“I am not afraid of war crimes court” – PYJ Asserts -Says He won’t be intimidated for Supporting JNB
MONROVIA – The Governing Council Chairperson and Vision Bearer of the Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MDR), Nimba County Senator Prince Y. Johnson, says his detractors are angry because of his party’s decision to join forces with the Unity Party for which Nimba County Senator Jeremiah Kpan Koung has been fielded as Vice Presidential candidate to contest the October 10, 2023 polls; therefore they are using surrogates to malign and call him all sorts of despicable names, even as they demand that he subjected to a war crimes court trial.
“They are using war crimes court to intimidate. Is it me you will intimidate? Why don’t you bring it one time. Bring it! You can’t fool old lady with what you have,” Senator Johnson said yesterday Sunday when he held a thanksgiving service at the Christ Chapel of Faith Ministry for the preferment of MDR Standard Bearer Jeremiah Koung as running mate to former Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai.
Mounting the podium to deliver his politically-charged sermon, Pastor Johnson reminded Liberians that the last time he rendered his support for the George Weah-led government, the Americans placed him on sanctions through the Treasury Department.
“The Treasury Department is just a branch of the US government. It cannot impose sanctions on me, a foreign citizen, unless it goes through the White House, and then to the State Department, and on to the US Embassy. Like in the case of McGill, Bill Twehway and Syrenius Cephas, the US Ambassador read their sanctions because that was the position of the American government. Mine was a political thing they did to put me under the Treasury. That is not to be considered,” Senator Johnson said as he reflected on the risks that he underwent for supporting the Weah government.
Reflecting further on the Liberian peace process and his own contributions that led to the restoration of democratic governance in Liberia, Senator Johnson reminded Liberians that it was God who brought peace to Africa’s oldest republic, but it was Liberians who chose how the issue of war crimes and impunity would be settled.
“There was a reason for the 14 years of civil war. There was a reason the Americans had to go through civil war. There was a reason why the minority whites enslaved the blacks in South Africa through the Apartheid system. There is a reason for everything.
“Today South Africa is moving; South Africa is well developed and continues to develop. There was a reason for the 14 years of war because of bad governance. Bad governance comes about because of bad advice from people who are belly-driven, and those who want to be closer to the powers that be. They influence the leader to terminate people’s lives; and that brought the civil war.
“But have we learned a lesson? No, we haven’t. Maybe some of us, but the majority haven’t. They continue to beat the war drums, calling people war criminals; calling people names, provoking people to violence. Do you know one thing, Liberians? I laid my weapons down for peace to reign. Bushrod Island was a safe haven that God used me to create; dividing food, electricity, water, everything was intact during the heat of the war. But here people are jumping up: ‘criminal, criminal; they say all kinds of things; but I say, my future is in the hands of God, I care less about what you say.
“They went to Ghana when the war was raging. Everyone was there – the church people, civil society, human rights groups. The international community cannot impose on any country what you should choose for yourself. They asked the Liberians who were present. I was in Nigeria – I was not part of the peace accord, but it was binding on me. The international community put war crimes court and Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) after that of South Africa. Every Liberian that was there – those so-called human rights groups talking today about war crimes court, they were there. They rejected the war crimes court and chose the TRC. And after they signed, it was not guaranteed until the international community that convened the meeting attested or affixed their signatory to that accord. The United Nations affixed its signatory. The AU also signed. ECOWAS also signed, to accept the TRC as in South Africa, and denounced war crimes court. So, what is the nonsensical demand for war crimes court now?
“When you pursue people, do you want to live in peace again? We may be getting old, but we’ve got soldiers, we’ve got former generals, we’ve got former combatants. We have told them to subject their whole lives to peace. When you pursue us, will you rest?
“What is the call when you got drugs being imported, US$140 million, first of its kind in the Republic, damaging, bastardizing the minds of our children. The last time when just the United States Treasury Department called my name, Liberians were saying no one should do business with me. Even last night on the Spoon Talk Show, they called me war criminal, negative names. I am human, I am a soldier. I fought for freedom to save Liberia and the people of Nimba. So, I told Stanton who owns the station to advise his people to be mindful, to be civil and deal with the issues and stop calling people names. Because I didn’t support the ANC, so you have started calling me names?
“They are using war crimes courts to intimidate. Is it me you will intimidate? Why don’t you bring it one time. Bring it! You can’t fool an old lady with what you have!” Senator Johnson blasted from his pulpit.
Regarding the Unity Party’s decision to choose Nimba County Senator Jeremiah Koung as running mate to Ambassador Joseph Boakai, Senator Johnson said the selection was destined to happen.
“We are a people of destiny. And I go by what Senator Jeremiah Koung said, that he is a destiny child. All of the lawmakers that came in 2011, I brought them all on board. The very party that I established and I brought them on board, they killed the party. Jeremiah Koung stood by me. He has never bad-mouthed me. Joshua never badmouthed Moses. He has never dishonored me; Joshua never dishonored Moses. He has never shown his knowledge over me as a graduate from Cuttington University, he always brought himself down and humbled himself. His book, business knowledge and money have humbled him to respect me and call me chief.
“JNB, in 2017, you should have been, but you did not because it was not God’s time. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says there is time for everything. JNB, you read that scripture, so you calmed yourself, and you waited for this time. This is your time. This is our time,” Senator cum Pastor Prince Y. Johnson stated exultingly from his pulpit.