By: Kadiker Rex Dahn, MA, M.Ed, PhD
Recently, according to some media outlets in Nimba County, Prince Y. Johnson accused Samuel G. Kogar of inciting the people of Nimba County against President Weah’s government. I deliberately refused to use the diplomatic title Honorable on both men from Nimba County because in my opinion, honor belongs to people who are defined, reformed and refined in thoughts and actions. The allegation of incitement is an indictment against all of the citizens of Nimba County including this author; the allegation demeans our character as a county and people. Not only is the allegation untrue, misleading, troubling and destructive, it equally so undermines Nimba County’s security since in Liberian politics of the recent past, with such a label and designation, such group becomes “the enemy of the State.” The purpose of this article is to debunk the allegation by Prince Johnson that Samuel Kogar is inciting the people of Nimba County against President George Weah.
Incitement, according to Macmillan Dictionary is “something that encourages people to be violent or commit crimes, or the deliberate act of encouraging violence or crime.” Considering Liberia’s recent past, such a word like incitement as defined above, used by the most senior official from the county, incriminates, taints and tarnishes the entire county and its people. Such a word has the propensity to blackmail citizens from Nimba County, especially those of us who publicly supported the candidacy of His Excellency Joseph Nyumah Boakai. Therefore, the onus is on citizens of the County including this author to set the record straight on the rigmarole between Prince Johnson and Samuel Kogar which has its genesis from the collapse of the defunct NUDP (National Union for Democratic Progress.)
Let me be emphatic here: I am not the spokesman for Samuel Kogar nor is this an attempt to promote him at the detriment of Prince Johnson. Equally so, I will not keep mute when Prince Johnson makes up stories to denigrate, blackmail and destroy anyone from Nimba County. I am an intellectual and the people of Nimba County, including these two men in question, hold me in high esteem. My honest judgment is that as it relates to the issue of the incitement allegation against Samuel Kogar, Prince Johnson is DAMN WRONG; he wants to get even with Samuel Kogar because of the internal rivalry, which originated several years ago when Prince Johnson was removed as a political leader of the defunct NUDP.
The removal procedures were led by one Jeremiah Koung, a Representative from District #1, on whose behalf Prince Johnson is secretly canvassing to Challenge Senator Thomas Grupee during the 2020 election. Both Kogar and Koung were in the same camp that supported the removal of Prince Johnson as the political leader of the NUDP. After his removal as the political leader of NUDP, Prince Johnson was also removed as the Chair of the Nimba County Legislative Caucus. Afterwards, Kogar, realizing the wrongness of his opposition to Prince Johnson, accompanied by a group of elders from Buu-Yao apologized to Prince Johnson but superficially as is always the case with Prince Johnson, he accepted the apology.
Kogar erroneously indeed felt that he had honestly been forgiven. Kogar equipped the Movement for Democratic Reconstruction (MDR) Party’s office of Prince Johnson, thinking that he would run on the Party’s ticket. Surprisingly, he was denied that opportunity by Prince Johnson. Kogar joined another political party and eventually won the election in District #5, Nimba County. Few months after the election as part of the internal rivalry, Samuel Kogar wrote the Plenary of the Liberian Senate that Prince Johnson attempted to assassinate him in District #5, Nimba County. Senator Grupee withdrew the matter from the Senate and it was scheduled to be adjudicated in Nimba County. Senator Grupee single-handedly under wrote the cost for the gathering but surprisingly, Prince Johnson did not show up for the meeting citing security reasons.
During the recent birthday celebration of President Weah, Samuel Kogar went to identify with the President. While there, Prince Johnson also showed up. It is an open secret that since Prince Johnson canvassed and voted for President Weah, he wants to be the only conduit through whom citizens from Nimba County wanting jobs could pass. Yes indeed, Prince Johnson is in part the main obstacle why Nimba citizens are not in the present government compared to former President Sirleaf. Seeing Samuel Kogar with the President, Prince Johnson felt that his conduit monopoly was at stake, thus accusing Kogar of inciting citizens from Nimba County in an attempt to undermine his relationship with President Weah.
As an opposition lawmaker, what Kogar actually said was to remind those who voted CDC about the ugly direction in which the country is heading which, itself, is an open secret. Is this a wrong statement by an opposition politician? Does this equate to inciting citizens with the connotation of rebellion? Kadiker Rex Dahn’s answer is a resounding no. In fact, President Weah and the hierarchy of the CDC are aware that educated and experienced citizens of Nimba County have been ostracized and alienated through the help of their point man, Prince Johnson. Who in their right mind will expect conscientious Nimba citizens and their lawmakers to sing hallelujah? The issue between Prince Johnson and Samuel Kogar is extremely polarizing.
On the various radio stations in Nimba County, periodically, in the past, our two guests in question have vented out vituperations against each other including their respective mothers. It must be noted that both men are first cousins and in their home town, their respective loyalists do not speak to each other. For example, The Koma Nimba Newspaper based in Ganta, Nimba County vol.1 No.2 on October 26, 2018, stated that these two men refer to each other as a Devil and Witchcraft. Such schism has also grown at the District level and there seems to be no sign of abating. Elders have tried over and again and have failed and the issue is now at the county level where the loving people of Nimba County are now being dragged into the mud with baseless allegations of incitement against the national government.
Finally, I am reminded by the late Legendary Gabriel Baccus Matthews who in 2005 said of President Sirleaf’s election, “This is the President all of us did not vote for but, this is the President all of us have”. President Weah, whether any citizen voted against you or not, you are the President of this Country. Do not listen to cheap and divisive politics that will have the propensity for Liberians to visit the ugly past of our history. The people of Nimba County are decent, loving and caring. Nimba County is the land of the PhDs, Medical Doctors, Master’s Degrees, countless Bachelors and a vast field of entrepreneurs and where the City of Ganta speaks volumes for itself. We the people of Nimba County are independent thinkers and believe in the rule of law as our guiding principle and not incitement as have wrongly and misleadingly been alleged.
About the author: Kadiker Rex Dahn holds two Masters and a PhD 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 an author of the Book, “Learning from the Lives of Exiled Liberians: An Oral History from 1979-2006. Contact: [email protected]