MONROVIA : In the wake of allegation being pointed to her as a mastermind of the protest carried out at the premises of the Christ Chapel Church of Senator Prince Y. Johnson on Sunday, May 21, 2023, Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor has made a categorical statement denouncing all forms of violence especially going into the 2023 general election, adding that she stands by what she signed on to uphold the peace and unity of the country as well as denying any involvement in the attack as was alleged by Senator Johnson.
VP Taylor made the statement yesterday, Monday, May 22, 2023 when she responded to a question posed to her whether she instigated the group that went to the church premises of Senator Johnson to cause some disturbance as was claimed by the Nimba County lawmaker which brought some embarrassment to her office especially when she has of recent spoken about maintaining the peace while the nation approaches the crucial stages of the ensuing general election.
“I condemn in the strongest terms any issue of violence in the 2023 general election.
“We all signed the code of conduct. I stand by the President. I stand by the international community. I stand by our country that peace is what we want.
“I believe this election is about ideas, how do we build a better Liberia, what do we do to lift the lives of our people. Violence cannot be part of our society in the 2023 election”, the Vice President said before being led to her waiting car.
Whatever is being said about the response of the VP which was her first after several accusing fingers were pointed at her, the running mate to President George Manneh Weah in the ensuing general election has in recent time, made a case for issues-based campaign, stressing the strategies of the CDC will not be violence, but the quantum of works done by President Weah over the years will make the citizens to vote massively for the CDC ticket.
“As I continue to tell our people wherever I go, this election will not be about who brings violence and trouble to force our people out of their way. It is about development; it is about what you have done for them. President is approaching the general election with his credentials of what he has done for the country and its people.
“He remains peaceful and that has been his message to Liberians that we need peace no matter what we do because without peace all the development he is bringing and what he intends to bring in his second term will not be possible”, VP Taylor said recently when he spoke to citizens in the Southeast during his county wide visit there.
It can be recalled that at a press conference he held shortly after his regular Sunday service was disrupted when a group of youth of the National Patriotic Party(NPP) staged a protest within the premises of his church, chanting anti-PYJ slogans and calling for the establishment of a war and economic crime court, the Nimba County senator accused VP Taylor of masterminding the episode including Monrovia City Mayor, Jefferson Tamba Koijee and the Commissioner General of the Liberia Maritime Authority(LIMA), Lenn Eugene Nagbe, both of whom he alleged that they are after his life.
“You witnessed what happened, you were there, it is not something that I am telling you. I just only want to overemphasize what we all saw. What I heard from one of them over saying it is Jewel Howard- Taylor instructed them along with Koijee to come and disrupt the church, fight us, and wound the people. I am the target,” he said.
Since he severed his relationship with the ruling establishment and pitched his tent with the former ruling Unity Party, Senator Johnson has said he has had restless time as the government was bent on exterminating him at all cost but will not be deterred by whatever excesses meted against him.
The unfortunate incident may have reached at a level that prompted it after the senator said he received intelligent reports that some youths, whom he called “hooligans” and believed to be members of the CDC youth wings have been fanning around his church premises preparatory to attacking him when his members congregate at their regular service.
Several prominent persons, including politicians such as the Standard Bearers of the Unity Party and CPP, Messrs Joseph Nyuma Boakai and Alexander Cummings as well as institutions such as the Liberia Council of Churches, the Liberia National Bar Association, among others have issued statements condemning the incident and calling on the government to institute an impartial investigation into the incident with the view of bringing to book those involved in an obvious breach of public peace which should not be allowed to happen especially during the crucial election.
The ruling CDC has meanwhile also condemned the situation while denying its involvement in it.