A Memo To Senator Prince Johnson: Liberia Civil War’s Past Will Haunt You Until You Die
DURING A SUNDAY SERVICE at his Christ Chapel Faith Ministry last Sunday, Senator Prince Y. Johnson, leader of the erstwhile Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia, responsible for committing numerous atrocities during Liberia’s bloody civil war declared that no on should remind him about his past especially, his role in the 14 years civil war that saw about 250,000 lives lost and properties worth millions of dollars destroyed.
JOHNSON IS INFAMOUSLY REMEMBERED as the warlord who lured former President Samuel Kanyon Doe from his Executive Mansion hideout the Freeport of Monrovia where he was slain in cold blood on September 09, 1990.
THE LATE PRESIDENT’S ears were sliced off in vain attempts by his captors to determine where he kept the spoils and alleged loots of his nearly a decade-old reign as head of state of Africa’s oldest republic.
JOHNSON’S CIVIL WAR exploits are all over the internet searches via Youtube and Google. The innocent lives he unilaterally took away and the ones killed by members of his INPFL have left a sour memory for friends, families and loved ones.
MR. JOHNSON, THE WARLORD, DID NOT just kill members of Samuel Doe’s army; but ordinary Liberians simply making a living and trying to survive.
TECUMSEH ROBERTS, the popular musician whose hit, ‘Coming Home’ and ‘Ma Susu’ were club bangers during his days, was killed by Johnson at the age of 39.
WITNESSES SAY ROBERTS was murdered in cold blood by General Samuel Varney in the Caldwell Base that was serving as headquarters of Prince Johnson’s Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia at the time. Johnson, now the senator for Nimba, was there. He told the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that he didn’t stop Varney killing Roberts because, he said, Roberts was gay.
BESIDES ROBERTS, JOHNSON’S and his INPFL forces were also responsible for the deaths and execution of Robert Toe and Gedeh Rooster as well as Michael Doe.
A CHILLING VIDEO footage from Liberia’s brutal civil war depicting the interrogation and torture of Mrs. Angeline Watta Allision, the wife of late Defense Minister Gray Dio Allison, often serves as a chilling reminder of some of the many atrocities committed by Prince Y. Johnson, the former head of the erstwhile Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia(INPFL).
ON THE VIDEO, an angry Johnson is seen interrogating the late Mrs. Allison and going as far as stretching across from the interview table and slapping her on the face: “You do not know me right? You lying here to me and talking all kinds of bullshit, you do not know me, ehn?” the former INPFL leader is seen speaking on the video.
THE FORMER WARLORD was inquiring from Mrs. Allison whether she was convinced that her late husband went to the University of Liberia and open fire on students. The late Madam Allison, who was seated in a chair not far from Sen. Johnson; and she reacted, “Mr. Johnson, to my holy communion and my children I carried nine months, I do not know anything, it is just a plot to kill Gray. I was here, I was sick but I heard it when I came. I was sick.”
MR. JOHNSON then swung his hands across the table and slapped Mr. Allison, instructing an aide unseen in the video to ‘hand me my pistol’ before telling Mrs. Allison: “The man(Allison) walked to the University and killed students – with his bodyguards and you still say you don’t know.”
NOW, MANY YEARS LATER, Senator Johnson has shown no remorse for the atrocities he and his INPFL committed during the civil war but often appears content throwing jabs and indirect insults and insensitivity toward victims’ families.
IN HIS LATEST RANTS, MR. Johnson claims he was never a killer until he decided to redeem his people of Nimba County from the ‘brutal hands’ of the late President Doe.
THE CURRENT HEAD of the Senate statutory committee on Defense, Intelligence, and Veteran Affairs told his congregation that during his war days, he had about 150 commandos special forces under his command.
ACCORDING TO MR. JOHNSON, it was a known fact that rebels on the warfront had two options: Kill or be killed by enemies.
FOR SENATOR JOHNSON of all people to now be embarking on a path of blame game and doing all he can to remove himself from the prosecution for war crimes debate speaks volumes about the cowardice of a man looking to hang on to whatever he can to avoid being held responsible for his war crimes.
THE ARGUMENT from Senator Johnson that there are people are out there trying to hunt him down for his role in the war is simply a lazy attempt by a man living on borrowed time while hanging on to a past he wishes many would forget and simply go away.
MR. JOHNSON’S CONTENTION THAT things went amok during the war years; but was however necessary is simply a lazy presentation aimed at satisfying his selfish desires to see the pains and suffering he inflicted on others go away.
NOW TRUMPETING HIMSELF as a changed man, Mr. Johnson has lost touch of the realities of what he and his INPFL rebels during those painful and are now trying to shove down his terms of remorse down the throats of the victims’ families, friends, and loved ones, still living in the aftermath of the pains and suffering brought on by the likes Mr. Johnson and his fighters during what is inarguably one of the ugliest chapters in Liberia’s brutal past.