Liberia: Nimba County Senator Prince Johnson Laments Supporting Weah’s Election


Monrovia – Senator Prince Johnson of Nimba County has regretted rallying the vote-rich county of Nimba, in support of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) during the 2017 Presidential Run-off Election, which was between then Senator George Manneh Weah and former Vice President Joseph Boakai of Unity Party (UP).

Report by Henry Karmo, [email protected]

As a demonstration of his disappointment in the ruling Coalition, the Nimba County lawmaker, who is regarded as the ‘Godfather’ of the county, walked out of the Senate’s confirmation proceedings for a new Superintendent of Nimba County. President George Weah, few weeks ago, appointed Mr. Nelson N. Korquoi, who is to replace outgoing Dorr Cooper. Cooper is said to be a supporter of Sen. Johnson.   

The Senator’s walked out action Tuesday, February 18, was in protest to Pres. Weah’s decision to nominate a new superintendent without consulting members of the county’s legislative caucus, specifically him (Johnson) and his other colleague in the Senate.

“I don’t want confusion; you all know the level of work I did in Nimba to get President Weah elected. In 2005 and 2011, the people of Nimba didn’t vote for CDC. In 2017, everything almost went to the other candidate; my support for the CDC brought the victory,” Sen. Johnson said.

Nimba County, according to the 2008 National Housing and Population Census, had a population of about 462,026. From the National Elections Commission (NEC) 2017 statistics, Nimba had a voting population of 279,601, of this number, 200,791 votes were cast in the county. 

Despite the presence of 20 Presidential candidates in that 2017 presidential race, the Unity Party was led by Vice President Joseph Boakai and Senator Weah, who headed the CDC, were inarguably the heavy weights in that elections, but still Senator Johnson was overwhelmingly voted for by kinsmen and women in Nimba. 

He attained 107,430 votes of the 200,791 votes that were cast. That constituted 53.5% of the overall votes in the county. The margin between Senator Johnson and Vice President Boakai, who came out second in Nimba was a 67,466 difference. VP Boakai obtained 39,964 votes. 

Weah’s performance in Nimba was dismal despite coming out third in the county. He earned 16,002 votes (8%). 

Senator Johnson’s political performance in Nimba has always been splendid; so him endorsing anyone was a very good prospect for that person. When he lifted candidate Weah’s hand in Nimba, it became a done deal and Weah won overwhelmingly in the runoff. 

Sen. Johnson thinks the happy time he had with the CDC is now over based on what the President did by not consulting with him before appointing a new superintendent.

“I don’t want confusion; you all know the level of work I did in Nimba to get President Weah elected. In 2005 and 2011, the people of Nimba didn’t vote for CDC. In 2017, everything almost went to the other candidate; my support for the CDC brought the victory.”

– Senator Prince Y. Johnson

“To now nominate from my county, one of the sophisticated counties, one of the largest counties next to Montserrado County without the knowledge of the Senior Senator and the Junior Senator, is an insult to us and a disregards for what we have done to bring CDC to power. I regret it; it is discouraging and disheartening!” Johnson further said on Tuesday before he walked out of the confirmation room.

Despite the decision by the Senator, the Senate’s Committee on Internal Affairs and Reconciliation went ahead with the process.

In response to his colleague’s walked out, Maryland County Senator Gbleh-Bo Brown said, prior to the hearing, he had consulted with the Nimba lawmaker and he (Johnson) allegedly gave his blessings to the process.

Senator Thomas Grupee, the other senator from Nimba, didn’t take his colleague Prince Johnson’s side. Sen. Grupee stated that Mr. Nelson N. Korquoi’s appearance was in line with his right as a Liberian citizen, who is entitled to a due process and has the right to appointment in government by the appointing authorities.

“It is also clear under our constitution that the three branches of government must have their own functions but coordination makes our job easier. So when Sen. Johnson spoke that we were not consulted, we are not to be but for the purpose of coordination, we should have that consultation.

“I am baffled by the way you were nominated, but it is not your fault that is why we try to do justice to you to hold this hearing.”

Senator Johnson, who is considered a man of God, recently alleged in a prophesy that the 2023 elections will be rigged by the ruling CDC.

“It will happen, if not, do not believe me anymore,” Senator Johnson had said.

According to him partisans of the ruling CDC as part of his religious believe will in 2023 have bitter confrontation with the people of Liberia.

“I am seeing chaos, confusion and more destruction,” the Nimba County lawmaker further prophesied.

He told reporters that if he were the President, he will prioritize the payment of salaries to all civil servants to ensure food and other domestic issues are addressed in their respective homes.

The situation currently he stressed is getting worse with Senator like him not been paid for four months now describing such as the days of Former President Charles Taylor relative to the failure of paying civil servants and other key workers in society so far.

In 2017 Senator Prince Y. Johnson’s Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MDR), called on partisans and supporters of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) to stage, what he termed as a democratic coup d’état against the former ruling Unity Party in the pending runoff election.

“I ask you to join ranks with us to stage a national coup d’état against the Unity Party of Joseph Boakai. I ask you not to drink alcohol on Christmas Day. Keep your heads up and in the hands of God.”

The MDR political leader made the call Thursday, December 14, at the headquarters of the CDC when leaders of the opposition Liberty Party (LP) joined ranks with CDC for the runoff election.