Liberia: Senator Johnson Says Allies of President Weah Are Intimidating Him With War Crimes Court
Monrovia – Senator Prince Y. Johnson of Nimba County has told his colleagues about threats he continues to receive from House Speaker Bhofal Chambers and Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson T. Koijee about bringing the war crimes court to Liberia every time he speaks truth to power.
Senator Johnson, in a disappointing mood, made the disclosure in a plenary discussion surrounding the recent violent incident in Montserrado County District #15 that resulted into the damaging of Ms. Telia Urey’s vehicle.
Senator Nyounblee Karnga Lawrence had written to plenary a communication, which was backed by Senators Abraham Darius Dillon and Conmany Wesseh. The only female senator requested plenary to endorse a request to invite the Mayor of Monrovia, Justice Minister Frank Musah Deah, Police inspector General Patrick Sudue and other ranking officials of the Liberia National Police (LNP) to answer to concerns about growing violence and the police intervention.
As evidence to back his claims, he displayed text messages sent to him Speaker Chambers. In an apparent boastful response, the Nimba County Senator promised not to fall to what he called “scare tactics” applied by Speaker Chambers and Mayor Koijee.
All efforts to contact the two officials of government through text and calls did not materialized as we were informed that the speaker was out of the country.
“The issue that is on the floor of the Senate which is supposed to be the ‘house of elders’ is a grave one. These are some of the things we who collaborated with the ruling government continue to say and when we say them they label use ‘enemies of the state.’
“Speaker Chamber texted me and said don’t pullout of the Coalition because the war crimes court is not being signed because of you. The Speaker told me that. Scare tactics will not stop me from speaking.
“When you born your child and they are doing well is a pride and when they are performing badly is an embarrassment to you. We’ve been part of the previous conflict because of bad governance. At that time people considered themselves heroes; they sat and their people did harm to the people and did nothing about it.”
Speaking further, the Nimba County lawmaker warned the government about providing security for all citizens through peace and the rule of law and not by training military men and women. “You can train so many soldiers and give them the sophisticated weapons once they are have not been tested in combat, they are alien.
“People are speaking their minds as a wakeup call for us to change our ways, if we are doing wrong let us change. Too many inflammatory statements are been made with some from members of the regime, one is the City Mayor having press conference and boasting to defend government with their blood when; we advise they threaten us with war crimes court.”
Senator Johnson cautioned Mayor Koijee in specific comments about encouraging a UN backed tribunal in Liberia which he said, will do justice for all participants of the war because according to him the Liberian civil crisis wasn’t only fought by Liberians by had some foreigners taking part.
“We don’t need war crime court we want a UN backed tribunal. We advise that things are not right what happened in Logan Town. What are you protecting? You can only protect by giving positive advice, but in this regime when you advice they brand you.”
Senator Oscar Cooper
Senator Oscar Cooper of Margibi County warned that if tangible steps are not taken to address the many violent incidents occurring, there is a clear sign of insecurity, which could force ordinary Liberians to recruit their personal security to ensure their safety.
“If we don’t take steps to bring in people who terrorize innocent citizens going out to exercise their constitutional rights in elections history could be repeated. There is a clear and pressing danger to the people and security of the state. I am not going to sit here and run away from my responsibility as a Senator. This is not a party thing, it is security issue
Senator Sando Johnson of Bomi County described the violence in the district as an “act of terrorism.” He warned that Liberia will soon be labeled a terrorist country because of these kinds of actions. “If we are not careful, Koijee’s action will bring war because I will not sit and allow anyone take away my life, we all will die together.”