Nimba County Senior Senator Prince Y. Johnson (PYJ) has strongly defended the reported war records of Nimba and Grand Gedeh Counties. The Nimba Senator denied that the two counties brought troubles to Liberia.
According to Senator Johnson, residents of the two counties are not the ones obstructing efforts aimed at bringing lasting peace and genuine reconciliation to the country.
Senator Johnson made the statement Monday, May 19, at the launch of a Peace and Reconciliation Meeting held in Monrovia under the auspices of Liberia’s Peace Ambassador George Oppong Weah. The Monday’s gathering brought together several high profile individuals including members of the diplomatic community.
Senator Johnson—who headed one of the country’s warring factions during years of civil crisis, said the problem to lasting peace in the country has to do with bringing onboard individuals, who financed the war, instead of gathering only those they perceived as the ‘fighting men and women.’
“To achieve the peace objectives, I have advised the stakeholders to this meeting, to invite those who brought into the country all kinds of weapons and divided them among the fighters.”
Sen. Johnson believes that peace and reconciliation among Liberians should not be tied only to the peoples of Nimba and Grand Gedeh Counties, “but those who purchased the big, big guns and gave them to prosecute the war.”
He then suggested that those driving the peace initiative should be people of character that facilitated the decade-long conflict, “but not the government and partners, who are creating the impression that Nimbaians and Grand Gedeans are still on the battlefield.”
“At the moment, there are more sons and daughters of Nimba County residing in all parts of Grand Gedeh making babies, and vice-versa,” Johnson asserted to round of applause and laughter.
The Nimba lawmaker maintained that those who facilitated the war to avail themselves, should ask for God’s forgiveness, which he believes would be the only recipe for lasting peace in the country.
He then called on those living with the belief that it was Nimba and Grand Gedeh that brought the war to desist shifting the blame, “because those playing the blame-game were the major facilitators to the civil crisis the plagued the country.”
The former leader of the disbanded rebel group, Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia (INPFL) did not only call for the coming on board the peace process of the ‘war facilitators’ but proposed to those peace actors to convene a National Peace Conference that would bring all peace-loving Liberians and their international partners to ask for divine intervention into the process.