANC executives recently held secret meetings at the home of Rep. Younquoi, northeast of Ganta.
Johnson claimed that the visit of ANC political leader, Alexander B. Cummings, has some security implications, because the visit came in the wake of the planned June 7 “peaceful protest.”
“Why host the ANC convention in the shortest period of time following the visit of Mr. Cummings?” Senator Johnson asked.
No sooner had the senator ended his statement, when Rep. Younquoi, who recently joined the ANC, harshly responded that the Senator should by now be worrying about how he would face war crimes court, and forget about the ANC’s convention which, he said, “has nothing to do with people like him.”
“Prince Johnson is nobody that the ANC should contact before hosting its convention in any part of the county, because this is a conventional and a political general that is now bereft of war power. He has no power to stop a party convention in the county, be it ANC or any other political gatherings,” Younquoi reacted harshly.
He denied ever holding secret meeting with Mr. Cummings, rather said the visit was purely humanitarian, intended to acquaint himself with the locals.
Rep. Younquoi then accused Sen. Johnson of being in the vanguard, obstructing development activities in the county by falsely implicating peaceful citizens with his “so-called security threat.”
“Sen. Johnson,” according to Younquoi, “made similar claim against Senator Thomas Grupee, his kinsmen, by accusing him of holding secret meetings.”
He added, “If he thinks he will make the government think that someone wants to do something sinister, he should be the one that is qualified for that.”
Sen. Johnson on Tuesday requested that the ANC to seek his permission before holding its convention in the county.
He told a Truth FM nighttime show, “What’s Your View,” that he is the the political ‘Godfather’ of the county and therefore, the ANC, being a member of an opposition political coalition, must get the consent of the county authorities, including Sen. Johnson, before taking the convention to Nimba.
Johnson said the county remains a strong supporter of the Weah administration, and would not entertain the convergence of any group of people or political party, who have planed to protest against or unseat the President.
“Nimba County, that consists of 1.2 million citizens all over Liberia, our support for President Weah is unwavering. We have a country parable that the devil we dressed; we cannot undress it. We’ll continue to support this government, despite these stormy days,” Johnson claimed.
But Rep. Yanquoi rebuked him, saying that the senator has no legal standing to stop people from assembling.
He added, “I challenged him to stop the convention from taking place. We don’t have to ask for permission. He was elected, I was elected; there is no law that says warlord should be contacted before a convention is held anywhere in the country.”
Recently, Mr. Cummings and entourage paid a visit to Gipo Town, the home of Rep. Younquoi, in the Gblana Chiefdom, where he promised to undertake some development projects any time soon.
In an interview with journalists during his visit, Cummings pledged support to the planned June 7 protest, saying it was the citizens’ rights to peacefully assemble whenever they are dissatisfied with any ruling establishment.