‘Most Formidable Force’ Senator PYJ Adds Doubts On Presidential Declaration


Source: http://www.frontpageafrica.com/newsmanager/anmviewer.asp?a=10624&z=3

Monrovia – When he announced immediately following the President’s declaration of her intention to run for a second term that he too will be contesting the presidency in 2011, Nimba County Senior Senator Prince Johnson (independent) who hastily arranged a few journalists in what seemed like an impromptu press conference did not mention that he was petitioned by the Liberian people; yet during Wednesday’s Focus on Africa program broadcast on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the former warlord told the world that he was petitioned by the Liberian people and not a self-declaration on intent.- When he announced immediately following the President’s declaration of her intention to run for a second term that he too will be contesting the presidency in 2011, Nimba County Senior Senator Prince Johnson (independent) who hastily arranged a few journalists in what seemed like an impromptu press conference did not mention that he was petitioned by the Liberian people; yet during Wednesday’s Focus on Africa program broadcast on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the former warlord told the world that he was petitioned by the Liberian people and not a self-declaration on intent.

“Who am I to say no when my people ask me to lead them?” Senator Johnson said when he was quizzed by the BBC journalist about his recent declaration.

MESSAIC CALLING?
“The people see me as someone who always stands in their defense and they decided to petition me. So, I must follow the people’s request”.

Senator Prince Y. Johnson(Independent-Nimba County
“The people see me as someone who always stands in their defense and they decided to petition me. So, I must follow the people’s request”, the senator said.

Just a few minutes after President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf announced her second presidential bid interest at the end of her controversial State of the Nation Address on January 25 before members of Liberia’s 52nd National Legislature on Capitol Hill, the once-fearful warlord-turned politician wasted no time in declaring his intention to contest next year’s presidential election as he declared that he will be the ‘most formidable’ force in the race, thereby implying that he will beat the incumbent President Sirleaf as she too had just announced few minutes to Senator Johnson’s declaration that she will be a formidable force.

“She said she will be a formidable force. We are saying we will be the most formidable force”, the Nimba County lawmaker had said as he revealed that his legislative colleague, Grand Cape Mount County Senior Senator Abel Massalley (National Patriotic Party-NPP) as his running mate.

Whether he and his new political partner will be the most formidable force to reckon with in the 2011 elections or not, what remains very sticky is the senator’s refusal to state that he was petitioned by the Liberian people during his brief post-state of the nation address press conference.

Anyone who is cognizant of the political landscape in Liberia fully knows that the petitioning of individuals, whether staged-managed or not, for elect-able posts are always characterized by a group of people formally giving the group’s petition to their prospective candidate most often done during a formal gathering or program.

Senator Johnson was the leader of the Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia (INPFL), a splinter group of then-rebel leader Charles Taylor’s National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL).

Many still believe that Senator Johnson is still temperamental as he was during his INPFL days evidenced from his hasty press conference in which he declared his intention. They believe that he may have been provoked by the President’s broken promise of the 2005 campaign which may have angered him prompting a self-declaration instantly in an apparent move to make President Sirleaf aware of a muddy political battlefield in 2011 especially when it comes to acquiring votes from Nimba County. This, they believe, was the case that led to Senator Johnson’s instant declaration which could not have possibly been a petition from any group as he even gave the announcement in the absence of his running-mate, Senator Massalley, though he, Senator Massalley, confirmed his political partnership with Senator Johnson days later.

‘PYJ’, as he is otherwise referred to especially during his warrior days, during Tuesday’s regular session told fellow legislative members of the Liberian Senate that his new party will be named National Union for Democracy and Progress (NUDP).

Since his announcement, many have held the opinion that the decision of the ‘most formidable’ candidate for 2011 is aimed at pressuring President Sirleaf, especially in his vote-rich county of Nimba where he brags about collecting the highest number of votes during the 2005 elections.

The former warlord’s confidence to throw his hat into what promises to be one of the tensely contested presidential elections in post-war Liberia might have stemmed from this backdrop of getting the highest number of votes from the country’s second largest populated county which makes him to apparently believe that Liberians have forgiven him in part despite being indicted by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Liberia.

Apart from recommending him for prosecution for massacre and other war crimes, the Final Report of the TRC is also recommending that the former warlord be made to account for the remains of former President Samuel K. Doe who was captured and killed by him in less than a year’s time from the launching of the Taylor-led rebel invasion nine months earlier.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: