A critical analysis of the Nimba County Senator’s recent outbursts and utterances
By Kadiker Rex Dahn, MA, M.Ed, PhD
Background Here again Senator Prince Y. Johnson is at his “best” with respect to his inconsistency. Political actors in Liberia know that what is consistent about the Senator is his inconsistency, which he has cleverly utilized since 2005 to enrich himself. He usually cuts his cards with politicians at a transnational level.
Senator Johnson after closed door arrangements receives his share of what he wants, usually in cash at the expense of the people of Nimba County.
Cases in point are series of recent contradictions and inconsistencies by Senator Johnson. This article will discuss two main questions: First: can Senator Johnson be truly trusted and Second: In light of his recent outburst and utterances against the government that he helped ushered in.
The question: Is Senator Johnson really a true collaborator as he has made the public, President Weah and the Coalition to think and believe, or is he actually an antagonist to the ruling Coalition of President Weah? Knowing what we know about Senator Johnson, we will argue that he cannot, and will never be trusted, and certainly at this point in time, when Senator Johnson is not a collaborator, but an antagonist to the Coalition of Democratic Change (CDC).
The unreliability of Senator Johnson goes back to the best of my knowledge during the civil war. Because of time and space, we will limit ourselves to the elections of 2017, and current. The public is aware that before serious political engagement could begin during the 2017 elections, Senator Johnson organized the “Ganta Declaration” in Nimba County.
Records indicate that so many political parties and politicians attended the Ganta gathering. Some of these political parties, and politicians, because of Senator Johnson’s political influence in the county at the time, decided to go into secret political marriage with him. He allegedly took a good amount of money from almost all of the political parties, and eventually dumped all of them except the CDC.
It can be recalled that during the campaign period in Sanniquellie, Nimba County, a tussle occurred between CDC and Liberty Party where blood was shed. In this very incident, Senator Johnson—CDC’s collaborator now turned antagonist, did not have kind words for then Candidate George Weah. Those public records are there.
In the twinkling of an eye, whatever discussion that went on behind closed doors, whether money exchanged hands or not, this same Senator Johnson began to lavish praises on Candidate Weah and the CDC.
Certainly, he never had kind words for Vice President Boakai. He insulted and concluded that he will not endorse the Vice President after many people intervened. The election time came, and when it was over, Candidate Weah was declared the President.
Vice President Boakai peacefully and graciously conceded, while President Weah was inaugurated with jubilation, and boast from Senator Johnson, who flamboyantly declared, “This is our time.”
President Weah fulfilled all of his campaign promises to Prince Johnson, and his political party, the Movement for Democratic Reconciliation (MDR) by giving four ministerial positions, seven deputy ministerial positions, and 11 assistant ministerial positions.
Several positions for directors at government’s ministries and agencies were all fulfilled by the President. What we came to know is that Senator Johnson sold almost all of those positions except those minute that are currently from his party in the government.
President Weah did what Senator Johnson asked of him. In fact at one point, Prince Johnson said to the citizens of Nimba County that those, who want to work in the government, must cross carpet either to his party or CDC and failure would mean no job.
We ask, why then is transactional Senator still wanting from President Weah and the CDC that instead of being continuously being an honest member of the Coalition and Collaboration (CDC), he has now turned to be an antagonist?
We are convincingly told that Prince Johnson wants Superintendent Dorr Cooper out of the position. Prince Johnson has his own list of individuals to occupy the position of the superintendent, and others just as he did when CDC first took office.
The President rejected his recommendation, because there was no genuine reason proffered for Dorr’s dismissal except that it will be a conduit for Jeremiah Koung, whom he has somehow endorsed to get the opportunity. Because the President rejected his recommendation to dismiss Dorr, it became a point to criticize the government. Here again, Prince Johnson transactional politics is actively alive and kicking.
The people of Nimba County are aware that this Jeremiah Koung presided over the removal of Prince Johnson as the political leader of the defunct NUDP. Prince Johnson and Jeremiah had nasty exchanges on radio in Nimba County which in our opinion will not be prudent to mention in this article.
Certainly, those records are there. He changed his minds towards Jeremiah Koung, because of his transactional politics. It is alleged that Koung gave an undisclosed number of cement bags with cash to Senator Johnson.
It is because of this transaction Jeremiah made to Prince, he has now become the best man, and thus his endorsement by Senator Johnson to be elected Senator of Nimba County. It is alleged that he asked Senator Grupee for cement and cash for his school in Ganta but Senator Grupee in turn told him to identify a public project in the county, and will implement such project in his name, and not his private school in Ganta.
Senator Grupee, who had lavished resources on Prince is now being undermined by Prince Johnson just as he is doing to President Weah and the Coalition.
Senator Johnson’s rhetoric now in Nimba County is that that Jeremiah Koung is developmentally oriented as opposed to all of the candidates.
Certainly, in our opinion, Prince Johnson does not know the difference between investment, development and a good character which is germane for an elected leader. Again, that is another level of Senator Johnson’s inconsistency. Prior to the June 7 Protest, Prince Johnson again, a self-declared “man of God” as he usually calls himself, said that the organizers of the Protest were from the “belly of the devil,” and that they will die.
He further stated that anyone, who opposes the CDC government, will die and now has forgotten to know that that is the same thing he is doing.
After Dillon’s victory in the Montserrado County senatorial by-election, Prince Johnson looking ahead in Nimba County, summersaulted and began to praise members of the Council of Patriots. His praises for the Council of Patriots brought him into trouble with Monrovia City Mayor and also Chair of CDC Youth League, Jefferson T. Koijee, and members of the CDC, who vowed to impress on the President to sign the War and Economic Crimes Court.
Based on this, and other dissatisfaction, MDR’s “man of God” has prophesied doom for the 2023 general elections. According to the Daily Observer November 4, 2019 edition, under the caption: “ Inspired by God, PYJ Predicts Weah to Rig 2023 Elections,” a reckless statement was made against the Government of Weah.
PYJ claimed that his “statement was inspired by God.” We wonder whether God is really speaking to and through him, or is this self-making considering the present state of economic hardship in the country? If indeed his claim to have heard from God is true, we wonder what language did God speak? Was it Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic, English, Gio, Mano or what? What was the form of God’s interaction with Senator Johnson? Was it like what was done to Samuel in the House of Eli and other Prophets?
If God does speak to Senator Johnson, we wonder why he could not hear directly from God when his dissatisfaction started, instead, he said he was traveling to Nigeria to hear from T. B. Joshua? He further claimed, he and his colleagues have not taken pay for the past four months.
Mr. Minister of Information what is the truth? Is Senator telling the truth or lying?
From every indication, Senator Johnson is noted for his inconsistency. This is the Senator that President Weah and his Coalition made a deal with. Senator Johnson’s claim that President Weah and the CDC will rig the 2023 elections undermines the spirit of the collaboration.
Going public on the government that Prince Johnson helped elected is a disservice at the highest level. He has outrageously indicted the government. We are not members of the Coalition, but Mr. Weah is our President, and his government is for all Liberians. We are not an exception.
We ask President Weah and the CDC to be careful with Senator Johnson. Whatever he might have told the President in secret, should not be believed, because Senator Johnson is no longer a sincere and honest member of the Coalition, he would claim.
Concisely conceived, we maintain that Senator Johnson is more of an antagonist than a collaborator. Be 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 served as 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]