Sen. Prince Y. Johnson: ‘I Killed For Reason, But Am New in Christ’
Monrovia – The once dreadful warlord Prince Y. Johnson, now a senator and a preacher, does not have regrets of his past and participation in the Liberian civil war, particular being a part of the murder of former President Samuel K. Doe.
Report by Mae Azango [email protected]
“Liberia had conflict that lasted for 14 years when brothers turn against one another in a brutal arm conflict, but the war is over, it is time to rebuild our nation.”
“I am the servant of God whom he took from the battlefield and cleansed with his blood, to stand here before the people of God to proclaim his gospel.”
But standing on the pulpit, PYJ as he is affectionately called, told his congregation, “I’m a new creature in Christ Jesus”, and that no one should judge him by his past.
He argued his actions during the war were to redeem his kinsmen, whom he said, were being continuously slaughtered by the government of President Doe.
He told members of his church – Chapel of Faith Ministries which is owned by him – he entered into politics “to kill corruption, nepotism and favoritism and deal with vices based on my principles”.
Now opting to be the successor of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Sen. Johnson says it is high time Liberians reconcile and unite.
“Liberia had conflict that lasted for 14 years when brothers turned against one another in a brutal arm conflict, but the war is over; it is time to rebuild our nation.”
“I am the servant of God whom he took from the battlefield and cleansed with his blood, to stand here before the people of God to proclaim his gospel.
“Therefore, we cannot rebuild a greater nation when we are fragmented; we need to be unified to move forward.”
“Jesus is the founder of this church, because I have been redeemed by Jesus blood. Let us forget about the past, because every country in the world has history,” he said.
Sen. Johnson seized the opportunity on the pulpit to throw jibes at his contenders in the ensuing elections.
He admonished his congregation to beware of “false politicians” who, he said, are displaying helicopters and fleet of vehicles.
He claimed these moves by politicians are false impressions meant to win votes although they are not in the interest of Liberians.
“If someone has economic power now to bring in 200 vehicles for campaign, why is it they did not galvanize such economic power to improve their counties,” he said.
“Why they did not build hospitals and have public library in public schools in their counties, but why is it only campaigns time you want to spend the money to win votes? Liberians beware.”
Johnson made the assertions while delivering a sermon on Sunday, July 30 in Paynesville City.
Referencing Psalm 133:1-2 of the Holy Bible, he read: “It is good for brethren to live together in peace, joy, happiness and unity” adding that only in unity, Liberians can be stronger to build a peaceful, stable and prosperous country.
The senator who is well known for his controversial sermons continued, “God has blessed Liberia that is endowed with natural resources and a very small population, but your resources are not benefiting you because of the apolitical anopheles mosquitoes that are sucking your blood.”
He noted that the country needs a new leadership and system to move toward peace and economic prosperity.
Johnson’s recent maneuvering to solidify is political prominence ahead of the elections sparked mixed views.
His short-lived alliance with the All Liberia Party (ALP) and flirting comments about Vice President Joseph Boakai candidacy raised eyebrows before he then resolved to go solo.
During the sermon, he told his congregation that Liberia needs greatness and “not politicians who give false promises,” but individuals with passion for the country.”
Said Senator Johnson: “Today, there are politicians who have hundreds of cars just imported for campaign, those very people are bringing in helicopters to fly from one county to another when their own people they want to govern are facing difficulties in reaching to their areas because of bad roads.
But we will drive our cars on those bad roads and help those cars [get] stuck in the mud.”
“We have the capacity to bring in more helicopters but we are not going to do so because we cannot afford to fly over our people while we fly.”
He then shifted focus directly to the standard bearer of Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE), Dr. Mill Jones, who while serving as Central Bank Governor, initiated micro finance loan scheme for marketers and is being dubbed ‘poverty doctor’ by his supporter.
“Just because that person had the idea of becoming President, he began to give your money back to you through micro finance loan, means he is a poverty doctor,” Johnson said.
Speaking about the alleged continuous interference of the Executive branch of government into the work of the Legislature, Johnson called for robust reform.
However, he blamed the national legislature for failing to implement reforms to alleviate the “heartache affecting the Liberian People”.
“I blame myself and [my] collogues in the legislature for not requesting for performances before passing budgets; I blame us for not holding corrupt officials accountable, because we have oversight committees.
“But quite unfortunately, one of my colleagues, a very tough talking and action Senator who was exercising his oversight and discovered that millions of dollars had disappeared from Public work, but there was a communication written to the Liberian Senate from the Executive to remove this man from his committee, and this Senator was removed.”
“This was a direct interference from another branch of government, which weakens my result to fight, but I am not hopeless,” he said.