Liberia: ‘PYJ no Longer Fearful’ – Dillon Reacts to Nimba Senator Outburst over War Crimes Court

Dillon said his advocacy for the war and economic crimes court is not about the Nimba County senator, but rather an attempt to bring an end to the entrenched culture of impunity that has permeated the Liberian society. 

Monrovia – Monsterrado County Senator Abraham Darius Dillon Monday angrily responded to Senator Prince Johnson’s outburst, saying the Nimba County senator is not as fearful as he was during the civil country’s fourteen-year civil war.

“When Prince Johnson was angry during the civil war you would see many dead bodies lying down, but these days his anger means nothing because he doesn’t have that power he had to kill people,” Sen. Dillon said during his appearance on Truth FM. “He is the least of my worries. He’s not Prince Johnson that we knew during 1990.”

He added: “Who is Sen. Prince Johnson to be panicking when someone speaks about the establishment of a war and economic crimes court? Is he the only Liberian who fought war? Why those who visibly participated in the civil war can’t complain when the establishment of a war and economic crimes court is mentioned or is Senator Johnson already quilty?”

Dillon said his advocacy about the war and economic crimes court is not about the Nimba County senator, but rather an attempt to bring an end to the  entrenched culture of impunity that has permeated the Liberian society. 

“We have a lot of things that have been swept under the carpet all because of the culture of impunity and is because of that I am speaking against those ills, not only the war and economic crimes court,” he said.

Dillon, who won a second nine-year term last December, said most of those in Monsterrado County who voted him are yearning for a war and economic crimes court and he was under obligations to push their agenda in session, not to pleased a senator.

Dillon and Johnson last week plunged into heated argument over the establishment of a war and economic crimes court, disrupting the day’s session.

Sen. Johnson, a former rebel leader of the defunct Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia (INPFL) who is serving his second nine-year tenure at the National Legislature, captured and killed former president Samuel Doe in the latter part of 1990 as one of Africa’s deadliest wars raged against the first native president whose 1980 coupe ended over 130 years of Americo-Liberians’ reign.

Most agonizing in the eyes of those who watched the captured, tortured and subsequent killing of the country’s former president was the spectacle display Johnson exhibited as he sipped what appeared to be a Budweiser drink while chopping off Doe’s ears.

On Sunday at his  Chapel of Faith Ministry, Sen. Johnson responded to some of the many allegations against him, and first on his list was the accusation that he killed Tecumseh Roberts, a famous rising musical star at the time accused of being gay.

The former war general while on the pulpit took excerpts from the book ‘A Nation in Terror’ by James Youboty that exonerates him from that allegation. The book narrates that Senator Johnson’s principal deputy in the INPFL, Samuel Varney, carried out the execution of Tecumseh.

“Senator Johnson said: “People say I am a mass murderer; I am not perfect but I didn’t kill Tecumseh Roberts. I have documentary evidence on how he was killed. He was a good singer, I used to like him. He was my friend. We were singing when I got the news that the AFL was attacking us, I left him and went on the battlefront by the time I got back General Samuel Varney had killed him because he believed he was gay.

“I wasn’t happy but I couldn’t do anything because Varney was my deputy and a key part of my warring faction and he has some men who were loyal to him. If I had done anything to Varney, it would have caused division in my army so I had to live with it and that is something I still feel bad about.”

“I painfully kept in me that anger against Varney I couldn’t do anything because it would have divided us. I didn’t tell the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) I killed Tecumseh. Senator Dillon also had a press conference on Truth FM and stated that I killed Tecumseh – that is false,” he added.

“During his interview, he repeatedly referred to me as Prince Johnson. That was rudeness and dishonorable. That is why I said I will turn his table upside down.”

Liberians have urged President George Weah to probe the violations committed against civilians during the country’s civil wars.

President Weah had said consultations with the legislature were already in motion, and engagements with the judicial system and international partners in the court’s creation was on the way.