Liberia: Prince Johnson’s Party Accuses Taylor’s Ex-fighters of Orchestration Sunday’s Church Disruption
MONROVIA – The Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MDR) has accused former Charles Taylor NPFL fighters, who remain loyal to Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor within the National Patriotic Party, of instigating a protest that disrupted Senator Prince Johnson’s Sunday church service.
By Henry Karmo [email protected]
The MDR named Doupoe Menkozohn, Joe Tuah, and Roland Duoh as allegedly being responsible for carrying out the Vice President’s plan to confront Prince Johnson in response to recent remarks made against her.
Citing ‘reliable information’, the party asserted that ex-combatants Roland Duoh, Dopoe Menkozohn, Joe Tuah, Kai Farlay, and others orchestrated the disturbance at the Christ Chapel of Faith Church. Their intention, according to the MDR, was to prevent Senator Evangelist Prince Johnson’s sermon from potentially having a political impact on Jewel Howard Taylor.
The party’s statement, delivered by its mobilization chairman Melsco Wolo, also mentioned that an EPS operative had alerted Senator Johnson about the planned protest by the Vice President, and the senator had informed the police two hours prior to the incident.
“The Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MDR) strongly condemns the violent protest against its Governing Council Chair Senator Prince Y. Johnson, which took place on May 21, 2023, at the premises of his Christ Chapel of Faith Church in Paynesville, behind the Liberia Broadcasting System-LBS.”
The party expressed disappointment and frustration with the state security, claiming that the incident was a joint effort planned and executed in collaboration with the Liberia National Police-LNP.
“It is important to reemphasize and register the MDR’s disappointment and frustration with the state security. We believe that the incident was jointly calculated, planned, and executed in collaboration with the Liberia National Police-LNP. This belief stems from the fact that after residents of the LBS community alerted Nimba County Senator Prince Y. Johnson, he made multiple calls to relevant security actors, including the Director of the Liberian Police, Mr. Patrick Sudue. Unfortunately, the police arrived intentionally at the Christ Chapel of Faith premises two hours after the incident had already occurred.”
The party also highlighted that the recent attack on Senator Johnson, the ‘Godfather’ of Nimba, and his congregation could have been prevented if the Liberia National Police had acted promptly, as Senator Johnson had alerted them a little over two hours prior to the incident.
“Additionally, the MDR wants to use this medium to remind Liberians and the world at large that what was displayed by supporters of the regime on Sunday is evidence of our accusation made a fortnight ago when we initially accused the Weah-led government of an assassination attempt on our Governing Council Chair, Senator Prince Y. Johnson.”
The party expressed deep concern over consistent threats on Senator Johnson’s life since he withdrew his support for President George M. Weah’s second term bid.
“Ladies and gentlemen of the press, the issue of establishing a War Crime Court should not be politicized by regime collaborators as a means of silencing critical voices, including that of Senator Johnson, who represents the people of Nimba County in the legislature. The Nimbaians, whom Senator Johnson represents, were also victims of the 14 years of civil unrest and, like any Liberian affected by the war, deserve justice.”
The party, in support of Senator Johnson, stated that his participation in the Liberian Civil War was a result of extreme marginalization, killings, and intimidation of Nimbaians throughout the country. They emphasized that Senator Johnson, as a revolutionary leader, felt the need to liberate his people.
“Furthermore, the MDR is extremely shocked by President Weah and his government’s conspicuous silence in condemning the uncivilized action demonstrated last Sunday under the instruction of his vice president, Madam Jewel Howard Taylor.
The MDR has also warned the lead perpetrator of the Sunday incident at the Christ Chapel of Faith, Peter Bleedi Jr., who happens to be the National Vice Chair for Press and Publicity of the NPP Youth Council and a close associate of Jewel Howard Taylor. According to evidence in our possession, he recently accompanied the Vice President during her tour in the southeastern region, including Maryland County, and we urge him to refrain from being used for violent purposes.
The party has also called on the international community, including the American government, the European Union, the ECOWAS Commission, and the African Union, to intervene. We request the international community to join us in urging the Weah-led government to conduct an investigation into the disruption at the Christ Chapel of Faith Church on May 21, 2023.