For denigrating comment about some prominent sons of Nimba
What appeared as a leaked audio recording of Nimba Senator Prince Y. Johnson has put him into hot water with his kinsmen of Nimba, where he is considered as the godfather, over some denigrating remarks about some of the deceased brothers and sons of Nimba.
In the leaked audio recording, Senator Johnson was heard saying, God is with him, so anyone who goes against him have suffered some consequences. In the audio recording, he is heard saying: “Benedict Bartuah was against me and he died, David Zaylee was against me and he died, George Korkor was also against me and he died and Senator Grupee is against me and he is crippled.”
This audio recording has gone viral in the county and the families of the deceased are seriously taken aback by Senator Johnson’s remarks. Some have started accusing him of being behind the deaths of their late relatives and wanting him to give further clarity on what he said.
Benedict Bartuah Jr., in a press conference recently, described Senator Johnson’s comment as deeply harmful and divisive and accused Senator of killing his uncle John W. Bartuah in Karnplay in the year 1990, calling on him to retract his comment and extend an apology to the Bartuah’s family in a public manner.
“The comment was not just offensive to our family, but also reckless, diabolical and lackadaisical and has the propensity to diminish the legacy of the fallen father and we want it go back where it came from,” Bartuah, Jr. said.
In regard to the statement, Mr. Bartuah Bartuah, the former statutory superintendent of the Gbehlay Geh District and also a brother of the late Benedict Bartuah Sr, is also calling on Sen. Johnson to openly apologize to Bartuah’s family and the county in general.
The late David Zehlee and the late Benedict Bartuah were among the founding fathers of disbanded “National Union for Democracy Party of Senator Johnson that contested the 2011 general election in Liberia.
The late Mr. Benedict Bartuah was the first chairman of defunct NUDP, while the late David Zehlee served as an advisor to the Senator Johnson and the party in general.
Relations between the elite of the defunct party, including the late Bartuah, the late Zehlee, one Eric Gbarmie (also deceased) and Senator Thomas Grupee, on the one hand and Senator Prince Johnson, on the other, fell apart after the Buchannan’ Convention in 2013, where Senator Johnson was expelled from the party.
The trouble started during the course of the run-off presidential election between incumbent President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of the Unity Party and Cllr. Winston Tubman of the Congress for Democratic Chnage, where Sen. Johnson pledged his support to President Sirleaf, saying at the time, “It is good to dance with a devil than the angel you have not seen.”
Most of the elites accused Senator Johnson of allegedly receiving bribes from President Sirleaf in the sum of about US$1 million for his support and not sharing the money with them, while some also wanted the NUDP to support the CDC in the run-off.
The division further grew in 2012 and 2013, when the caucus of the NUDP, Senator Grupee, Rep. Garrison Yealue, Samuel Kogar, Rep. Prince Togbah, the late Rep. Samuel Woleh and Rep. Jeremiah Koung were at loggerheads with Senator Johnson again over the controversial scrap metal deal surrounding Western Steel and North Star, where Senator Johnson was again blamed in handling the scrap deal and stopping the county from getting a greater share from Western Steel, a Ghanian Firm.
Senator Thomas Grupee, in response to Senator Johnson’s recent audio recording, describing him as being crippled, denied being crippled, waving Senator Johnson’s comment, saying that he (Grupee) respected him a lot and does not have any grudge against Sen. Johnson, as the elder senator might be insinuating.
“My only frustration and disappointment in Senator Johnson is calling the names of our fallen brothers, who have left us and are now resting,” he said.
“If, I am crippled, the Nimba people will see when I return from the USA anytime this month,” Senator Grupee said in very clear voice.
“I am capable and strong and will be back to celebrate the Christmas with the citizens after my victory in the December Senatorial Election,” he said.
Many citizens have expressed frustration over the Senator Johnson’s leaked audio recording and want him retract it without any delay, while some want him held accountable for the deaths of those he named in such denigrating manner.